ASCSU Campaign: Allec Brust and Mareena Winchell

Natalia Sperry

Video by Chapman Croskell

Editor’s Note: Allec Brust and her running mate, Mareena Winchell, were previously employed for the Rocky Mountain Collegian. Brust was the former Collegian opinion editor, and Winchell was a former reporter for the Collegian arts and culture desk.

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With outside perspective and media experience, Allec Brust and Mareena Winchell emphasize representation, communication and diversity of thought in their campaign for president and vice president of Associated Students of Colorado State University.

“We really want to bring diversity of thought,” Brust said. “Everybody always wants everyone to look different but think the same, and we really want everyone to look different and think differently as well.”

Allec Brust, Presidential Candidate 

ASCSU President candidate Allec Brust poses for a portrait on Mar. 27, 2018. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

Brust, the former editor and director of Collegian’s opinion desk, is a junior journalism and communications major.

Brust said her former role of managing opinion columns prepared her to start conversations on campus. Part of Brust’s motivation to run for president stems from a lack of such conversations in ASCSU this academic year, especially about issues such as the bias-motivated incidents on campus.

“One thing I really had a problem with ASCSU in general and the CSU community as a whole is that we had a lot of bias-motivated incidents on campus this year,” Brust said. “I found it a little bit upsetting that ASCSU actually didn’t bring notice to this issue until this semester when some of these problems were happening at the beginning of last semester.”

Mareena Winchell, Vice Presidential Candidate 

ASCSU Vice President candidate Mareena Winchell poses for a portrait on Mar. 27, 2018. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

Mareena Winchell is a junior journalism and communications major, like Brust. On-campus she has worked as a Resident Assistant, an Orientation Leader both last summer and this upcoming year and in the Alumni Association.

Though Winchell never envisioned herself running for a position like vice president, she hopes to serve as a demonstration to others throughout campus who don’t think they can take on powerful roles in the University.

In improving transparency and representation, Winchell wants to get out the voices of students that don’t typically get politically involved.

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“We think we’ve heard a lot of student opinions and voices, so we want to bring those voices to ASCSU and change the University from the inside out, I would say, starting with students and ending with the students,” Winchell said.

Their platform

Brust and Winchell both think their outside perspectives as students and as journalists will help to fix several of the key issues discussed in the student body elections process thus far, including transparency and accessibility.

“We want people coming to us that have differing opinions, we don’t want anybody to be scared of their own opinions and of their ideas and of us because of the perceived stereotype of ASCSU,” Brust said.

As part of their emphasis on transparency, Brust said their campaign does not plan to raise student fees in any way. The campaign met with the Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement office to discuss student fees. 

“We talked about reallocating resources and what that looks like. We didn’t want to be the campaign that said we’re going to keep costs low or we’re going to raise them, we wanted to be the ones that kept it transparent with students.” 

Brust believes there is a disconnect between ASCSU and the rest of the student body, as students who want to be political are involved in ASCSU, leaving smaller student groups underrepresented on campus.

“I think that it is our job as student leaders really to reach out and push for representation. Representation doesn’t just happen,” Brust said. “You have to be out there, you have to be talking to the students and really getting the student voice.”

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