ASCSU elections: Speaker of the senate candidate Nicholas DeSalvo


Collegian | Connor McHugh

Nicholas DeSalvo, a freshman at Colorado State University, poses for a photo in the Collegian TV studio March 24. DeSalvo was being interviewed about his candidacy for Associated Students of Colorado State University speaker of the senate for the 2022-23 academic year.

Noah Pasley, News Editor

Editor’s Note: The Collegian collaborated with CTV Channel 11 on this interview. Full interviews for all of the speaker of the senate candidates are available on the CTV 11 YouTube page.

Elections for the next speaker of the senate will begin next week for the Associated Students of Colorado State University, and students this year will choose between three candidates for the 2022-23 position.


Candidate Nicholas DeSalvo is a freshman studying political science with a minor in legal studies. He has experience in student and political leadership, as he currently serves on the Board for Student Organization Funding at CSU and was previously the student body president at Pueblo West High School, the largest high school in the Pueblo County School District 70.

His work for BSOF has included appropriating funds for Holocaust Awareness Week, as well as an upcoming Business Day event. DeSalvo is also among the youngest political candidates to have run for public office in Colorado and in the country, as he campaigned to be elected to the Pueblo West Metropolitan District Board of Directors when he was 17.

DeSalvo spoke on the importance of voter engagement in his campaign for the board position and how to reach across the gap to other demographics to better garner support. He said he was encouraged to run in the ASCSU elections after realizing ASCSU was operating inefficiently in their goal of introducing and passing legislation.

“I’m a firm believer in listening to understand rather than listening to respond, and I think what we see in politics is a lot of listening to respond.” –Nicholas DeSalvo, candidate for speaker of the senate

DeSalvo also spoke more specifically on issues that pertain to the student body as a whole, including COVID-19 and rising student tuition costs. He also spoke at length about U+2 policy in Fort Collins and acknowledged that previous campaigns have led with U+2 as a hot issue and then did not address it after taking office.

However, DeSalvo talked about some avenues he may explore, including taking legal action against the City of Fort Collins for discriminatory housing practices or attempting to get legislation passed by the state or local governments.

DeSalvo said the senate has been far too political and not focused enough on the issues of policy and legislation that serve the CSU community. He added he wants to build a culture in the senate chambers that prioritizes legislation without the polarized bipartisan politics hindering the process.

“This year there have been quite a few upsets within the chamber itself as far as leadership-based, but, you know, it would be disingenuous to say that there aren’t issues within the senate itself, with the senators,” DeSalvo said. “I feel that it’s far too politically motivated for a student organization. There are some folks there who hold animus towards each other. I understand that you can’t get along with everyone, … but I would expect civility.”

DeSalvo said he plans to listen intently to the other members of the senate and have genuine conversations with them to gauge what the situation is and where they are coming from. He added he believes many people in the chambers understand there is an issue and he hopes to be the catalyst for resolving it.


“One of the pillars of my campaign is active listening,” DeSalvo said. “I’m a firm believer in listening to understand rather than listening to respond, and I think what we see in politics is a lot of listening to respond — getting that soundbite, getting your view out there — without really comprehending what the other person is saying.”

DeSalvo said that as speaker of the senate, he would reach out to the ASCSU community and make connections with the other senators and cabinet members, as the senate can work better together if they have built relationships with one another early in the process.

DeSalvo received a vote of confidence from the ASCSU senate March 23. The senate votes on all speaker of the senate candidates to express their approval of an individual’s candidacy and their ability to do the job.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include the results of the vote of confidence.

Editor’s Note: Read about the other two speaker of the senate candidates Evan Welch and Rithik Correa.

Reach Noah Pasley at or on Twitter @PasleyNoah.