ASCSU election season springs into action, voting to begin April 2

Natalia Sperry

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.

For most students returning to campus this week, Monday marked the end of spring break, but as anyone walking through the Plaza may have noticed, it also marked the beginning of the Associated Students of Colorado State University’s election season. 

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Four campaigns are contesting for president and vice president: 

  • Liam Aubrey with running mate Lynsie Roper
  • Allec Brust with running mate Mareena Winchell
  • Jacob Epperson with running mate Carter Hill
  • Tristan Syron with running mate Kevin Sullivan

Current College of Business Senator Liam Aubrey and running mate Lynsie Roper want to address issues facing the students such as student fees, food insecurity, affordable housing and transportation.

“We want to make sure we don’t increase the ASCSU student fee because we really want to make sure we leave as much money in the student’s pockets as possible,” Aubrey said. “We (also) want to make sure that no student is hungry or struggling to make rent and can’t focus on getting their education.” 

Though Allec Brust and running mate Mareena Winchell have no prior experience with ASCSU, Brust said their perspectives as outsiders fuels their platform of open communication and increased representation. 

“Watching from the outside, I’ve seen a lot of incidents that could’ve been addressed better (such as recent bias-motivated incidents),” Brust said. “We also really want to encourage diversity of thought within ASCSU. We’ve seen a lot of voices left unheard in recent months, and we want to make sure that we are representative of the whole student body.”

Jacob Epperson, former Senator on the Undeclared Leadership Council for the Intra-University, and running mate Carter Hill, current chair member on the Officer of Fraternity and Sorority Life Interpersonal Violence Committee and Vice President of Philanthropy and Community Service for the Interfraternity Council, want to advocate for students’ academic success and safety in addition to promoting transparency in ASCSU. 

“A lot of people feel like ASCSU is kind of in shambles after the impeachment of Josh Silva, and with student fees constantly rising,” Epperson said. “There just needs to be some strong, quality leadership in office that can make us a more reputable organization and can take hard stances when it comes to things that deal with students’ needs.”

Tristan Syron, a previous ASCSU senator and a vice presidential candidate from the 2017 election, and running mate Kevin Sullivan, current ASCSU Senate recruitment and retention officer, want to reduce the cost of on-campus parking and promote off-campus life solutions, including accessibility to U+2 waivers and the creation of a CSU bartering app.   

“We say it all the time, and we truly believe in (our campaign slogan), ‘Syron and Sullivan, setting the standards,'” Syron said. “Rams deserve the best of the best, so take every standard you have and let’s raise them.” 

The two candidates currently contesting for the position of Speaker of the Senate are Merall Sherif and Benjamin Amundson. Although the Collegian previously reported that Kiaran Stewart was also running for the position, ASCSU Elections Manager Tyler Siri confirmed Monday afternoon that Stewart would not be campaigning for the position. 

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Sherif, the current power chair of the ASCSU Senate, the Women and Gender Advocacy Center senator,  and the founder of the ASCSU Women’s Caucus, said that her campaign centers around the goal of promoting impartiality, community and diversity in the Senate. 

“I plan to build a really inclusive Senate environment that is conducive to tangible legislation that places our Ram family at the very forefront of ASCSU’s agenda, ” Sherif said. “I really don’t believe in giving people a voice, but in creating an inclusive environment that will promote people of diverse backgrounds to speak about their passions.” 

Amundson, a senator for the College of Agriculture and a member of the ASCSU External Affairs Committee, said his goals are to serve the students, cultivate compassion and direct productive, solution-based dialogue in the Senate. 

“As Speaker of the Senate, we don’t want to take a political stance,” Amundson said. “We want to facilitate dialogue in a way that solves the students’ problems .. (and) take action outside of ASCSU. We need to act, be involved, and be the driving force to resolution.”

ASCSU will hold two debates featuring the president and vice president campaigns and the Speaker of the Senate candidates. The first debate, held on the CSU Plaza, will occur on March 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., and the second debate, held in the Lory Student Center, will be on March 28 at 7 p.m.

The voting period begins at 8 a.m. on April 2 and concludes at 4 p.m. on April 4. Students can vote for a campaign on RamWeb once when the voting period begins.

Stay with the Collegian for profiles on each campaign and further coverage of ASCSU elections.

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