ASCSU elections: President, VP candidates Nick DeSalvo, Alex Silverhart


Collegian | Sara Shaver

Associated Students of Colorado State University candidates Nick DeSalvo and Alex Silverhart pose in the Lory Student Center March 24.

Grant Coursey, Staff Reporter

The Collegian sat down with presidential candidate Nick DeSalvo and vice presidential candidate Alex Silverhart ahead of the upcoming Associated Students of Colorado State University elections for the 2023-24 academic year. DeSalvo and Silverhart 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

DeSalvo: I came to CSU organically. I’m a first-generation college student — never even visited campus before I came here on my first day of freshman year. … When I was 17, I ran for office in a local election, and I became the youngest person in state history to ever be on a ballot. … It taught me what was important in communities and especially (how) the local aspect of governance is just incredibly important because it affects you the greatest deal compared to state or federal government.

When I was a freshman, I really wasn’t aware of the larger student government that I could participate in, so I served on the Board of Student Organization Funding, and that really connected me to campus in a much broader way because all of the major events that would happen on campus, we would pretty much fund. I got to see really cool things happen.

Then I was encouraged by the director of finance, who chairs BSOF, to run for speaker of the senate. So that’s what I did at the end of my freshman year, and I won, and this year has definitely been a challenge. One of my goals was improving the senate environment, and you know, I can only do so much, and others have to meet me halfway. But I’ve still been able to accomplish a lot.

The tuition petition was something that I spearheaded. … On top of that, I’ve advocated on the city council level a lot for housing affordability, and the political will to overturn U+2 finally exists. So us showing up as student leaders is absolutely paramount. … I understand the struggles of probably our most vulnerable students. 

Silverhart: I grew up in New Mexico. (I) absolutely love the culture and love the people. I moved to Colorado right before high school. … That’s when I started realizing that I want to go into the medical field because I really enjoy helping people.

Compassion has always been a trait that I really try and work on every single day and try to exude in everything that I do. Then COVID-19 hit, and that was very tough. I’ve been with ASCSU for the past two years. I’m a (resident assistant) in Corbett. I run a research journal on campus called the Journal of Undergraduate Research. We only publish undergraduate work, and we’re only run by undergrads. … And then I also still work as a (certified nursing assistant), but I work at a hospital this year.

I started off as a senator for the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, as I am a biomedical science major. During that year, I really tried to advocate for sexual health and improving the way in which our campus looks at conversations and accessibility to sexual health services.

Within my first year, I passed a resolution that focused on sexual health and tried to prioritize that on campus. I was also chair of the Budgetary Affairs Committee, which gave me a great understanding of how our budget (at the) senate worked. … It’s really good for me to have experience with budgets wanting to be vice president.

Motivations, campaign platform, priorities

DeSalvo: (Our platforms are) action, advocacy and affordability. I’ve talked to Mayor (Jeni) Arndt, and we’re also endorsed by Larimer County Commissioner John Kefalas, and I’ve shared with them my goals and how I want to bridge the gap between our student government and local elected leaders because there’s so much that we can do together, and there’s just so much potential waiting to be unleashed — it’s just making those connections.


I think I’m in a good spot in comparison to the other candidates because I already know all the administration officials. … We need a champion who’s going to put their foot down and say absolutely not. … (For U+2), we have an action plan, … so there’s finally come a time for Fort Collins City Council where they’re looking at overturning it.

Silverhart: I would like to continue to expand on accessibility to medical services here on campus. Something in particular that I’d like to work on is increasing accessibility and decreasing the price of STI tests for students.

I’ve interacted with a lot of students that appreciate the services and Planned Parenthood, but when it comes to the financial component, there was very little education, and that goes for not only sexual health-related services but for all medical-related services.

Something that I saw done in a few other universities that I think would be instrumental for students here at CSU is the formation of a syllabus bank. … A lot of students don’t know what these classes are, so being able to read the syllabus while they’re registering for classes would help a lot of students. … Being a STEM major myself, that would help me tremendously in terms of planning workload for this semester. For students that do have a job, it’s important to kind of know which classes are harder and which ones take more work.

ASCSU/student relationship, campus issues

DeSalvo: One of the things I did is I brought President (Amy) Parsons to one of my classes. … I think it was really important to just connect someone like the president to the students and have students be able to ask her questions and just for her to be able to tell her story to students. … — changing that environment and making it so that (presidents) aren’t these super ritzy people who just hang out in the administration building all day.

Bringing back the traditions that we lost during COVID-19 is really important to us just to connect students more to the university. That’s what makes CSU feel like home.

Silverhart: (We are focused on) improving the community around student government and our place here on campus. Being in the cabinet this year versus the legislative branch last year, it’s really given me an opportunity to help create that community.

Being in such positions of power, we would really be able to champion this sense of diversity and inclusion on campus. A lot of students specifically do not feel included in the conversation. … As much as I hope students do vote for us and as much as I believe that we are the strongest ticket and we will do the most for the students out of the people running, I really just want students to vote. … Please vote and make your voice heard on campus.

Reach Grant Coursey at or on Twitter @grantcoursey

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