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Editor’s note: The CU Independent was only able to contact members of the three tickets INVEST, EDGE and PROPEL because no independent tickets are running for the April 4 elections.[sc name="qrank"] As the spring election season begins, CUSG’s three candidate tickets INVEST, PROPEL and EDGE are constructing their election platforms and creating hopeful goals for CU’s future.
INVEST to focus on cost center efficiency
Running for vice president of internal affairs, Carly Robinson, a 25-year-old fourth-year Ph.D. student and atmospheric chemistry major, said the INVEST ticket is trying to keep student fees low by finding inefficiencies within the cost centers without diminishing programs.
“We’re more trying to look at asking the cost centers to look within their operations projects to see where the money would be best spent,” Robinson said.
Personally, Robinson said she has been working to talk with state legislators to see what’s going on with higher education funding in Colorado. Robinson said CU ranks 49th in the nation for higher education funding.
“I think it’s really important to talk with legislators and interact with them and make them remember your face,” Robinson said.
Presidential candidate Andrew Yoder said as a ticket, INVEST is focused on a variety of campus issues. Yoder said he wants to focus on efficiency in the cost centers as well as on transparency and communications issues.
“My main goal is to change the way student fee money is thought about on this campus because it is seen as an unlimited resource and often times costs are pushed onto students,” said Yoder, a 21-year-old junior operations management information systems major. “I think the students and the innovative ideas they come up with are the true resource, and we need to work to make their experience on campus the best possible.”
Yoder said experience defines INVEST as a ticket.
“All of our executive candidates are current CUSG legislators and no other tickets can say that,” Yoder said. “Every person who we have on the INVEST ticket is in some way representative of a major portion of the CU community.”
Robinson said INVEST’s experience helps them understand the system.
“In student government there is a lot to learn really quickly,” Robinson said. “We already have this giant step towards really understanding what is going on with the university in terms of how each cost center works and administration.”
EDGE aiming for better student representation
Rasheed Lawal, a 22-year-old senior integrative physiology and international affairs double-major, is running for vice president of internal affairs for the EDGE ticket. He said the EDGE executives are notable because they were nominated.
“It wasn’t that we were asking to run, we were nominated through a rigorous process,” Lawal said. “We were asked to give a speech, answer questions and eventually were elected by the representatives.”
EDGE presidential candidate Isra Chaker, a 20-year-old junior architecture and psychology double-major, said she hopes for an open-door policy, where transparency can occur even at the level of legislative council meetings.
“We suggest rules such as no laptops at the table, no texting during sessions, just to ensure transparency at the meetings,” Chaker said.
EDGE representative-at-large candidate Leanne Eckelberg, a 21-year-old junior business management and psychology double-major, said she got involved in student government after interning with CoPIRG and becoming frustrated with how legislators were misrepresenting students.
“I really would like to represent students better than I think we’ve seen in the past,” Eckelberg said.
Eckelberg said EDGE is already having conversations with CU regents to lower student fees by relieving students from a portion of the capital construction bill.
“Students are paying more than the probably should be paying for the construction that was done on the law building and the business building,” Eckelberg said. “We’re going to see if we can move money around a little bit and lower fees by lowering the capital construction fee.“
Eckelberg said getting more student groups on the student referendum would reduce fees and allow students to vote on where their money goes.
“That way students don’t feel like they’re giving a donation,” Eckelberg said. “They’ll feel like its part of their education.”
Lawal said there is evidence that being able to get together and share in similar experiences through traditions can help students to cross barriers with regard to the issues of privilege and class.
“Some ideas we have are having a winter ball or a spring ball, maybe at Folsom Field Clubhouse as well as having a CU day or CU fair,” Lawal said.
PROPEL aiming for increased transparency
Corey Wiggins, a 21-year-old junior political science and secondary education double-major is running as PROPEL’s presidential candidate and said his ticket is also notable for its experience.
“We have the most student leadership experience and within our executive we have the most CUSG experience,” Wiggins said.
Wiggins said in terms of inclusive community, PROPEL wants to give students more avenues to get involved in student government, whether that be through a fair or just more transparency where students can find out more about CUSG.
“CUSG is the largest student government in the nation and it’s important that everybody knows what we’re doing and that we’re representing them,” Wiggins said.
Katie Brewer, one of PROPEL’s representative-at-large candidates, said she got involved with CUSG through club sports and being part of the Rec Center Committee.
Brewer, a 19-year-old sophomore speech language and hearing sciences major, said she thinks the main difference between the tickets is the two progressives, PROPEL and EDGE, and the conservative, INVEST.
“Conservative is all about decreasing student fees and they are a lot of the same people who are in office now,” Brewer said. “The progressives are more motivated to work on tuition and higher education state funding.”
Brewer said what makes PROPEL stand out is its experience which includes its executives having over 10 years with CUSG.
“I think it’s a big deal because we emphasize the fact that we know what we want to do and how to do it before even going into office,” Brewer said. “We have a more forward thinking approach than the other tickets.”
In addition to priding themselves on trusted experience, PROPEL candidates also emphasize their administrative connections, knowledge of student government structure and desire to collaborate the opinions of CU’s campus community.
Wiggins said his ticket is speaking with Wardenburg about plans to change the insurance plans to be better for more students.
Other goals of PROPEL include creating more gender inclusive spaces on campus and more diversity on campus, focusing on retaining underrepresented faculty, building stronger traditions through homecoming and class events as well as getting information out to students about CUSG with newsletters.
When to vote
Election polls for the Spring 2011 Election open April 4 at midnight and close April 8 at 8 p.m.
For information on how to vote online or to view the entire list of candidates and biographies, visit CU’s student government website.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Carli Auran at Carli.firstname.lastname@example.org