ASCSU candidates discuss diversity, fees, stadium at debate on plaza

Erin Douglas

If elected, ASCSU predicential candidate Ashley Higgins and her running mate Steven Losolla want to have more transparency for students regarding tuition and fees.
If elected, ASCSU presidential candidate Ashley Higgins and her running mate Steven Losolla want to have more transparency for students regarding tuition and fees. (Photo credit: Cam Bumsted.)

In front of passing students on the plaza in 45-degree weather Friday, the two campaigns for Associated Students of Colorado State University 2016-2017 president debated their campaign platforms. While competing for passerby attention with speakers yelling on the stump, the ASCSU candidates spoke to a small crowd of mostly ASCSU members and passing students.

The Ashley Higgins campaign highlighted Higgins’ experience within the organization, while the Daniela Pineda Soracá campaign contrasted this point by speaking about Pineda Soracá’s desire to change the culture of the organization.

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Both campaigns spoke about their support for the Diversity Bill, and creating a focus on diversity efforts for next year. One of Pineda Soracá’s campaign philosophies is intersectionality, and one of Higgin’s campaign pillars is diversity.

“No matter what type of student you are and no matter how long you’re here (on this campus), we want to make sure you are valued, not labeled,” said Daniela Pineda Soracá, in response to a question asking her to define intersectionality.

Pineda Soracá’s running mate, Mike Lensky, highlighted his experience in senate leadership where he said he resolved issues in senate during the highly debated Diversity Bill.

The Higgins campaign said they want to exemplify servant leadership if elected, and use this leadership style in order to represent the students.

Sophomore ASCSU presidential candidate Daniela Pinedá Soraca is running her campaign on intersectionality, which she described as encouraging mutual respect and empathy on organizational, campus, and community levels. (Photo credit: Cam Bumsted.)
Sophomore ASCSU presidential candidate Daniela Pinedá Soraca is running her campaign on intersectionality, which she described as encouraging mutual respect and empathy on organizational, campus, and community levels. (Photo credit: Cam Bumsted.)

“I believe you should serve someone first before you try to lead them,” said Steven Losolla, the vice presidential candidate for the Higgins campaign. “People will respond better to someone who says, ‘How can I serve you best?’”

Both campaigns also briefly mentioned their desire to “take a look at student fees,” and to continue to work towards changing the city housing ordinance for unrelated adults, commonly known as U+2, to Me+3.

ASCSU currently manages roughly $2.5 million in student fees—each student contributes roughly $40 each semester.

Students present at the debate asked the candidates about their stances on the Diversity Bill, which both campaigns supported, and about their ideas to deal with increased tailgating and underage drinking due to the stadium.

The Higgins campaign put an emphasis on the zones of tailgating and what areas of campus will be event designated. The Pineda Soracá campaign put an emphasis on campus alcohol education, and dealing with potential problems for first year students.

The next ASCSU presidential debate will occur at 7 p.m. on Wednesday in the Lory Student Center Theatre.

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Collegian ASCSU reporter Erin Douglas can be reached at news@collegian.com or on twitter @erinmdouglas23.