LTTE: To inform voters, ASCSU candidates must share plaza

Guest Author

Dear editor,

This week CSU goes to the polls. CSU students are given the incredible right to vote for whichever candidate the believed to be best. This begs the question, how do students know which candidates are best?

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Some may argue there is reporting in The Collegian, the campus paper of note. There are debates on CTV and in public on the plaza. On the surface it appears that the candidates have been vigorously interrogated by the people responsible for informing the voters.

However, in the course of our actions during this election we have found that the vast majority of our student body remains uninformed about the candidate’s beliefs or positions. Some of this fault may lie with our student media, but even they cannot force people to read the paper or watch the campus news program.

We believe that this large lack of voter knowledge can be blamed on the fact that ASCSU has a complete monopoly on CSU’s largest public forum, the LSC Plaza. During our organizing around this election we found that the LSC had decided to completely exclude any voice but the campaigns from this public square by preemptively reserving every single table in the plaza for the campaigns.

This is not to say that the campaigns should be denied space on the plaza. Quite the opposite, they should be allowed to help inform the voters. However as we have stated above the voters still lack the knowledge necessary to accurately choose which candidate they believe would be best. This clearly demonstrates that this current system of absolute exclusion of any one who is not actively running for office is failing spectacularly.

Additionally, the plaza is not lacking for table space. There are currently only four campaigns occupying a space that is supposed to be the space for any student group to join the public debate. We demand that the Lory Student Center in partnership with ASCSU to open the plaza to any group who wants to speak their mind about the elections, and we call on the campaigns to extend their sound rights to any group on the plaza so that any group can use a megaphone.

This would allow student groups to stand on equal footing with the very people that seek to have power over us. In closing, one of the most foundational principles of a representative democracy is a well-informed voting population. This most basic requirement of democracy is being denied by the actions of the Lory Student Center and Event Planning Services.

Student groups, who because of the power of ASCSU have a vested interest in the outcome of the election, need the right to reserve space on the plaza and stand on the same footing as the candidates.

Signed,

Students Against White Supremacy

The Brust Winchell Campaign

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The Syron Sullivan Campaign

The Aubrey Roper Campaign

The Epperson Hill Campaign did not answer our attempts to gain their support on this issue.