Editorâ€™s note: Associated Students of CSU presidential candidate Regina Martel is a current Rocky Mountain Student Media Corporation board member.
Seated in front of an audience of about 40 students scattered across the North Ballroom in the Lory Student Center Wednesday night, candidates in the Associated Students of CSU presidential race took turns addressing their platforms, campaign strategies and qualifications to take over the ASCSU presidentâ€™s office next year.
As the night progressed, much was revealed about each of the tickets, which include junior John Dietrick and sophomore Max Muller pitted against juniors Regina Martel and Joe Eden.
The debate is the only moderated one of the election season. Collegian Editor in Chief Sam Noblett and Content Managing Editor Allison Sylte asked questions focusing on how each ticket would define their tenure in the upcoming school year.
For the Dietrick/Muller ticket, becoming student body president should be because of their outsider status.
â€œWe are going to take CSU to places itâ€™s never been,â€ Dietrick said. â€œWe are bringing an outside perspective to a stagnant organization that hasnâ€™t served the students in the best way possible.â€
According to Dietrick, their inexperience with the ASCSU executive office is not necessarily a disadvantage. And overcoming obstacles because of this would be easily done due to his leadership experience within his fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.
However, for sophomore natural resources recreation and tourism major Tanya Milam, this is a concern in the grand scheme of things.
â€œI think the boys (Dietrick/Muller) should be a little bit more informed about ASCSU,â€ Milam said.
Focusing on the idea of â€œchanging the cultureâ€ of ASCSU, the team said their priority would be expanding the accessibility of ASCSU to the whole student body.
Unlike Dietrick, both Martel and Eden are seasoned ASCSU veterans and, according to them, this is their greatest asset.
â€œI think that because I am so passionate about what we are running for, that would get me up every single morning ready to be as good of a student voice as I can be,â€ Martel said.
Although issues discussed at last nightâ€™s debate covered everything from student fees to community outreach, the two biggest issues concerned the on-campus stadium and RamRide.
For Martel, taking a set stance on each was not as important as communicating her dedication to being loyal to how students felt about the program, which is why many of her platforms focus on setting up and maintaining student forums. For her, the job means representing the student voice as a whole.
â€œWe want to make sure that students are completely informed,â€ Martel said.
But this approach, according to Milam, could get them into trouble if they donâ€™t take a stance at all.
â€œI know that they are trying not to make decisions, but taking a few stances couldnâ€™t hurt their campaign,â€ Milam said.
Dietrick said that he felt the on-campus stadium would bring in more money down the road, which is why his team supports the idea. In addition, he also said that supporting an on-campus stadium would give him more room to represent student voice in where the stadium would go.
â€œWe feel like whatever decision this administration makes, we want to help them to cause less friction,â€ Muller said. â€œWhat we want to do is work with the administration and say, â€˜Listen, if youâ€™re going to build this stadium, we donâ€™t want it on green-space, we donâ€™t want it blocking the mountains and we donâ€™t want it eating up student fees.â€™â€
Rommel Mcclaney, a junior communications studies major in attendance, said he went to the debate to learn more about the process. For him, ASCSU needs to improve their relationship with students.
Coming away from the debate, ASCSU Senator Andy Shank said he felt hopeful that both tickets would do a good job next year.
â€œIâ€™m excited about next year no matter which ticket wins,â€ Shank said. â€œI have seen plenty of positive things from both of them and students have a lot to look forward to.â€
ASCSU Beat Reporter Sarah Fenton can be reached at email@example.com.