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The Rocky Mountain Collegian

The Student News Site of Colorado State University

The Rocky Mountain Collegian

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Editorial: This is how The Collegian covers ASCSU, accepts letters to editor

Collegian | Colin Shepherd
The Collegian newspaper

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 content managing editor, the executive editor and other members of the editorial staff. 

The Collegian is proud to be an independent student newspaper. 


We are part of the Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation, a not-for-profit company independent of Colorado State University. We are fully funded by both advertising revenue and an annual contract with the Associated Students of CSU. In order to not be funded by the university, we are funded by a contract with ASCSU and not through the Board for Student Organization Funding.

Since 2008, when RMSMC became independent, this contract has existed through ASCSU’s commitment to the professional development students receive in RMSMC and the journalistic work we produce. We are under no obligation to cover ASCSU in any way but choose to because their work is important to our audience. The relationship between ASCSU and The Collegian means that no member of ASCSU can threaten to pull RMSMC funding, and the ultimate decision of the funding amount lies with the president following negotiations with the RMSMC CEO.

As a staff, we take unbiased reporting extremely seriously. Until 2017, The Collegian picked a presidential ticket to endorse in ASCSU’s elections. We have not endorsed a candidate on behalf of the editorial board since. ASCSU presidential and vice presidential candidates cannot campaign to student media.

We are all students. The rules of our organization state that any student interested in working for an ASCSU presidential campaign must either pause their work at RMSMC until after the election season is over or not work on a campaign at all. Every time this year that a student staff member of RMSMC was working with an ASCSU presidential campaign, we had them choose between the campaign or RMSMC, and they made their decision quickly and easily. 

In response to our story titled “ASCSU president’s office attempts to postpone cabinet member’s ratification over statement criticizing DeSalvo,” claims have been made that members of the DeSalvo/Dietz campaign work for The Collegian and have exerted influence over our coverage of the DeSalvo administration. 

We provided all ASCSU candidates equal coverage opportunities during their campaigns and have sought balanced perspectives in our reporting of ASCSU at all times. While reporting on “ASCSU president’s office attempts to postpone cabinet member’s ratification over statement criticizing DeSalvo,” we actively sought out comments from every party involved as per ethical reporting guidelines.

Each ASCSU presidential campaign was aware of the rule regarding Collegian staff and campaigning and was asked for diligence from their side to ensure no conflicts of interest were created.

In the instances referred to regarding the DeSalvo/Dietz campaign, the campaign reached out to us to inform us of the conflict. We had a private conversation with the individual involved, and the situation was resolved swiftly and with understanding from every involved party.  

We maintained a positive, kind and professional working relationship with each and every ASCSU presidential and vice presidential candidate in the 2024 elections cycle. Our upper management and news team thank them all profusely for their kindness and cooperation in aiding us in our coverage and their grace and dignity in answering our late-night emails and requests for comment and interviews. We had a positive experience with each candidate this year. We did not endorse or side with any campaign, something we hope all campaigns can agree on. 


Going forward, The Collegian will continue that positive, kind and professional working relationship with ASCSU. We value the trust we have gained from members of that organization immensely, trust that has not always existed in our history. We sat down to discuss goals at an ASCSU Invites dinner in November and spent time as a staff getting to know individuals in that organization better as a mutually beneficial goal this year. 

In response to some questions posed to us regarding editorial decisions surrounding letters to the editor in previous years, we represent a current editorial board. By virtue of being college students working for a paper that changes hands frequently, members of the editorial staff who made many past decisions have since graduated.

We have updated our letters to the editor policy for clarification and acknowledge that decisions have been made in the past that we cannot speak to because of the short time we hold our positions. Any member of ASCSU is welcome to write a LTTE, and the use of a job title and name in their letters is a personal prerogative.

However, we are not obligated to publish any letter to the editor. We do not use our personal opinions to decide to publish or not publish a letter to the editor. Decisions are made based on the reliability of any claims made in the LTTE and compliance with our posted guidelines. If there are serious claims made regarding facts rather than opinions in an LTTE, we would much rather report on the allegations and publish them with factual research and interviews to give them more credibility through our role as a newspaper. Our current staff does not feel comfortable publishing any statements of fact that we have not confirmed ourselves, even when those statements are made under the name of a guest author.

As stated by our editor’s note that accompanies each LTTE, “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. Letters to the editor reflect the view of a member of the campus community and are submitted to the publication for approval.” Any and all published LTTEs do not reflect our stance on any member of ASCSU. 

One final claim we wish to address is the moderation of comments on our social media and website. We do not moderate comments on our social media. If comments are removed from social media accounts, it is not at the hands of The Collegian. Other users can report comments, and Meta and Instagram can remove them for review. The comment section on articles on our website is moderated by the editorial staff, who publish each comment once it has been verified by the commentator, provided it is not spam or containing vulgar language. 

We are all student journalists. We have busy lives but choose to fill our free time working at The Collegian, and we take our watchdog role surrounding ASCSU very seriously. We understand the significance of our funding and our journalistic duty to provide thorough, unbiased coverage of ASCSU policies and initiatives. We also understand the impact these policies have on the student body and are committed to informing students to the best of our ability.

It is a point of pride for our staff that we continue this honorable tradition of diligent reporting, and we welcome discussion and discourse surrounding any current issues facing ASCSU. 


The Collegian editorial board

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