Cooke: Tovar and Jackson make promises, but also fall short

Cody Cooke

Editor’s Note: In order to evaluate each candidate, a few Collegian columnists discuss where they believe each candidate thrives and where they fall short. All opinion section content reflects the views of the individual author only and does not represent a stance taken by The Collegian or its editorial board.

It’s time to vote for the next president and vice president of the Associated Students of Colorado State University. The Collegian‘s opinion desk, in its effort to “allow reaction and discussion” for what’s going on around campus, has decided to provide readers with a balanced breakdown of the different candidates and their platforms.

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Diego Tovar and Rachel Jackson’s campaign comes across as organized and well-constructed, but falls short on a few key issues.

Tovar and Jackson’s website is a thorough medium that showcases all of their points and perspectives, including belonging, equity, sustainability and transparency. It’s a strongly articulated layout that is easily accessible and, for the most part, shows exactly what they want to accomplish and how they plan to accomplish it. This level of organization is indicative of a strong and competent candidacy.

But where the two candidates don’t seem so strong is precisely where we would expect that they should be: raising the student voice within ASCSU.

Tovar’s personal statement says that he wants “every student to have a platform and share how we can make CSU better for all.” Aside from a few proposed measures to increase transparency, which would directly affect ASCSU operations and not, per se, student involvement, the campaign doesn’t seem to have a solid plan for achieving that goal.

“On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, students absolutely must find the time to vote their choice for ASCSU president and vice president.”

That’s not to say that the two candidates’ plans for increasing transparency fall flat. Transparency is perhaps their platform’s strongest component. According to their website, Tovar and Jackson plan on developing an ASCSU app, available through Canvas or RAMweb, that will “show what bill will be on the senate floor each week” and “give updates on how certain senators voted, and if the bills passed or failed.” 

While transparency seems to be Tovar and Jackson’s forte, other items on their platform read as hollow additions to already standing policies. One addition includes a Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee in ASCSU, which sounds more like a clone of the Race, Bias and Equity Initiative than an original and effective program. Along those lines, the candidates’ platform calls for increasing transparency with the RBEI, but unlike their tangible transparency measures related to ASCSU, this proposal doesn’t seem to have any bite behind it.

On the other hand, Tovar and Jackson’s sustainability initiatives seem fresh and original. Over the past five years, ”protecting the environment” has become a topic on which more and more young Americans can agree, and this campaign seems to echo that sentiment. Their plans to ramp up composting options in the Lory Student Center and their idea to bring farmer’s markets to our campus are just two proposals that appear to have real potential for impact.

No political campaign, no matter how engaged or localized, is perfect. That being said, all of the candidates in the ASCSU race this year have the potential to truly translate students’ concerns into actual change. But this doesn’t happen without our vote. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this week, students absolutely must find the time to vote their choice for ASCSU president and vice president.

Cody Cooke can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @CodyCooke17.