Mar 242010
Authors: Kirsten Silveira

Student government presidential candidates Cooper Anderson and Jennifer Babos said the driving force behind their campaign is to make a lasting impact.

The Associated Students of CSU, Babos said, has the ability to mobilize a great deal of change and if elected and under the slogan “Fighting for What Matters,” she and Anderson will do their best to facilitate those initiatives.

After deciding to pair up for elections last October, the duo decided their platform would be a series of “big, bold ideas,” such as:
-Ending 7 a.m. finals for all Colleges,
-Enhancing sexual assault education,
-Increasing the number of cars used by RamRide, the organization’s safe ride program,
-Promoting school spirit by lighting the Aggie “A,”
-Reevaluating CSU’s grading system, and
-Working with Colorado lawmakers to solve the higher education funding crisis.

Before finalizing their list they met with CSU administration and city officials to be sure their goals were attainable, said Babos, who has been involved with ASCSU for nearly two years.

“We are going to work our hardest for students and aim for nothing less than success,” she said.

The candidates can rework ASCSU’s budget to allocate funding to new areas, Anderson said. There is extra money in RamRide to fund two new positions within the organization.

The two coordinators will work with student advocacy offices to promote sexual assault awareness on campus, said Babos, a junior liberal arts major.

The aim is to extend time dedicated to educating students about campus safety and work with the Orientation and Transition Programs office, which holds sessions to acclimate first-year students to campus.

“A woman’s first year in college is the most dangerous one,” Babos said, explaining that current orientation sessions on sexual assault last fewer than 30 minutes.

In an attempt to meet students’ academic demands, Babos said she and Anderson have met with CSU’s administration about eliminating 7 a.m. finals and were told the idea, if all departments agree to cooperate, is a viable option.

The College of Agricultural Sciences, where Anderson studies agricultural business, is on board with the idea, he said.

If elected, Anderson and Babos plan to launch a marketing campaign aimed at gathering student feedback about the university’s grading system. They have met with Faculty Council Chair Richard Eykholt to discuss logistics, she said.

The project will address the plus and minus system professors can choose to use, which Babos said a lot of students dislike.

Anderson, who has been involved with ASCSU for three years, said he and Babos met with CSU System Chancellor Joe Blake to cook up strategies for how student government could better aid the state in solving its higher education funding crisis.

“It’s hard to nail down,” Anderson said. “We want to shift the focus to moving ideas to the state House.”

To kick school spirit up a notch, the duo wants to light the Aggie “A,” which represents the agricultural tradition of Colorado A&M, CSU’s former title. After meeting with the engineer who designed the “M” at Colorado School of Mines, Anderson said lighting the “A” at night could cost anywhere from $100,000 to $200,000 but said it would be fewer than $200 a year to maintain after installation.

Project funding, he said, will not use student fees, but alumni donations. The “incentive” for former students to donate is that a portion of donated money will go toward scholarships for incoming and current students.

Designing and implementing a sustainable lighting model is geared to be a student-run project, likely involving the College of Engineering, Anderson said.

While city officials told Anderson and Babos that obtaining permission to light the “A” would be a lengthy, complicated process due to the area’s designation as a natural area and historic site, they chose to go forth with the campaign initiative anyway.

“They said there are hurdles, but it’s not impossible,” Babos said. The “A” is a recognized landmark and located in a designated natural area.

The more students backing the project, the more weight the request carries, she added.

Students can attend two public debates, one Friday at 11 p.m. on the Lory Student Center Plaza and another March 31 at 7 p.m. in the LSC Theater. Voting will take place April 5 through April 7 on RamWeb.

Results will be announced at 8 p.m. in the ASCSU Senate Chambers in the LSC and live on CTV Channel 11.

If elected, Anderson and Babos said they plan to hold “town hall” style meetings to promote ASCSU transparency and share the success of platform projects.

_Senior Reporter Kirsten Silveira can be reached at _

Presidential Candidates

– Juniors Cooper Anderson and Jennifer Babos

Majors: Anderson is an agricultural business major, and Babos is a liberal arts major

Campaign Platform

-Ending 7 a.m. finals for all Colleges
-Enhancing sexual assault education
-Increasing the number of cars used by RamRide, ASCSU’s safe ride program
-Promoting school spirit
-Re-evaluating CSU’s grading system
-Working with Colorado lawmakers to solve the higher education funding crisis

The Elections

-Vote April 5 through April 7 on RAMWeb.

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