ASCSU elections: President, VP candidates Rithik Correa, Jessica Laffey


Collegian | River Kinnaird

Jessica Laffey and Rithik Correa prepare for the Associated Students of Colorado State University election outside of the Lory Student Center March 23.

DJ Vicente, Staff Reporter

With the Associated Students of Colorado State University campaign and election period fully underway, candidates Rithik Correa and Jessica Laffey, campaigning for the positions of ASCSU president and vice president, respectively, have begun spreading the message of their own campaign around campus.

Their campaign is focused on the improvement of many aspects of the campus, including changes to the ways ASCSU internally operates, from transparency to the student body about issues the student organization is resolving, to the active support of the CSU community through efforts in outreach and awareness.


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

Correa and Laffey remarked on the work they did in the past as well as what they will bring to the community and ASCSU if elected to these positions. Correa has been involved with ASCSU for two years now, being a former senator for the Office of International Affairs, while Laffey currently serves as the senator for the College of Liberal Arts.

Correa: I used to be the president of the Indian Students Association, and my main task over there was restarting the organization, and that was right after (the) COVID-19 (pandemic). … When COVID-19 hit, nobody knew what the ISA was. I think I did a very phenomenal job with that; the ISA is now back on track and hosting really beautiful events. … I’d say I laid the foundations for restarting the ISA, and that’s something I want to add to ASCSU as well.

Laffey: I’ve been involved in leadership across this campus. I’m the current director of media for the Liberal Arts Student Leadership Council, … (and) I’m also the vice president of the Economic Student Leadership Council. … I’ve done a lot of event planning with that, having various economic speakers come in, … and just a lot of different work across campus, just trying to help students wherever I can.

Correa: The first project worked on was making ASCSU a more productive space. ASCSU is terrible when it comes to being productive, which is why no one knows what we do, so I amended the bylaws in such a way to ensure that ASCSU is more effective. … If I do get elected to this position, I want to eradicate anything that comes in between organization, students and efficiency.

Laffey: I’m the only vice president candidate running who has served a full term on the Student Fee Review Board. … I really understand what happens with student fees. I understand what exactly happens with the budgets every single year. I’m also a two-time state champion public speaker in interpretive reading. … I bring a lot of knowledge about how to talk to people and how to get what we want done.

Motivations, campaign platform, priorities

Highlighted by Correa and Laffey, student outreach and awareness have become their overarching goal in finding ASCSU’s success. Their campaign platform focuses on ways ASCSU can be more available and transparent to the community, including addressing concerns about a lack of full-time mental health professionals, student organization funding and transportation.

Correa: We have a very good understanding of why ASCSU is not successful. … It stems off from students not knowing what we do. Let’s stop looking at ASCSU as a student organization. I would suggest people look at it as a student union because that’s the only way we can advocate for students.

Laffey: I really want to be a voice for students on this campus. … (Who is) the next person who we can help at ASCSU, and what tangible things we can do for them? We’re in charge of $1.3 million. We’re not just another student organization; we are students’ voice on campus, and one of the things that I want to do is to get students to know that in a way that they don’t right now.


Correa: If I do get elected, I will create a new position specifically for outreach called “Deputy Director of Student Outreach” under the department of marketing. … The sole purpose of that position is to let students know what ASCSU is, what ASCSU can do for them and the projects we are currently conducting.

Laffey: One thing I want to do with the Board of Student Organization Funding, (which) gets $150,000, is to increase that to $200,000 so that Recognized Student Organizations have more access to more funds. … The thing that goes on with increasing outreach is that there is more need, … not to put more people into the pool so that there is more competition of who gets funding from BSOF but adding more money for RSOs to have events.

ASCSU/student relationship, campus issues

Correa: The main issue we face is that students don’t know about ASCSU. When I ask students, “Have you all heard of ASCSU?” in a classroom of 100, five raise their hands, and when I ask, “Do you all know what ASCSU does?” it’s zero. … We have the resources to go (to) these classrooms, but we don’t do it; we want to start at the grassroots level and let students know what we do.

Laffey: People don’t forget that they have a student government; they just never knew. … Targeting those audiences and building for the next president and vice president and those after it … it’s about building for the future of ASCSU.

Laffey and Correa both explained that the issues they face with improving CSU evolve every day, finding issues around campus that ASCSU can address within their campaign as well as their prospective positions. The pair urged those interested to check out their Instagram page for updates and ideas they plan to solve.

Reach DJ Vicente at or on Twitter @DeejMako.

Editor’s Note: Read about president/vice president candidates Nick DeSalvo and Alex Silverhart 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.