ASCSU Campaign: Speakers kick off debates with key issues

Serena Bettis

Four candidates faced off 6 feet apart at the Lory Student Center Tuesday evening in the first debate of the Associated Students of Colorado State University election season. 

Candidates spent the first hour of the debate answering general ASCSU questions and questions specific to their campaign platforms and the second hour answering questions and concerns that students submitted via comments on the CTV Channel 11 YouTube live stream.

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“ASCSU voting begins Sept. 14 on RAMweb and ends at 4 p.m. Sept. 16.”

Each candidate discussed what they believe the duty of the speaker is and what issues on campus are most important to them. 

“A vision for our University and our campus … starts with student government,” candidate and current senator Christian Dykson said. “I believe it shouldn’t be a cluster of politicians; I believe it’s an organization that should be centered around outreach.” 

Kyle Hill, a candidate and current senator, echoed his belief that ASCSU is a voice for students.

“We are the voice,” Hill said. “Administration … are elected to lead the entire school. But there is a disconnect between the students and them. And it is ASCSU’s job to bridge that disconnect. … We are unique in that we have a lot of leeway in what we can do with our student fees, and … I think that is important.”

Candidate Lys Taddei expressed her belief that the speaker should remain impartial. 

“ASCSU is an apolitical organization,” Taddei said. “My job is to support the people. I do that by making sure the senators can do their job as well as possible. My job as speaker of the senate is to moderate the meeting efficiently.”

On diversity and inclusion, candidate and current senator Tristan Reyez expressed his desire to expand access to food pantries and provide more services that offer people fresh produce and a wider range of allergen-friendly items. He also stated the need for an inclusive environment within ASCSU that can lead to broader change on campus.

“It’s very important that we as student leaders address systemic racism on this campus,” Reyez said. “The administration has made promises that they have not followed through on.”

The Collegian will publish a more detailed account of the issues discussed in Tuesday’s debate on Thursday.

Candidates for president and vice president will debate Sept. 9 at 6 p.m. with a Livestream available for students on the CTV YouTube page.

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ASCSU voting begins Sept. 14 on RAMweb and ends at 4 p.m. Sept. 16.

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