ASCSU elections: President, VP candidates Mia Ritter, Sammy Trout


Collegian | Cat Blouch

Fourth-year sociology student Sammy Trout and third-year animal sciences student Mia Ritter pose at the Michael Smith Natural Resources Building March 24. Ritter is running for student body president while Trout is running for vice president. Ritter has been a part of ASCSU for three years holding various positions: senator for the Native American Cultural Center, chair for the Diversity and Inclusion Caucus, and chair for the Budgetary Affairs Committee within the Legislative Branch. Trout has been in ASCSU for two years, holding the positions of senator for the College of Liberal Arts as well as the chair of the University Affairs Committee within the senate. Voting opens on RAMweb April 3.

Sam Hutton, Staff Reporter

The Collegian sat down with presidential candidate Mia Ritter and vice presidential candidate Sammy Trout ahead of the upcoming Associated Students of Colorado State University elections for the 2023-24 academic year. Ritter and Trout listed their qualifications, motivations and strategies as well as discussed some of their planned initiatives and policies if elected.

CSU students can vote for next year’s ASCSU president, vice president and speaker of the senate on RAMweb April 3-5.


Background, ASCSU experience, qualifications

Ritter: My name is Mia Ritter, my pronouns are she/her/hers and my major is in the College of Agricultural Sciences as an animal science major with a minor in Spanish and chemistry. I’m a senator for the Native American Cultural Center, so I represent Indigenous students here at CSU, and I’ve been doing that for about three years now. I’ve also served as the chair on the Diversity and Inclusion Caucus, and this year I’m serving as the Budgetary Affairs Committee chair. I’ve also worked in Housing and Dining Services.

This is my second year working as an Inclusive Community Assistant at the NACC as well as a liaison for the rest of the Student Diversity Programs and Services offices. I also serve as a liaison for students in honors (and) engineering (and) transfer, international (and) first-year students and upperclassmen. I’ve also done a lot of Safe Zone training and diversity, equity, inclusion and justice training.

I’m an Indigenous woman, I come from the Tohono O’odham tribe in southern Arizona and I’m an out-of-state student from Albuquerque, New Mexico. 

Trout: My name is Sammy Trout, and I use the he/him/his series of pronouns. Currently, I serve as a senator for the College of Liberal Arts, and I’m also serving as chair of the University Affairs Committee. The University Affairs Committee reviews legislation that has a direct impact on students, so I feel really honored to be in that position.

Other positions that I serve on include the Pride Leadership Council, which is a student organization in the Pride office, and the Legislative Advisory Board, which reviews legislation on a state level and discusses and decides what legislation would be beneficial for students.

I also serve on the Student Fee Review Board, which is a student oversight board that reviews whether student fee areas get increases or not, and that has been an incredible honor to serve on that board under current Vice President Elijah Sandoval. I also work at Off-Campus Life as a program assistant and night operations coordinator for RamRide, and that has been an incredible experience helping students out with housing insecurities, making sure students get home and doing all the things OCL does.

I also serve on the Internal Affairs Committee and the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Affairs Committee, which was previously the Diversity and Inclusion Caucus. Mia and I helped the authors establish that legislation and iron it out as folks who have been in the space for a while and have chaired committees. 

Motivations, campaign platform, priorities

Ritter: I want to advocate for my students because I’m not in it for my own self-interest; I’m more in it for others in my community and making sure my community’s needs are being met. Being in my third year at CSU now, I’ve had enough, and I want to make a change and do tangible things for once in our student government for our student body. 

Trout: ASCSU has really jump-started my advocacy work, and that’s something I want to continue on with this. … One of our priorities is putting qualified folks in the legislative cabinet that can get connections out and put ASCSU back on the map. We really want to bring ASCSU into the forefront of students’ minds and tell them what their student government is doing and show them tangible results that can be seen on campus because of ASCSU. 


Ritter: A lot of people view the president and vice president as the leaders and people who take care of everything, but I have to disagree because with our cabinet, we work as a team. The people that we work with create this leadership in our student body, and I think something we’re focused on is creating a passionate team in our executive branch to make sure that every person who is hired is passionate about their jobs. I think working as a team is very important to creating tangible change. 

Trout: Our three primary pillars are accountability, transparency and inclusivity. Every time we talk to constituents, those are the three big things they want ASCSU and CSU to improve upon and address. … We also believe transparency is super important because if we don’t talk about the pros and cons about our organization, no one can make informed opinions.

Ritter: In terms of our initiatives and what we want to do, we want to be more transparent with what is happening inside our student government. We essentially want to create a TED Talk program, maybe called RAM Talk, that discusses in five-minute videos what is going on internally and externally — basically whatever is relevant to students.

We want to create that platform and really inform students what’s happening on our campus. That could be in ASCSU as well where we talk about legislation or what’s happening in the executive branch because each of our directors does something very important.

Trout: One of the beauties of the Student Fee Review Board is it’s enshrined within Colorado law. Students need to have some type of say.

A big priority for us would be to network with state legislators and have that be a primary goal of our governmental affairs department: (to hold) stake holding meetings and (talk) to other universities to ensure students are being listened to. … Not only would that benefit CSU students but benefit students across the state.

Even if that’s not something that we’re completely able to fulfill, we want to at least have enough of a foundation so that the next administration can come in and pick it back up. 

ASCSU/student relationship, campus issues

Ritter: That’s something I’ve been discussing with a lot of students that I’ve interacted with: how can we change the relationship with ASCSU and the student body because there’s a lot of students that don’t know about ASCSU or what we do, and they just see the office and walk right by. … Also doing more outreach and making sure students feel supported in their communities because I feel like there’s a lot of disconnect with students.

(ASCSU) is open to any student to come to, whether they want to write a bill and present that to senate, but I think within senate, there’s such a huge disconnect because a lot of students feel unwelcome to be there, and I feel that has to do a lot with how leadership runs things. That’s something that I really want to change.

Reach Sam Hutton at or on Twitter @Sam_Hut14.

Editor’s Note: Read about president/vice president candidates Rithik Correa and Jessica Laffey here, Nick DeSalvo and Alex Silverhart here and Ashton Duffield and Emily Aschenbrenner here. Find information on the speaker of the senate candidates on The Collegian’s website here.