They’re both from small towns in Colorado and this, said Zane Guilfoye and Seth Walters, drives their interest in keeping in touch with the needs of students.
“It was scary coming from a high school of 400 to a school of 25,000,” said Guilfoyle, a candidate for the presidency of Associated Students of CSU.
He and his running mate, Walters, began their student government careers because they didn’t want to get lost in the crowd and become a number, Guilfoyle said.
The friends met freshman year at Ram Welcome and are members of ASCSU and the Student Fee Review Board. Their plan, if elected, is to “restore faith in student government.”
To do this they will reach out to each of the 317 student organizations every semester.
“We are going to seek you out and seek your input about what you need to become successful at CSU,” Guilfoyle said, referring to what he calls their “open door policy.”
“I don’t think students really understand how much power and influence student government can have,” Guilfoyle said. “We want to show that to be true.”
He cites last semester’s success of ASCSU President Katie Gleason at a meeting of the CSU System Board of Governors, in capping a student fee increase at less than ten percent.
“Influence? Absolutely,” Guilfoyle said. “The ASCSU president takes recommendations to the Board of Governors.”
And though the BOG has the final say over fee increases, Guilfoyle said, “the Board of Governors has never not accepted our proposal.”
Guilfoyle and Walters see their student government experience as an asset.
“The learning curve will not be as steep,” they said, because they see the “strengths and weaknesses and how things operate.”
Guilfoye expects the position of president to assist him in being open to student ideas.
“Teach me to better the world,” Guilfoyle said. “I’m very into servant leadership.”
Walters sees himself as the detail-oriented one and has future interests in State Department work, possibly in international relations.
And though the candidates want students to know that they have a say in fee increases and other decisions that affect them, both acknowledge that there are no guarantees about freezing student fees and tuition.
And while they “don’t believe in empty promises,” Walters said, “We do promise to work really hard. Our word is our bond.”
Staff writer Shari Blackman can be reached at email@example.com.