ASCSU prepares for upcoming, future election seasons by reforming campaign finance

Natalia Sperry

The Associated Students of Colorado State University convened Feb. 21 to discuss new legislation pertaining both to the upcoming and future election seasons. 

Campaign Finance bill passes, looks to the future 

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ASCSU passed a bill (17-5-5) to reform campaign finance by allowing future elections for ASCSU leadership to be publicly funded by student fees. However, this portion of the bill would not go into effect until next year, and at this time includes no exact reallocation for those fees, according to author of the bill and elections manager Tyler Siri.

The bill also reduces the campaign expenditure limit to $1,250 and would require candidates to disclose the source of all campaign funds, effective for the 2018 elections season.

“We’re setting the stage to allow for student fees to be used by campaigns. There’s a lot of reasons for this, including accessibility and efficacy,” Siri said. “But unfortunately, we’re going to be waiting until next year to implement that. This allows us to set the stage for that.”

Elections manager Tyler Siri presents Bill #4724, Campaign Finance Reform, to the ASCSU Senate. The bill’s goal is to give monetary assistance to campaigns for the upcoming election in order to improve the student government’s accessibility. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

Siri said he intends to present a solid plan for the implementation of student fees for future elections after the 2018 election season has ended. 

Senators such as Liam Aubrey said although this bill would not change any funding for this year, they are worried about the future implications of this legislation.  

Aubrey said that although he agrees in increasing the accessibility and equity of campaigns, senators should speak to their constituents, since most people who run for office are already involved with ASCSU in some way. 

“But, I think we also need to think about the students who aren’t in ASCSU … that’s their money too,” Aubrey said. “I think we have an obligation to spend this money as responsibly as possible.” 

Sen. Jennifer Murray said while she agreed with these concerns, she supported the bill after her own experiences with debt following her campaign for speaker of the senate last year. 

“I think that anyone who has the passion to put their time and effort into running a campaign should be able to, regardless of their financial status,” Murray said.

Elections Committee members unanimously ratified 

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In preparation for election season, the ASCSU Senate unanimously ratified (28-0-0) new members to the Elections Committee, which oversees all elections business. 

New members of the Elections Committee are sworn into office on Feb. 21, 2018. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

The new Elections Committee members include Chief of Staff Eddie Kendall, Corbin Hart, Amelie Bever and Adriana Graybeal, all of whom had prior experience with either the Elections Committee or ASCSU.

Kendall, who served on the committee for two years, said he began his career at CSU on the Committee as a freshman. 

The rest of the Elections Committee will come before the Senate floor for ratification next week as further preparation for the election season, which will begin after spring break. 

According to Siri, applications to run for president, vice president, speaker of the senate and senator are now available online. All interested applicants must attend a mandatory orientation, the first of which will be held March 12 at 4:15 pm in the Lory Student Center. 

Collegian reporter Natalia Sperry can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Natalia_Sperry.