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Nick DeSalvo, Braxton Dietz win ASCSU president, VP

Nick+DeSalvo%2C+Braxton+Dietz+win+ASCSU+president%2C+VP
Collegian | Cait Mckinizie

After three weeks of relentless campaigning, candidates in the Associated Students of Colorado State University elections gathered in the senate chambers to find out who will serve as president, vice president and speaker of the senate for the 2024-25 academic year.

At the end of the regular ASCSU senate session Wednesday, April 3, it was announced to a room of ASCSU members and interested students that Nick DeSalvo and Braxton Dietz won the presidential and vice presidential election.

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Prior to announcing the president and vice president, it was announced that Hayden Taylor won the election for speaker of the senate. Additionally, the ASCSU Constitution was reratified, and the newest Forever Green T-shirt design was approved.

“I feel like this is a new beginning. I feel like we’ve had a bit of a lack of communication with students in the past, and that’s definitely going to be a change with me.” -Hayden Taylor, ASCSU speaker of the senate-elect

In victory, DeSalvo secured his second term in office, becoming the first two-term ASCSU president since 34 years ago, when Mark Haney served two terms in 1988 and 1989.

“This was a win for first-generation students; it was a win for students that have the federal Pell Grant; this is a win for anyone who’s ever been questioned about who they are or where they came from,” DeSalvo said. “I’m glad to have the support of over half of the student body that voted.”

DeSalvo and Dietz won the election for president and vice president with 1,796 first-place votes, constituting 53.7% of the total. Jorja Whyte and Leticia Madrigal-Tapia earned 936 votes, and Claudia Paraiso and Ava Ayala secured 610.

Taylor was elected speaker of the senate with 1,749 votes (61.3%). Enock Monanti earned 1,106 votes.

“I’m feeling amazing,” Taylor said. “It means mostly patience (to me). I waited 19 months for this. I knew that I wanted to be speaker since about my second month in the senate because of the election last time, and I lost it. So it feels so good to come back.”

Contrary to ASCSU officials’ hopes, the election was decided by 11% of the student population. This election was also the first to utilize the ranked choice voting method, although the new RAMweb-based system was only employed for the presidential race.

The election results were revealed in the ASCSU senate chambers April 3, with CTV broadcasting the results to virtual viewers. In her announcement, Elections Manager Kaitlyn Spencer praised the organization for its commitment to expanding student engagement efforts.

The DeSalvo/Dietz pairing was unlike any other, with campaigning efforts focusing heavily on the ticket’s experience, previous presidential accomplishments and intimate knowledge of ASCSU processes. DeSalvo previously served as speaker of the senate before being elected president in 2023. Dietz is a former senator and current chief of staff.

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“I’m excited to get to work,” Dietz said. “Now the real work starts.”

Contrary to previous election cycles, the official campaign season has remained largely civil, save for a conflict-laden presidential debate that saw an audience member and ASCSU senator publicly reveal DeSalvo’s previous home address. The Elections Committee abstained from issuing any official campaign violations — indicative of the season’s relative calmness.

At the outset of the campaigning window, senate passed a formal resolution in which senate members formally renounced the RailJam Revival event, claiming it provided the DeSalvo ticket with an unfair campaigning advantage. Proponents of the legislation also claimed the executive branch deliberately ignored senate input during the planning process in order to limit opposition to the event. Ayala delivered the tie-breaking vote on the resolution as speaker of the senate, allowing for its passage. 

Whyte and Madrigal-Tapia, members of the current executive cabinet, have continually criticized the current administration on the matter, saying it represents a lack of government transparency and accountability. 

In the race to decide Ayala’s replacement as speaker, both Taylor and Monanti ran on similar platforms and pledged like-minded initiatives if elected. 

Taylor, the current Internal Affairs Committee chair, originally ran for speaker last election cycle, ultimately conceding to Ayala. His campaign centered on student engagement and transparency, echoing Monanti and the language of campaign season as a whole.

“I feel like this is a new beginning,” Taylor said. “I feel like we’ve had a bit of a lack of communication with students in the past, and that’s definitely going to be a change with me.”

Each candidate will be sworn into office later in the semester during a weekly senate session.

Reach Sam Hutton at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @Sam_Hut14.

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    Empowered Women, Empower WomenApr 4, 2024 at 10:07 am

    I better not hear any of them talk about “the importance of trailblazing women” like they did this year, since at every corner they have harassed and halted qualified women for their own selfish political power.

    Reply