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Elections are beginning as 14 student government candidates fight for the five positions available for representative-at-large this week.
Voting begins Monday, and candidates from the Refresh and Excel tickets, as well as the independents candidates, are continuing to campaign for votes.
Running as a group, Excel ticket members said they have similar motives and values concerning CUSG and the university community.
Excel candidate for representative-at-large Brooks Kanski, a 20-year-old junior majoring in economics and neuroscience, said the Excel ticket contains 10 students whose goal is to bring transparency and affordability to CUSG.
“The Excel ticket is a coalition of 10 highly involved student leaders who have banded together in an effort to bring transparency and affordability in CUSG to a new high,” Kanski said.
The Excel ticket is composed of five positions available for representative at large and five available for Arts and Sciences Student Government.
Kanski said the Excel ticket is all about educating the students.
“The Excel ticket is here to educate the student population on what it is exactly that CUSG does and how they can be a part of influencing the decision-making process,” Kanski said.
The Excel ticket emphasizes seven platforms: Affordability, learn, strive, excel, safety, sustainability and green initiatives and student groups. However, Kanski said the most important platforms are learn, strive and excel.
“[We want to] enact policies that will serve to educate the student body about the services they pay for with their student fees,” Kanski said. “Use a common sense approach that is beneficial to both cost centers and the students they serve.”
Kanski said the Excel ticket feels that affordability, safety and sustainability are the major concerns present in the student body right now. Because of this, he said, these are some of the first areas that, if elected, they plan to tackle.
“The Excel ticket feels like there are three very major concerns present in the student body right now: Affordability, safety and sustainability,” Kanski said. “Given the recent outbreaks and occurrences across the CU campus, Excel is very fired up to enact a policy making this campus a safer campus to our students and the rest of the visiting community.”
Kanski said he feels the Excel ticket is unique because the candidates have experience and connections, which will allow them to take the students’ opinion and formulate it into an agenda.
“Excel makes up a combined 10-plus years of CUSG experience, owning connections with nearly all constituencies and organizations on this campus,” Kanski said. “And most importantly, through those two unique factors, the Excel ticket fully comprehends what it takes to hear a student’s opinion, formulate it into an agenda, and enact it through voted-in legislation.”
Robin Kalsbeek, a 21-year-old junior majoring in operations management and environmental studies, is running unaffiliated from either ticket.
If elected into office, Kalsbeek said his main goals will be to focus on tailoring high education to the individual student’s needs and bringing the campus community closer as a unit.
“I’ve kind of been upset with how higher education has gone away from its mission of teaching students,” Kalsbeek said. “I want to work with advisers and try to get rid of all the bureaucratic red tape. I want to give the power back to the students.”
Kalsbeek said he wants to work with students on beginning to reevaluate the customary idea of a curriculum.
“I want to work with student and advisers and officials at the university to see if we can find certain classes that are swappable,” Kalsbeek said.
Kalsbeek said in addition, he wants to eliminate unnecessary required adviser meetings and instead make the meetings more meaningful to the student as an individual.
“I think [the advisers'] time should be spent more wisely,” Kalsbeek said.
In order to improve diversity at CU, Kalsbeek said CUSG needs to work on cutting costs and lowering tuition to allow diverse people the chance to attend CU. He said the university and Boulder in general should be a much tighter community.
“I think diversity really comes down to understanding people,” Kalsbeek said. “If you develop a culture of understanding, everyone’s different backgrounds and experiences will come together.”
He said understanding diversity and making CU a closer community will in turn increase safety as well.
“It’s all connected,” Kalsbeek said. “John Muir said something like, ‘Once you start pulling on one thing in nature, you realize that it’s tied to all other things.’ That’s the way I think.”
Kalsbeek said he thinks the first step is to get the different schools on campus to come together by having clubs and organizations intermingle their curriculum and activities and then work outward.
“We should also tap into the Greek life,” Kalsbeek said. “Sororities wield a lot of power and I know that they do a lot for the community, like the clean-up after homecoming. My main goal is more collaboration between all the schools and groups.”
While in the end all the candidates are running against each other for a spot in office, the general consensus remains that they are all encouraging members of the CU community to let their voices be heard by voting this week for the elections.
For more information on the CUSG tickets, elections or to vote, visit http://studentu.colorado.edu/content/elections.
Find information about the Refresh ticket here.