Mar 252009
 
Authors: Shelley Woll

Write-in candidates Ben Walker and William Overmann joined the race for student government president and vice president, respectively, this week and said if elected April 6 and 7, they’d heighten transparency in the organization and garner more CSU opinion to aid the student voice.

The candidates said they deliberately turned their applications in late to, they said, avoid participating in a “popularity contest” with the other candidates.

“We didn’t want students to arbitrarily pick one of the four candidates online,” Walker said. “We wanted them to really have to choose.”

Walker and Overmann said they agree students need to have a stronger voice in the student government.

“To me, student issues are the only issues,” Walker said. “CSU is a group of students and nothing more to me.”

Both candidates are not actively involved in the Associated Students of CSU, although Walker was an associate senator his freshman year and said it taught it him what was wrong with ASCSU, which he said includes the current Senate’s “frivolous” meetings which, he said, aren’t geared toward important student issues.

“They need to start talking about what to do, not what to wear on Friday night,” he said.

If elected, the two said they hope to spend at least an hour a week on the Lory Student Center Plaza polling and talking to students to get their opinions on what needs to happen in the government.

They also said they hope to make everything ASCSU does “entirely transparent” to students by creating a better online database, which would more clearly list the responsibilities of each member of student government and detail their everyday activities for students. They said they would create an online student feedback forum.

“We want to make the process more direct between students and the government and between the government and the faculty,” said Overmann, a transfer student this year. He cited his internship with Hal Bidlack, last year’s beaten candidate for representative of Colorado’s fifth congressional district, as experience in campaigning and government.

The two pitch re-evaluation of “superfluous” activities on campus, like this year’s homecoming concert — a winning platform of current ASCSU President Taylor Smoot and Vice President Quinn Girren’s campaign last year.

“Its ridiculous that only 8,000 students get to enjoy something 25,000 paid for,” Walker said.

Walker and Overmann said the three-unrelated city ordinance, called U+2 commonly, would also need to be examined closely with community leaders, as the ordinance currently forbids more than three unrelated residents from living in the same property.

Walker said if he is not elected, he will “absolutely” be involved in ASCSU next year to “hold leaders accountable.”

ASCSU Beat Reporter Shelley Woll can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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