Mar 252012
 
Authors: Sarah Fenton

After five days of early mornings, lots of sunscreen and general campaigning, both Associated Students of CSU presidential hopefuls said they feel good about the progress they’ve made and the lessons they’ve learned in the past week.

Both teams, which include juniors Regina Martel and Joe Eden, pitted against junior John Dietrick and sophomore Peter Muller, said that spending a week on the Plaza talking to CSU students has been a rewarding and eye-opening experience.

For Martel, the greatest lesson has been learning how to talk to students on campus.

“The first week was really good. I think the first part was us figuring it out in terms of how to be on the Plaza,” she said. “I think that what Joe and I are learning is that talking to students is the best way to be in touch with students, just like our platforms are saying.”

Dietrick echoed Martel’s sentiments, however, he also said that while he invested many of his efforts into reaching out to students, he’s learned that giving them breathing room is just as important.

“Not everyone likes to be given fliers on the Plaza,” he said. “You’ve got to respect their personal space.”

Aside from these lessons, Dietrick and Martel said they are also learning a lot about how to succeed as a student and a candidate.

“We need to be able to balance everything — our campaigning, with our school work, with our work,” Martel said. “We need to figure out that balance between making sure we are connected with students and making sure we are connected with everything else.”

According to current ASCSU President Eric Berlinberg, achieving this balance is never easy and demands a lot of sacrifice. But, while that sacrifice is often taxing to school, social and family life, the rewards make it all worth it.

“What they potentially could be doing involves 70- to 80-hour work weeks and a lot of personal sacrifice,” Berlinberg said. “It is all worth it when you can leave lasting change on campus and graduate knowing CSU is better off because of your year.”

Martel and Dietrick agreed that the chance to talk to students was a huge highlight last week, and they are both looking forward to doing so again next week.

“I met so many new people. I got to express so many ideas, and I got to hear a lot of other people’s ideas, which I thought was something cool and something different,” Dietrick said.

Although both tickets have many similarities, the biggest difference comes in each ticket’s vision for future ASCSU policy.

According to Martel, she and Eden have so far focused on guaranteeing a well-informed student body with a TestFile website.

This not only means they would work to create an online database, but that they would also work to include more test files than the current program has on record.

According to them, giving students every available resource and study aid takes precedent.

In addition, the team is also looking at creating a syllabus-sharing website to help students decide which classes to register for.

Unlike Martel at the height of budget planning for fiscal year 2013, Dietrick explained that his biggest concern rests in the economic realm.

“I believe our most important platform is making sure we are optimizing every student dollar here at CSU,” Dietrick said.

In general terms, this means textbook tax exemptions, local housing solutions and transparency in student fees and funding.

ASCSU Beat Reporter Sarah Fenton can be reached at news@collegian.com

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