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Blouch: The Taddei-Schroeder campaign trivializes the threat of COVID-19

graphic illustration of figures flagging down in various booths of the ASCSU cabinet
(Graphic illustration by Abby Flitton | The Collegian)

Editor’s Note:  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.

Like many other students, Lys Taddei, who is running with Weston Schroeder, thinks that the tuition students are paying during the COVID-19 pandemic is unfair. 

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“We are paying 100% of the price for 50% of the goods, if that,” she said in a video posted to the campaign’s Instagram. “Right now, you are paying full tuition, and the (Student Recreation) Center is at half capacity. Right now, you are paying full tuition, and we cannot enjoy football games.”

Unique solutions are a part of what it means to be a political candidate during 2021, but the Taddei-Schroeder campaign is stuck in the past.”

Taddei has a point. The frustrations of paying the full price of a class for a Zoom link are plenty. Any campaign has one of two options: focusing on making the hybrid environment more meaningful so people feel as though they are getting their money’s worth and trying to open up campus so people are getting the “college experience.” 

But there is no such thing as the regular “college experience” anymore. Multiple trends show that remote communication will withstand the end of the pandemic, and we have no idea when the pandemic will be “over” for good. 

(COVID-19) might get you, but you also may die in a car accident tomorrow. Life is not permanent, and college is when you’re supposed to make some of the best memories of your life”- Taddei and Schroeder’s campaign website, ASCSU presidential and vice presidential candidates

Taddei was asked, “Coming out of a pandemic, how do you plan on increasing student involvement?” during the presidential debate.

She responded that her administration’s plan is to “open up safely and quickly.”

“It’s time to bring back football,” Taddei said. “It’s time to bring back the things that make CSU worth attending.”

Running on the platform of opening campus as quickly as possible not only gives false hope to the student body given that ASCSU has no control over state mandates, but it also trivializes the threat of the pandemic.

“(COVID-19) might get you, but you also may die in a car accident tomorrow,” the Taddei-Schroeder campaign website states. “Life is not permanent, and college is when you’re supposed to make some of the best memories of your life.” 

Instead of focusing on things that are outside of their control, perhaps the Taddei-Schroeder campaign’s focus should shift to tactics that make the best out of the given circumstances by either finding more ways to find financial relief for students or finding COVID-19-safe activities that are worth what we’re currently paying for.

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Though it is no small feat to make the hybrid environment worthwhile, this is the unique responsibility candidates are signing on for. Unique solutions are a part of what it means to be a political candidate during 2021, but the Taddei and Schroeder campaign is stuck in the past.

Keeping campus safe means having student leaders that will help enforce the norms that are proven to work, such as social distancing and wearing masks. This cannot be done without a candidate that explains these precautions to keep campus safe.

“I am going to rather advise you to do what you think is best,” Taddei said in the presidential debate. “Now, if that means you want to get the vaccine, then please, get the vaccine. If that means you would like to wear a mask, then please, wear a mask. It simply is up to you.” 

While no one person can force any individual to get the vaccine, wear a mask or social distance, leaders of any kind are important in social norming. 

When Taddei and Schroeder provide no empirical evidence for how they hope to open up campus or how that may be possible, the sanctity of the entire platform becomes unstable. Empirical evidence and policy are the backbones of any effective platform, and without these things, it is simply another case of empty promises being shouted into the void.

You can vote in the elections between March 30-April 1 on RAMweb.

Editor’s Note: This column has been edited for clarity. 

Cat Blouch can be reached at letters@collegian.com or on Twitter @BlouchCat.

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About the Contributor
Cat Blouch
Cat Blouch, Social Media Editor
Cat Blouch is the social media editor at The Collegian. They are a fourth-year student at Colorado State University studying business administration with a concentration in marketing and a minor in statistics from Delta, Colorado. They have been on The Collegian's team since the summer of 2020, starting on the opinion desk and later joining the photo team. Blouch began their social media interest by working on the @colostatememes page on Instagram and looked at the social media editor position as a way to further engage with the CSU community. They are excited to find new ways to hear the voice of the student body and engage more with readers through their positions at The Collegian. Blouch enjoys the flexibility of being able to pursue creativity in multiple mediums at The Collegian. When Blouch is off the clock, you can find them engaging in other creative areas such as creating music, writing poetry or filming a video. They hope to continue their creative pursuits after college through work in marketing analytics and content creation.

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