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ASCSU campaign: Diego Tovar and Rachel Jackson

Having worked together in leadership roles for two years, Diego Tovar and Rachel Jackson are ready to take on the next step as candidates for president and vice president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University.

Since fall 2018, Tovar and Jackson have served as the respective president and vice president of the group Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Related Sciences for the Warner College of Natural Resources and hope to continue to create a positive impact on campus through ASCSU. 

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“We’ve been doing this for two years already; why not make it a larger scale if we’ve seen how successful it’s been through MANRRS?” Jackson said. “We’ve grown an amazing community; all my best friends come from the club, and I want that sense of community to expand on campus because no one should be left out from that.”

Diego Tovar, presidential candidate

Tovar is a third-year student from Austin, Texas, studying ecosystem science and sustainability, with minors in political communication and environmental affairs. 

Tovar has been a senator representing Warner since his first year at CSU. 

The committees Tovar has been involved with include Budgetary Affairs, Internal Affairs, External Affairs and the Legislative Strategy Advisory Board. In addition to ASCSU and MANRRS, Tovar is also president of the Warner college council and is a student ambassador for Warner under the diversity, inclusion and student success branch that was created this year. 

We believe we’re the ‘B.E.S.T.’ candidates for CSU, and B.E.S.T. stands for belonging, equity, sustainability and transparency, and within those four key identities, we have different platforms.” -Diego Tovar, presidential candidate

Rachel Jackson, vice presidential candidate

Jackson is a third-year from Houston, Texas, studying wildlife biology with a minor in botany. 

Also a student ambassador for Warner and vice president of MANRRS, Jackson said her main role is to provide diverse students in science, technology, engineering and math fields with jobs and experience and to help them get involved around campus.

“My experience with ASCSU kind of started around a year ago, (after) the blackface incident, when I started attending the meetings, and I realized how crooked everything was and how there wasn’t much change happening even though it was promised,” Jackson said. “And so, from there, that’s when I decided to run with (Tovar).”

Their platform

Tovar and Jackson are running on four campaign platforms. 

“We believe we’re the ‘B.E.S.T.’ candidates for CSU, and B.E.S.T. stands for belonging, equity, sustainability and transparency, and within those four key identities, we have different platforms,” Tovar said.

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Under belonging, Tovar and Jackson want to push for diversity education across the entire campus.

“So, through that, we will go to the Student Code of Conduct and create a definition for hate speech because, as of now, if an act of bias happens on campus, it’s pretty up in the air if the perpetrators are educated on why they were in the wrong,” Jackson said.

Jackson said that would look like requiring the EverFi Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Education module for all new students and a diversity course to fulfill all-university core curriculum credits.  

“For equity, we believe it is inequitable for there to be such high textbook costs,” Tovar said. “(Our) way of tackling that is creating library liaisons for each college to work with faculty and staff (on) how to write, develop and find existing materials for classes, so that way students don’t have to pay such a high fee for textbooks.”

Their goals for sustainability include creating on-campus clothing donation bins and expanding the pocket pantry programs. Jackson said they also want to create supply boxes available in each college where students can borrow small items like glue sticks and pens.

Under transparency, Tovar and Jackson want to create an app that students can use to track ASCSU legislation, contact their senators and see their senators’ voting records, and they have plans to reform the CSU Police Department.

“We want to have frequent discussions, town hall meetings, ways to contact us through the app, town hall, Zoom, that kind of thing,” Tovar said.

Jackson said that since the elections were postponed, she and Tovar had the time to speak with members of the Morgan Library and CSUPD to talk about the feasibility of their ideas so they know that what they are promising is possible. 

“(Being) transparent, U+2 doesn’t happen in a year,” Tovar said. “(We) really value our platform on being something students can see the benefits of this year and not years down the line. … It’s not big ideas, it’s big ideas with actual detailed plans within those so we can stay transparent with the student body.”

Serena Bettis can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @serenaroseb.

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About the Contributor
Serena Bettis
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at editor@collegian.com.

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