The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

Print Edition
Letter to the editor submissions
Have a strong opinion about something happening on campus or in Fort Collins? Want to respond to an article written on The Collegian? Write a Letter to the Editor by following the guidelines here.
Follow Us on Twitter
5 Strategies for Landing Your Dream Job After Graduation
July 11, 2024

Graduated and feeling lost about your next steps? Looking to set up your life, find a good job, and earn money? Who doesn’t want that, right?...

LFTE: Yes, you should care about ASCSU elections, local democracy

Collegian | Trin Bonner

Dear readers,

“Democracy” is a multi-faceted, complex word that oftentimes becomes a hot button in national politics. It can sometimes be seen as controversial, damaged or convoluted, but it is without a doubt a pillar of the decision-making process in our country, state, city and campus.


Colorado State University’s thematic Year of Democracy has sought to bring the democratic process to students on campus, in part in preparation for the highly anticipated national election coming in the fall. As many in our age group face their first opportunity to vote in a national election, educated voters and engaged citizens are crucial to making an informed decision on the ballot.

But the United States presidential election is far from the only stage where democracy and the civic process are important. In fact, local democracy impacts citizens — real people like you and me — just as much, if not more, than national democracy.

This means that the low voter turnout for things like city council and student government elections is detrimental to our communities and the changes we wish to see.

April 1-3, students will get the opportunity to vote through RAMweb for next year’s Associated Students of Colorado State University leaders. And yes, you should care very much about the candidates and the policies and changes they plan to bring to campus.

ASCSU oversees the allocation of $57 million in student fee money each year. That includes the $933 each student pays per semester in general fees, which increase almost annually. This money helps fund almost every registered student organization on campus: Greek life, a contract with Rocky Mountain Student Media, the CSU Health Network’s wellness programs, the LSC events, Athletics operations and the Student Diversity Programs and Services office through the Board of Student Organization Funding and the Student Fee Review Board.

ASCSU has almost $1 million to spend on its own projects approved by the senate. They fund the Rams Against Hunger food pantry, bring campus traditions like Grill the Buffs to students and put forth legislation at the state level. If they serve their mission correctly, there is not a student on campus who has not been impacted by the money they have to spend.

However, that is only when everything goes right. ASCSU has received many criticisms: financial irresponsibility, infighting, drama and posturing among them. The access to $57 million and the burden of representing the students of CSU at the local and state levels are large responsibilities for students in their early 20s, on average. ASCSU members of the senate, judicial and executive branches represent every college and SDPS office and have probably attended a class in your home department.

As we continue through this year’s campaign season, I know it is easy to want to avoid the colorful and noisy tables of campaigns on The Plaza. I bet you’re probably tired of seeing campaign posts on social media. I’m sure you’ve probably wondered why you should even care about a few students vying for what might seem like a pretend position.


The decision of who should be in office representing students at ASCSU is the closest Rams can come to having a say in how CSU is run.

Not only are these candidates ultimately the ones responsible for making sure that your nearly $1,000 in student fees are spent correctly, but they are also responsible for making sure the CSU administration hears our voices and the changes we seek.

In 2019, a record 26.6% of students voted in the ASCSU election. In 2022, only 6.17% did. That staggeringly small percentage equates to only 1,854 students voting. The election in 2023 saw a higher turnout, with 14.49% of students voting. Still, with CSU’s enrollment hovering around 33,400, 14.49% of the student body equates to only around 4,800.

Therefore, it doesn’t take too many student votes to elect a leader, which is why it is imperative students learn about their candidates and cast a well-informed ballot.

The capacity of Moby Arena is 8,083, and Moby has frequently sold out this year for basketball and volleyball games. If every student at a sold-out game in Moby voted, real change could be enacted on this campus, and student leaders could be elected with confidence.

So whether you’re a senior or a first-year, The Collegian implores you to educate yourself on the candidates and cast your vote. Each student on this campus is impacted by the decision of an election in which less than 15% cast ballots. The future of student perspectives at CSU is in our hands as voters in the ASCSU election, and we urge you to utilize the voter resources in this edition and cast your vote.


Allie Seibel, editor in chief

Reach Allie Seibel at or on Twitter @allie_seibel_

View Comments (1)
More to Discover
About the Contributors
Allie Seibel
Allie Seibel, Editor in Chief
Allie Seibel is the editor in chief of The Rocky Mountain Collegian, a role she loves more and more with each day. Previously the news editor and news director of The Collegian, Seibel has a background in news, but she’s excited to branch out and experience every facet of content this and following years. Seibel is a sophomore journalism and media communications major minoring in business administration and legal studies. She is a student in the Honors Program and is also an honors ambassador and honors peer mentor. She also is a satellite imagery writer for the Cooperative Institute for Research in the Atmosphere at Colorado State University. Seibel is from Colorado Springs, Colorado, and loves how The Collegian has gotten her acquainted with Fort Collins and CSU. When she’s not writing, reporting or in class, you can always find her with a book, cross-stitching, planning where to travel to next, trying out a new recipe or listening to Taylor Swift. Seibel is incredibly proud of The Collegian’s past and understands the task of safeguarding its future. She’s committed to The Collegian’s brand as an alt-weekly newspaper and will continue to advance its status as a strong online publication while preserving the integrity and tradition of the print paper. Seibel is excited to begin a multi-year relationship with readers at the helm of the paper and cannot wait to see how the paper continues to grow. Through initiatives like the new science desk and letting each individual desk shine, Seibel is committed to furthering The Collegian and Rocky Mountain Student Media over the next few years.
Trin Bonner
Trin Bonner, Illustration Director
Trin Bonner is the illustration director for The Collegian newspaper. This will be her third year in this position, and she loves being a part of the creative and amazing design team at The Collegian. As the illustration director, Bonner provides creative insight and ideas that bring the newspaper the best graphics and illustrations possible. She loves working with artists to develop fun and unique illustrations every week for the readers. Bonner is a fourth-year at Colorado State University studying electronic arts. She loves illustrating and comic making and has recently found enjoyment in experimental video, pottery and graphic design. Outside of illustration and electronic art, Bonner spends her free time crocheting and bead making. She is usually working on a blanket or making jewelry when she is not drawing, illustrating or brainstorming.

Comments (1)

When commenting on The Collegian’s website, please be respectful of others and their viewpoints. The Collegian reviews all comments and reserves the right to reject comments from the website. Comments including any of the following will not be accepted. 1. No language attacking a protected group, including slurs or other profane language directed at a person’s race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, social class, age, physical or mental disability, ethnicity or nationality. 2. No factually inaccurate information, including misleading statements or incorrect data. 3. No abusive language or harassment of Collegian writers, editors or other commenters. 4. No threatening language that includes but is not limited to language inciting violence against an individual or group of people. 5. No links.
All The Rocky Mountain Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • C

    CSU StudentMar 27, 2024 at 2:19 pm

    Incredibly well said!