Apr 022008
Authors: Aaron Hedge, Erik Myers

Tuition increases and experience were hot topics of discussion among candidates running for the presidency and vice presidency of student government during a CTV-hosted debate Wednesday night.

This year’s race is one of the most competitive in years, with four tickets vying for the positions.

Taylor Smoot, presidential candidate, said students have to be proactive in getting their interest heard. He said he and his running mate, Quinn Girrens, would mobilize voters to do just that.

“CSU has serious problems and we need serious people with serious ambition to affect change,” he said. “The first thing that we can do is lobby, lobby, lobby down at the Capitol.”

Nicholas Powers, presidential candidate, said his ticket would represent students by bringing a fresh view in. He argued that while he and running mate Andrew Katers lacked experience in the senate, they still had something to offer.

“We feel that by coming from the outside, we can bring perspective that we feel is lacking in ASCSU,” Powers said.

But not all candidates agreed that a fresh view in ASCSU mattered or even made things better.

When asked what he thought his ticket could bring to ASCSU and campus, Seth Walters, nominee for vice president, said the time he and running mate Zane Guilfoyle had spent as senators in ASCSU had given them the direction necessary to get things done.

“Our years in ASCSU haven’t made us set in our ways, it has shown us what works and what doesn’t,” Walters said.

Guilfoyle and Walters said students had to face up to the fact that tuition would increase no matter what.

“There is no way we can accommodate 30,000 people without tuition going up,” Guilfoyle said.

But he stressed that he and his running mate had the experience to keep tuition from going up more than it has to.

“If things get bad, it’s going to take strong leadership from ASCSU,” Guilfoyle said.

Smoot and Girrens stressed the importance of campus culture and CSU identity as one of their biggest platform items. Smoot said the state of the athletics department was an example of how unhealthy culture is detrimental to students.

“We now have a poor athletics department and that hurts students,” he said.

But he said through a transparent funding increase, athletics, as well as other programs, could be improved.

Jarred Quintana, presidential candidate, said his ticket work with administration to improve the image of CSU, supporting funds for clean energy operations and work closely with departments to improve the integrity of the university’s department, especially the struggling Athletics Department.

“Estevan (Jaimes) and I are willing to work hand in hand with the athletics department,” Quintana said.

News Editor Aaron Hedge can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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