Mar 272008
 
Authors: Erik Myers

Taylor Smoot would like to see Rage Against the Machine play at CSU, while Quinn Girrens would prefer Dave Matthews Band.

And while both might not get their dream band – the negotiation process for performing artists is complicated – Smoot and Girrens said they want to bring a large-scale homecoming concert to CSU this fall, just one of several goals the two have established in their bid for the presidency and vice presidency of the Associated Students of CSU.

Above all, however, the two say ASCSU needs to return to its position as an accessible resource for student organizations.

Smoot, a senior political science major who is running for president, said ASCSU’s current administration had been “wonderful” with their work in tuition and student fees, but said external communication needed improvement.

“At this point, ASCSU is not the center for collaboration for all student organizations,” Smoot said. “If something’s going on in one area, we need to let everybody know. If there’s an issue that needs to be advocated for, they come to us, we work with them. I think we at this point really need to step up our game in not just delegating, but also actively supporting.”

As an example, Smoot notes the lack of consistency in the senate’s Diversity Advocacy Council, a group responsible for acting as a representative for diversity groups on campus.

“This year, the DAC has not met since November. In that sense, we’re not at all a center for collaboration for diversity,” Smoot said. “I want to have a working diversity advocacy council, and there’s been excuse after excuse of why it hasn’t met. Bottom line: its supposed to be there to represent a student voice for diversity on campus for ASCSU.”

Along with this, both said they’d place emphasis on creating a strong cabinet with their presidency.

“We don’t have all the answers so you have use some ways to find it,” Girrens said. “ASCSU has so many resources to use in working with the Penley admistration and the state capitol, organizations on campus.if you just show up, go to these groups and listen to what they have to say, then you have a resource.”

Smoot adds that while they had some ideas as to whom they’d bring on for certain positions, all potential cabinet members would undergo a fair hiring process.

In regards to issues of student fees and tuition, Smoot and Girrens say they recognize consistent rises in tuition as inevitabile, they’d like to establish a Tuition Accountability Forum to keep students informed as to what’s happening with the prices of their education and why.

When asked why he was running for president, Smoot said both positions were capable of producing “tangible results for students”, especially with the proper experience.

“I’m running because I believe I have the experience to jump into the position and really take a hold of it from the very beginning, not have to do too much on-the-job training,” Smoot said. “You really have to have the experience from the start (for the position.)”

Regarding experience, Smoot refers to his past two years as a senator for the College of the Liberal Arts and as ASCSU’s Senate Image and Publicity Manager. Smoot’s credited with helping create the Senator Outreach Program, designed to maintain interaction between senators and their student constituents and keep the senate up-to-date on campus issues. He says involvement with organizations outside of ASCSU, such as Black Student Alliance and the Association for Student Activity Programming, has helped him gear a perspective of life outside the senate, which he says he’d utilize as president.

Girrens has served with the judical activites in her two years with ASCSU, acting as an associate justice and currently as a chief justice of the Supreme Court. She says the positions will allow her to smoothen the gaps between the executive and judicial branches of ASCSU. She is also involved with the Key Academic Community and will serve as a Key mentor in the fall.

Along with their chief positions, the two wish to increase funding to Ram Ride, increase the number of bike racks on campus, introduce campus-wide internet access, continue CSU’s progress as an eco-friendly institution and bring the popular satirical paper The Onion to campus.

As the race heats up into next week, Smoot and Girrens say they feel confident they’ll making a lasting difference while maintaining all that they like about their senate.

“We’re the best student government in Colorado, and our ticket wants to maintain that status,” Smoot said.

News Editor Erik Myers can be reached at news@collegian.com.

News Editor Aaron Hedge contributed to this report.

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