In a presidential race featuring a gallery of regulars, they’re the unknowns, and they know it.
“Our campaign has gotten off to a slow start, but it should be picking up a lot more by the end of the week,” said Nick Powers, candidate for the presidency of Associated Students of CSU.
Powers, along with Andrew Katers, candidate for vice president, have had little presence in the current race for their positions: neither has served any position within ASCSU, and admit that the campaign has gotten off to a sluggish start compared to other candidates.
Powers, however, said he believes it takes candidates outside of the senatorial circle to serve as a leader. Powers, who has served with the Air Force ROTC and the Silver Wings business fraternity, says he has gained experience as a leader without having had been limited by overly long presence in the senate.
“By working with an organization long enough, you come to a point where you subscribe to one form of management, you start limiting yourself to one form of solutions,” Powers said. “(My organizations) give me enough experience to be informed and be effective without actually limiting my scope of thought.”
Far too often, he adds, past tickets have floated into office on empty promises, especially on issues of tuition and student fees. He and Katers said their campaign offers the idea that long-term management of rising costs is a much more realistic solution compared to outright percent caps.
“Every year, we hear people say they want to lower tuition, lower student fees,” Powers said. “Every year the budget’s increasing – It’s not decreasing. We know this.
“What we want to work towards is kind of a five-year plan idea; we can look at the purposed increases over the next five years, then lay them out in a manageable fashion, so each year we don’t see a huge jump one year and no jump the next.”
Powers adds that he and Katers ultimately want to bring a more transparent process to the students when it comes to tuition, and if that means making details of their executive sessions with Penley public, so be it.
“The ASCSU president and vice president, they are in on tuition meetings with the university president and the rest of the people that make those decisions,” Powers said. “Legally.they can’t speak outside of those meetings as to what’s going on. We want to legislate and pull for that to be removed from Colorado law.
“It seems to cut students out of the process that, I believe, students should be involved in.”
The two acknowledge that knowing the workings of ASCSU is important, and having no experience with the senate, they’re looking to Sen. Andy Shank for some help.
“Andy is a current friend of ours who has had a lot of experience with ASCSU, he’s got a lot of insight to what’s been going on,” Katers said.
Shank, however, is limited in the advice he can dispose to the two, as he is currently involved with the competing campaign of Taylor Smoot and Quinn Girrens.
Powers said Shank would nonetheless be able to provide them with more of an understanding of ASCSU as their campaign progressed.
Among other ideas, the two want to keep momentum of CSU’s green movement, particularly with the development of environment-friendly technology.
Another idea would make a proposal to the city for an extension of Transfort by introducing busing hours later into the evening and commissioning a few more vehicles into service. General transportation, they add, could benefit for an increase in carpooling parking spots.
Ultimately, both believe ASCSU needs to take a more visible presence on campus, and they hope to lead the way.
“We’re fresh faces for a new year,” Powers said.
News Editor Erik Myers can be reached at email@example.com.
BIG BREAKOUT BOX
Candidates for ASCSU President and Vice President will participate in an informal debate from 11 am to 12:30 pm in the Lory Student Center Plaza.