Mar 282011
 
Authors: Courtney Riley

CSU’s Associated Students of CSU is currently stuck in a rut, according to presidential candidate Chase Eckerdt and his running-mate Justin Safady.

“A lot of the problems in ASCSU have been the same for years now, and at some point it has to change,” Safady, a junior business major, said.

Every year, he said, leaders in ASCSU implement incremental changes as the solution to problems. But the duo said they want to fix the problems within student government before trying to bring in outside services.

Eckerdt, a junior communications major, said he and Safady took the serious problems they saw at CSU and looked at what other states, universities and communities have done in order to find the solutions.

“We decided flat out at the very beginning that we in no way wanted to raise student fees,” Safady said. “To make sure we could follow through on that promise, we found issues within ASCSU itself and looked at fixing those before bringing in new services.”

ASCSU is currently being plagued by a lot of issues, Eckerdt said. “We consistently fall short on campaign promises, and we’ve raised fees at a steady rate for a long time. Something has to change.”

Unless the underlying structural problems get fixed, he said, new services can be added, but they’re not going to work right. Instead, Eckerdt said they want to integrate new services into ones that already exist within the organization. They plan to restructure the organization to make this possible.

They have organized ASCSU into four main branches, divided into two sides focusing on advocacy, including the external affairs and university affairs branches, and a service-based side, focusing on student services and RamRide.

They looked at the entire budget as a whole and found extra funds that are not being used. Their plan is to allocate them to the new areas they hope to work on.

Safady said he and Eckerdt need to clear the slate and start with the president, vice president, chief of staff and treasurer at the top of the board. He said they need to ask themselves ‘what does ASCSU need to do for the students?’

“When you ask that question, you wouldn’t come up with the departments that are currently in ASCSU,” he said. “It’s feasible for us because we have the plan already.”

Eckerdt said one of their main goals of freezing student fees is absolutely possible.

“When people say it’s not possible to freeze student fees, it’s that kind of complacent attitude that is why they keep going up,” he said. “If we finally elect somebody who’s willing to take a stand on student fees, willing to put it on the line, they can be frozen.”

But if a roadblock comes up and one of their initiatives ends up to be unattainable, he said, they are not going to compromise things, like their stance on not raising student fees, in order to accomplish short-term political goals.

“We won’t sacrifice our values in order to get things done,” he said.

Eckerdt spent the year working as the director of Community Affairs and Safady worked as the assistant director of Legislative Affairs. The duo said this has given them experience working with policy-makers and elected officials at the university and state level.

“We’re the two on the ticket that really know what we’re doing when it comes to advocacy and working with policy-makers,” Eckerdt said.

Safady said he and Eckerdt have taken a different approach to the entire process and the entire campaign. He said some students currently don’t even know who the president and vice president of ASCSU are, but if he and Eckerdt get elected, they plan to interact with students on a personal level.

“People don’t want to talk to a delegate from ASCSU,” Eckerdt said. “They want to talk to the president and vice president, and next year they will.”
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ASCSU Beat Reporter Courtney Riley can be reached at news@collegian.com._

*Platform
Initiatives*
Freeze student fees

Incorporate party registration year-round

Offer extra weekends for RamRide and a new finals week service to get students to and from the library

Implement a text message service with RamRide to allow students to text RamRide their location

Work with Transfort to run a new bus route from Old Town back to stops around Fort Collins on Fridays and Saturdays between 1 a.m. and 3 a.m.

Hold “Aggie Days” during Homecoming Weekend, consisting of a concert at Hughes Stadium and a festival run by student organizations

Reorganize the structure of ASCSU

Create new position for graduate students within the ASCSU Executive Branch

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