Editorial: Pros and Cons of each ASCSU presidential campaign

The Collegian

Editor’s note: This is an editorial. Editorials do not reflect the view of all employees of the Collegian, but instead represent a stance taken by The Collegian’s editorial board, which consists of the editor-in-chief, the managing editor, the digital production manager, the news editors, the opinion editor, the sports editors and the arts and culture editors.

Editor’s note: Josh Johnson is a member of Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation’s Board of Directors. RMSMC is the parent company of The Collegian, but the Board of Directors does not oversee the content of The Collegian or make editorial decisions of The Collegian. Collegian Opinion Editor Jayla Hodge represents the Black/African American Cultural Center as a senator for the Associated Students of Colorado State University.


Historically, The Collegian writes an endorsement for one of the Associated Students of Colorado State University presidential campaigns.

This year, instead of endorsing a candidate, we want to give students the pros and cons of each campaign, so you may decide for yourself who will best represent you as a student. If you’d like to read more about this decision, we explain further in a letter from the editors.

Ben Amundson and Alexandra Farias

man and woman stand for a portrait
ASCSU President candidate Ben Amundson and Vice President candidate Alexandra Farias pose for a portrait on April 2, 2019. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

ASCSU presidential candidate Ben Amundson and his running mate Alexandra Farias are running on a platform that includes reducing parking costs for students, fighting on-campus food insecurity and continuing reform for the U+2 housing ordinance, which prohibits more than three unrelated people to live in the same place. Amundson and Farias are the youngest candidates vying for student body president and vice president, both having a sophomore class standing.


  • Have made concrete steps to reducing food insecurity through fundraising for students.
  • Amundson has experience in the organization as the current ASCSU Speaker of the Senate.
  • Farias has experience with the Student Fee Review Board, which the vice president of ASCSU runs.


  • Amundson has been rumored to have misreported where his Speaker of the Senate campaign money has gone. The Collegian has not been able to confirm or deny these allegations, but is looking into them.
  • Don’t recognize student diversity in their policies, which is problematic considering all the recent issues revolving around racism and discrimination on campus, and the internal complaints within ASCSU while Amundson has served as Speaker of Senate.
  • Lack of composure during debates and Plaza campaigning.

Samuel Braun and Madison Taylor

man and woman stand for a portrait
ASCSU President candidate Samuel Braun and Vice President candidate Madison Taylor pose for a portrait on April 2, 2019. (Colin Shepherd | Collegian)

Presidential and vice presidential candidates Samuel Braun and Madison Taylor have a platform they say is chosen based on student need: Focused on reforming U+2, advocating for student conduct reform and improving tailgating. They identify food insecurity as having national causes but claim they want to help make a difference at CSU. Taylor said on the issue of diversity and inclusion they “try not to use it as a tagline,” but acknowledge their privilege and the need to prove their words through action.


  • Experience from two different branches within ASCSU, with Braun serving as the Director of Campus Engagement and Taylor serving as the Chief Justice.
  • Braun has been involved in work with City Council on U+2.
  • Proposed reform for student conduct hearings, as Taylor said currently students cannot sit-in on or provide oversight for these meetings.



  • Lack of out-right support for diversity and inclusion. It’s important to keep these issues from becoming taglines, but the campaign should have a firmer stance.
  • Their campaign issues are slightly weaker than others by including tailgating as a major platform issue. They also loosely lumped issues of food insecurity and safety under this platform, when they both are bigger issues that should be addressed independently.
  • Lack of specifics on enacting platform issues.

Flint Corliss and Wyatt Mount

men stand for a portrait
ASCSU President candidate Flint Corliss and Vice President candidate Wyatt Mount pose for a portrait on April 2, 2019. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

In an interview with The Collegian, ASCSU vice presidential candidate Wyatt Mount said the campaign spent the first three days of the election season asking students what issues they would like to see fixed on campus. From the responses came the campaign’s platform, Mount said, which consists of a three-pronged self-care plan—food, housing and mental health— as well as the addition of parking reform.


  • Corliss says, since stepping away from ASCSU, he has a better perspective on the gap between senators and constituents.
  • Corliss says he is invested in community outreach.
  • The campaign is the only campaign who has spoken with Parking and Transportation Services to discuss the feasibility of reducing parking costs for students.


  • Lack of current experience in ASCSU — Corliss is a former senator, while Mount has no experience in the organization. Corliss said he sponsored a “values resolution”, but The Collegian was never sent a copy of the resolution for fact-checking purposes.
  • While the campaign has many big ideas and goals for their term, it’s important to call into question how likely it will be for them to make an impact in all the areas they’ve identified as concerns, such as parking, changing Housing and Dining’s “Live On” program, U+2, food insecurity and health and well being of students. In particular, changing the “Live On” program to advocate students move off-campus is unrealistic with the University’s current goals, and likely falls outside the bounds of a one-year presidential term.
  • Didn’t start campaigning for three days while trying to build a platform, taking away time that could’ve gone towards informing the student body of their plans for the presidency and vice presidency.

Joshua Johnson and Joshua Griffin

man stands for a portrait
ASCSU President candidate Joshua Johnson and Vice President candidate Joshua Griffin pose for a portrait on April 2, 2019. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

After serving in the military prior to attending Colorado State University, Josh Johnson and Joshua Griffin say they feel prepared with experience to take on the roles of president and vice president in ASCSU. Their campaign focuses on unity, sustainability and transparency, according to their interview with The Collegian. They also aim to address the issues of campus connectedness, increasing sustainability through composting and paper reduction and providing a more direct line of communication.


  • Johnson and Griffin have previous leadership experience, due to their time serving in the military. In addition to serving in the Air Force, Johnson is also a president of the Student Veterans Organization. Griffin, an Army veteran, previously managed a budget of $225 million with zero loss of accountability.
  • After acknowledging that transparency is an issue that comes up each election season, they have proposed an app to allow CSU students to communicate with their college representatives.
  • The campaign is prioritizing sustainability to further the University’s green initiatives, by advocating for additional compost bins around campus and more electronic submissions of assignments.


  • Griffin has not previously worked in any of ASCSU’s three branches.
  • Advocating for more professors to use Canvas for assignment submissions, instead of requiring assignments be submitted on paper, might fall outside their jurisdiction as student body president and vice president.
  • The rhetoric used when asked about inclusivity, diversity, and unity, while well-intentioned, delegitimized the experience of a lot of marginalized groups at CSU (outside of veteran students which is their primary focus).

Dominick Quintana and Aly Ammar 

men stand for a portrait
ASCSU President candidate Dominick Quintana and Vice President candidate Aly Ammar pose for a portrait on Mar. 28, 2018. (Matt Tackett | Collegian)

Dominick Quintana and Aly Ammar have based their presidential platform on the concepts of “Ramily Forums,” free parking and continuing the efforts of the current administration, Syron-Sullivan. These efforts include U+2 reform, restorative justice advocacy with the City and empowering the pre-existing programs Rams Against Hunger for food insecurity and the Zero Waste Team for sustainability.


  • Both have experience in ASCSU without being embroiled in any controversy or cliques – Quintana took a year off to work as a resident assistant for University Housing and is a site leader for CSU’s Alternative Spring Break program and the president of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity. Ammar is as a representative of the Office of International Programs.
  • Focus on bringing in and engaging more with international and other underrepresented students and including them in more campus events.
  • Concrete plans to engage and hear from students with the Ramily Forums.


  • Despite previous experience in the 47th and 48th Senates, they haven’t sponsored major legislation in the ASCSU Senate.
  • Great ideas, but not accessible on The Plaza, which undermines their points about increased accessibility.
  • Although very well-intended, promising free two-hour parking — even if just during finals week — is difficult to deliver on in reality.

The Collegian Editorial Board can be reached at editor@collegian.com and @CSUCollegian.