Amundson-Farias wins ASCSU presidential election

Collegian Staff

After an unexpected snow day delayed the announcement of Associated Students of Colorado State University presidential and Speaker of the Senate results, the students of CSU have a new student body president and vice president.

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In an election season that saw a record-breaking 26.6% voter turnout of the student body, Ben Amundson and Alexandra Farias have been named the next president and vice president of the Associated Students of CSU. Blake Alfred was elected Speaker of the Senate.

Prior to the official announcement, President Tristan Syron spoke to the Senate about the unprecedented voter turnout, congratulating both the winners and the campaigns that lost.

“Never before in history have we ever seen that. Eight-thousand votes — that’s amazing. Three years ago, when I ran with Nick Bohn, it was 12%,” Syron said. “In that short time, it’s more than doubled. I think it’s exemplifying a new level of credibility, a new level of trust that this organization has. So, let’s not ruin this. To the winners: congratulations, well-done! To those less fortunate: congratulations, well-done!”

Elections Manager Adriana Graybeal congratulated all the candidates, saying she was impressed by the high turnout from all colleges.

“We had huge turnouts in certain colleges, which is very impressive, and not one of them is below 6% and I have seen below 6%,” Adriana said. “So, I am very impressed.”

President and Vice President

Amundson and Farias were elected into office with 3,033 votes, 869 votes ahead of presidential candidate Samuel Braun and his running mate Madison Taylor.

High on the excitement of winning, Amundson said he was shocked by the results.

“I just feel incredibly blessed. I couldn’t believe it. Not in 1,000 years did I think this was possible,” Amundson said. “To be honest with you, I’d love to consider it a huge victory. But, it’s actually more of a start to a lot more work that we have got to get accomplished at this point.”

I am still shaking to be quite honest. I can’t believe it, and I would just like to say that everything we have is by the grace of God, and we are so blessed and privileged to serve our students.” Alexandra Farias, ASCSU Vice President-elect.

Farias echoed Amundson’s sentiments, thanking God for the opportunity to serve in this position.

“I am still shaking to be quite honest,” Farias said. “I can’t believe it, and I would just like to say that everything we have is by the grace of God, and we are so blessed and privileged to serve our students.”

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Braun said he was happy for the campaign Amundson and Farias ran.

pie chart of ASCSU election totals for president and vice president
Nearly 27 percent of eligible student voters cast their ballot in the 2019 elections for the Associated Students of Colorado State University. Last year, over 21 percent of the student body voted. (Shelby Holsinger | Collegian)

“The students spoke,” Braun said. “Ben ran a great campaign. That’s all we could have asked for.”

Presidential candidate Dominick Quintana said he was stunned by the results of the election, but he respected the candidates who participated.

“Respect to all the candidates who actually tried very hard — you know, they put up a big fight, and I’m very proud of each candidate,” Quintana said. “I think we’re all winners.”

Josh Griffin, vice presidential candidate in the J24U campaign alongside presidential candidate Josh Johnson, said the election results embodied the values of democracy, and that he wished Amundson and Farias the best.

“Job well done to the winners. The main thing is that we evoked an important part of what we as Americans believe in, and that’s voting,” Griffin said. “Whatever scandal there was is water under the bridge, and we wish them good luck and we hope that they will seek grace and divine will. CSU is a good school and the students are good people and the best representation of the people is the president.”

Presidential candidate Flint Corliss said he was extremely happy for the Amundson-Farias campaign.

“I think that they are going to serve our community well and serve the ASCSU student body well,” Corliss said. “I think they’re going to do a great job, and I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for them.”

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  • ASCSU President Tristan Syron hugs ASCSU vice presidential candidate Joshua Griffin after the 2019-20 ASCSU election results April 11. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

  • ASCSU President-Elect Ben Amundson hugs other students in celebration after his win during the 2019-20 ASCSU Elections April 11. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

  • ASCSU Speaker of the Senate-Elect Blake Alfred holds up a bottle in celebration after his win during the 2019-20 ASCSU Election April 11. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

  • ASCSU President Tristan Syron speaks before the announcement of the 2019-20 ASCSU election results April 11. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

  • ASCSU President Tristan Syron hugs ASCSU presidential candidate Joshua Johnson after the 2019-20 ASCSU election results April 11. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

  • ASCSU President-Elect Ben Amundson awaits the results of the 2019-20 Associated Students of Colorado State University election April 11 in the ASCSU Senate Chambers. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

  • ASCSU President-Elect Ben Amundson and Vice President-Elect Alexandra Farias celebrate after being named the next president and Vice President of the Associated Students of Colorado State University April 11 in the ASCSU Senate Chambers. The election season saw a record-breaking 26.6% voter turnout of the student body. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

  • Presidential candidate Dominick Quintana reacts to the results of the ASCSU Elections April 11. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

  • Presidential candidate Samuel Braun speaks to reporters after hearing the 2019-20 Associated Students of Colorado State University results April 11 in the ASCSU Senate Chambers. The Amundson-Farias campaign won the election. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

  • Associated Students of Colorado State University President Tristan Syron hugs Madison Taylor after the 2019-20 results are revealed. The Amundson-Farias campaign won the election. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

  • ASCSU vice presidential candidate Madison Taylor hugs a member of her campaign team after the results of the ASCSU Election are announced. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

  • Associated Students of Colorado State University President Tristan Syron and Hannah Taylor hug Madison Taylor after the 2019-20 results are revealed. The Amundson-Farias campaign won the election. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

  • Vice presidential candidate Aly Ammar stands at the back of the ASCSU Senate Chambers after the results of the ASCSU Election are announced. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

  • ASCSU presidential candidate Josh Johnson stands in the back of the ASCSU Senate Chambers following the announcement of the 2019-20 election results. The Amundson-Farias campaign won the election. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

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Farias said she looks forward to leading the Student Fee Review Board as vice president, a role she has prepared for this year by serving on the Board.

“I am so excited to be able to work with the Student Fee Review Board, since I currently serve as the vice chair and so I have a little bit of background knowledge,” Farias said. “I’m just excited to dig in and hopefully keep student fees as low as they possibly can be.”

Looking to the year ahead, Amundson reflected on their campaign platforms.

“We have some big goals,” Amundson said. “We want to end U+2, we think we can lower parking costs and bring more spots and we believe no Rams should go hungry, and we have a lot of work to deliver on that promise as well.”

Before leaving to celebrate with their win, Farias said she wants the student body to know she and Amundson are thankful to be serving the campus community.

“We believe in you Rams,” Farias said. “We are so excited and we are privileged that you voted us to serve you.”

Speaker of the Senate results

With 3,148 votes, Blake Alfred was elected Speaker of the Senate.

pie chart of ASCSU election totals for president and vice president
Nearly 27 percent of eligible student voters cast their ballot in the 2019 elections for the Associated Students of Colorado State University. Last year, over 21 percent of the student body voted. (Shelby Holsinger | Collegian)

“I’m very excited to be serving as Speaker of the Senate for the 2020 term,” Alfred said. “I think this was a fantastic race with a bunch of candidates, and I think that in the end, the students had their voice listened to and their voice was taken and they made me Speaker of the Senate.”

Alfred spoke on the importance of students having the option to vote for more than one candidate in this race.

“At the beginning of the race there was one person in it and then there were three,” Alfred said. “So I think that it was really important that the students had more than one choice, and they obviously chose somebody who ran late into the race. It really means a lot to me. . . that they would trust me with their judgements because after all, I will be speaking on behalf of the students. I’m really excited to make it happen for this year.”

I’m very excited to be serving as Speaker of the Senate for the 2020 term. I think this was a fantastic race with a bunch of candidates, and I think that in the end, the students had their voice listened to and their voice was taken and they made me Speaker of the Senate.” Blake Alfred, Speaker of the Senate-elect.

Although Speaker candidate Connor Hendrick said he was disappointed in his loss, he thanked his friends and family for support as well as the student body for their participation.

“I’ve had the great support of my friends and family to help me out. It’s truly been an experience I won’t forget. I’m very happy I took part in it,” Hendrick said. “I’m happy that the public voted in such numbers, and I can’t wait to see what comes next for ASCSU.”

man holds up a bottle
ASCSU Speaker of the Senate Elect Blake Alfred holds up a bottle in celebration after his win during the 2019-20 ASCSU Election April 11. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

Speaker candidate Kevin Lorusso could not be reached for comment, leaving soon after the results were announced.

Alfred said he plans to prioritize outreach for the organization in the upcoming academic year.

“As Speaker of the Senate, I think we just increase marketing and just let people know what ASCSU does and what it can do for them,” Alfred said. “I think it’s important that people can come to us with their problems and we can fix them. And as Speaker of the Senate, I think we can get their problems fixed and addressed.”

Collegian staff can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.