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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

ASCSU elections: Speaker of the senate candidate Ava Ayala

Ava+Ayala+poses+on+The+Plaza+outside+the+Associated+Students+of+Colorado+State+University+offices+March+28%2C+2023.+Ayala+is+running+for+the+speaker+of+the+senate+position+for+the+2023-24+school+year.

Collegian | Serena Bettis

Ava Ayala poses on The Plaza outside the Associated Students of Colorado State University offices March 28, 2023. Ayala is running for the speaker of the senate position for the 2023-24 school year.

Rebekah Barry, Staff Reporter

Ava Ayala is a first-year student at Colorado State University majoring in zoology. She is running against Hayden Taylor for speaker of the senate in the upcoming Associated Students of CSU election, according to the ASCSU elections website.

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

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Background, ASCSU experience, qualifications

Ayala: I am originally from Los Angeles, California. I was actively involved in student government for about all four years of high school and held many different positions, including internal affairs manager. Since then, I have taken my love for student government to CSU.

(I am a) senator for the College of Natural Sciences for ASCSU; I also sit as vice chair of the Diversity and Equity Affairs committee student peer review board (and have) learned many things. As a first-year, (I’ve learned how to) navigate that space. Within ASCSU, that space is very competitive and very formal, if I do say so myself. You are figuring things out yourself, and I’ve had to navigate those changes this year.

I held many positions back in high school, as I mentioned earlier. I ran for president back in my senior year, I was special events manager, I was commissioner of athletics and even now, holding a lot of positions within ASCSU, … I have even been a part of advocating and helping pieces of legislation be passed.

I think with all of these experiences, I think I am the best person to hold this position next year. With all of that, I couldn’t see anyone else but me holding that position. I have had experience accepting critical feedback and going out into the field to gather opinions from others outside of the committee.

Motivations, campaign platform, priorities

Ayala: I feel there could be an improvement in the ways that the senate handles the meetings and their relationship with the students — it’s been very unkept. It hurts not only the students but also all of us internally within the senate. Seeing everything happen outside of the legislative cabinet, I feel there are a lot of things to change.

Communication and community are two issues that I feel could be improved. Students deserve to know what is happening within their student government — not just during a campaign and never again. We need to make it more approachable to students on campus. 

If I was elected, one of the first things I would work on is the accessibility and how the house senate is run, specifically the 48-hour rule. Sometimes in the senate, this gets brushed over, and that is very detrimental to the people who need this. So improving accessibility to the students is very important.

The community in ASCSU, specifically the senate, can be very hostile, and being able to put a mediator position in the senate may help to build community instead of creating feelings of ad hominem.

ASCSU/student relationship, campus issues

Ayala: I heard last year the voter turnout was about 6%. I think we need to focus on even more external affairs. Students need to know what is happening to the money that they are giving to the school. (I also consider) promoting and continuing to keep student involvement as a top priority.

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Students deserve to know what is going on in their student government, not just when the candidates are running for election. Even in my high school years when COVID-19 hit, we worked to create videos and announcements to send out to students every week to keep our students involved. Student involvement is one of the main focuses that I think would help increase voter turnout.

Some of our current leadership positions may subconsciously attack some of the senators with some of the words that they say. It is very easy to make someone feel invalidated when you don’t agree with their viewpoint. Having my position as an impartial facilitator, I hope to keep the senate productive and redirect the viewpoints shared in a respectful manner. Focusing on taking accountability when we consciously speak about our biases is a huge factor that I would like to work on.

I table on The Plaza Tuesday and Thursday if anyone has any questions. … I encourage everyone to stay informed about the candidates. And be aware that voting opens soon. I encourage you all to vote.

Reach Rebekah Barry at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @csucollegian.

Editor’s Note: Read about speaker of the senate candidate Hayden Taylor’s platform here. Find information on the president and vice president candidates on The Collegian’s website here.

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