When the chair of the Libertarian Party at CSU asked the two student government tickets about their thoughts on a statewide pot legalization initiative, he was disappointed with their responses.
It wasn’t their stance on the issue that he disagreed with; it was that they didn’t have one that he could decipher.
“Student government seems to be more concerned with not distressing university administrators than with using their power to push for real change,” said Seth Anthony. “These are issues where student leaders should take a strong stand.”
Anthony asked the student leaders how they felt about the Alcohol-Marijuana Equalization Initiative during a Plaza debate on Friday.
Jason Green, who is running for president along with vice presidential hopeful Sadie Conrad, said he’s pleased that the petition to place the measure on the ballot is circulating, as it demonstrates student involvement.
And Brent Dobinsky, running for vice president with presidential candidate Jess Dyrdahl, said, “It’s good to see students come together.”
But those watching the debate that afternoon didn’t hear anything that would indicate where either of the tickets came down on the issue.
“All of them basically parroted the same line,” Anthony said.
Dobinsky said Monday that his ticket isn’t taking a stance on the issue because it’s the role of student leaders to represent all students. He again encouraged students to become involved, but wouldn’t oppose or endorse the pot measure.
“If you let your personal beliefs guide you, you’re not being genuine to CSU students,” he said.
Green said that he doesn’t have an official stance on the issue, but it’s still open for discussion.
“We, as a ticket, have not talked about it,” he said.
But to Anthony, taking a firm stance on issues is the very essence of what the candidates are supposed to do.
“Student leaders should take stands that follow their convictions,” he said. “For a significant part of the student body, there is interest in this.”
CSU students last year endorsed a non-binding SAFER-sponsored resolution calling for the university to loosen penalties for pot possession.
University officials said they must abide by state law. But the university punishes students in addition to the penalties doled out by law enforcement. That’s something the university can legally stop doing, SAFER states.
And the student government can help, Anthony said.
“They lobby for state issues,” Anthony said. “If they wanted to take a position on this and lobby using their resources, they could certainly do so.”
Vimal Patel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have questions for ASCSU candidates? E-mail your questions to elections@CTV11.com and your questions will be answered at Wednesday’s debate, 7 to 10 p.m. in the LSC Theater.