Once again, students are left without a choice.
It started at the beginning of this year when Andy Stewart resigned from office as ASCSU vice president and Erik Glenn was appointed. It continued throughout the year as ASCSU senators resigned from their positions and new ones were appointed. Currently, over half of the senators have been appointed.
Now it’s happening again in the highest student office.
Chris Lewis and Phil Molnar dropped out of the ASCSU presidential race Thursday, leaving David Bower and Jessica Chavez running unopposed. Lewis decided to drop out because he couldn’t apply for a job at CTV because of a conflict of interest.
From every angle, this is a horrible occurrence. It’s horrible that Lewis didn’t think about a conflict of interest sooner. It’s horrible that even if Bower and Chavez were the best candidates, no one will ever know now.
Most of all, it’s horrible because we as a student body can’t choose who we want to lead us. Even if it’s decided that write-in votes are allowed (which they definitely should be), chances are there will still be no contest for Bower and Chavez and no real opportunity for a different ticket with different ideas to step forth.
This is a big deal. The ASCSU president has a seat on the State Board of Agriculture – the governing body of the CSU system. This board appointed CSU president Albert C. Yates, they recommend how high tuition will be hiked for students, and they work closely with the state legislature on bills that affect CSU students, such as the recommendation that USC change its name to CSU-Pueblo. That’s a lot of power for one board and for the sole CSU student on it.
ASCSU is just about the only voice students have to the CSU administration. You know all of those things that bug you about CSU but you don’t think you can change? Well, magnify your voice by over 50 people aimed to the person directly in charge, and that’s the power they’ve got. Don’t you want to make sure that those people speaking for you are actually speaking for YOU?
The only way to make sure of this is to elect our leaders. We need to have a say as to who is leading us. That’s democracy, plain and simple. Unfortunately, the trend this year has been taking us further and further away from this.
Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not demeaning the effort put forth by our appointed officials. They all seem to be doing just as well, if not better, than those who were elected. And when they were appointed, it was with the students’ interests in mind. But it’s not the same as choosing who you want to lead you. It’s just not.
We at the Collegian will coninue this election. I encourage you to read the stories; read about the issues. Talk to Bower and Chavez, and decide for yourself if they accurately represent you. If you don’t think so, raise a complaint to ASCSU, talk to Bower and Chavez and tell them what you think they need to focus on. If you still think someone else would be better, appeal to the ASCSU Elections Committee so you can write-in your vote.
Traditionally, the Collegian editorial board meets with the candidates to decide which ticket to recommend to the student body. This year, we hope to meet with Bower and Chavez to help us decide whether we have confidence in their ticket and their platform.
Hopefully, everything will go well. They’ll be an excellent ticket, and there will be no problems. If not, we’re in a lot of trouble, because we have no other choice.
Maria Sanchez-Traynor is a senior majoring in English and journalism.