Mar 282006
 
Authors: Elena Ulyanova

Referendum C, tuition increases, distribution of student fees and parking on campus are several of the main issues to be addressed in the Associated Students of CSU election debate tonight.

Jason Huitt, elections manager, said one of the biggest issues is that CSU is in the middle of finding out, is how much the state legislature will be allocate to universities.

“Depending on how much the university receives from the state, we may be facing student fee and tuition increases and those are the issues the vice president and president deal with every day,” Huitt said.

The debate takes place at 7 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theater and will begin with the introduction of ASCSU senatorial candidates from their respective colleges and an explanation of why they are running for office. Following will be a presentation of the platforms from the ASCSU president and vice president candidates and a formal debate. It will conclude with a town hall portion during which students can ask candidates questions.

Campus television (CTV) will broadcast the debate at a later time, and Josh Egbert, CTV anchor and news reporter, will moderate. CTV is also accepting questions for the candidates in the form of e-mail at elections@CTV11.com.

“It will be really interesting to get the views of people who can’t make it or want to just e-mail their questions to us and have the candidates give us their viewpoints,” Egbert said.

Candidates Jessica Dyrdahl, senior political science and Spanish major, and Brett Dobinsky, senior civil engineering and business management major anticipate that Referendum C, the SAFER campaign for marijuana legalization and the allocation of student funding and fees will be several of the main issues addressed in the debate. Both Dyrdahl and Dobinsky supported Referendum C and look forward to the increased funding it will possibly bring to higher education.

The team plans to support the SAFER campaign by presenting the information to state legislators, if that is what the majority of the university wants. However, Dyrdahl said that if only small percentage of the university supports it, then they are unsure what they will do.

On the issue of allocation of student fees, Dyrdahl and Dobinsky plan to appropriate funds to transportation, ASCSU salaries and student organizations and activities.

“Even if you’re not part of the student government, I think you should have a say because it’s my money that’s funding those student groups even though I’m not a part of them,” said John Flauding, a senior sports medicine major.

Candidates Jason Green, senior psychology major, and Sadie Conrad, junior nutrition and food science major, expects the issues of diversity, outreach, student fees and parking will be addressed at the debate.

“Sadie and I have both embraced diversity by supporting it and learning about it ourselves by going to different advocacy offices and programs,” Green said.

On the issue of outreach, Green and Conrad would like to be more externally involved. They would like to create a chief of staff position at ASCSU that would take care of internal issues. Green said this would create more time for them to focus on internal obligations and be supportive of other programs and community service efforts.

The candidates would also like to be more accountable for the allocation of student fees by informing students online or by creating a publication. However, Green said that the student fee allotments are already set so they wouldn’t be changing much except for general inflation.

“We want to keep them the same and we would want to limit the amount of increases,” Green said.

Concerning the issue of parking, the team would like to fill all six of the seats on the parking services committee to create more student voice. Green said that currently only one or two of the positions are filled. Green and Conrad are also willing to re-allocate parking zones and construct a hierarchal parking system.

Huitt said that there has been a decent turnout at the debate in past years and expects an audience of about 100 people.

“I hope we get a great turnout; it’s the best place for students to find out who will be representing them next year and what plans those candidates have,” Huitt said.

Students want a variety of different issues addressed by the candidates.

Barry Strand, junior health and exercise major said that he would like to see involvement on campus addressed, ranging from concerts to RamRide.

Craig Huddleston, sophomore mechanical engineering major, said that tuition and parking are the two biggest issues for him.

“Even if you pay $100 for a parking pass, you still have a mile to walk. A more central parking location would make a lot more sense,” Huddleston said. “And tuition needs to stay the same and not take a huge jump up”

Mike Donovan contributed to this story.

Elena Ulyanova can be reached at campus@collegian.com.

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The debate will take place at 7 p.m. in the Lory Student Center Theater. If students cannot attend the debate to ask questions, e-mail the questions to elections@ctv11.com any time before the event.

If you missed the debate, it will be broadcast on Channel 11 at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

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