CUSG fall election: “students want a change”

Over six thousand CU students voted two weeks ago to elect ten candidates, all belonging to the Pulse ticket, to the positions of Arts and Science Student Government Legislative Board and CUSG Representative at Large. The election indicates a jump in campus interest regarding student government affairs.

According to election commissioner John Tomczak, approximately 6,035 votes were counted, breaking the previous fall elections record of 4,700 set in 1990.

“This new record really comes down to the hyper-competitiveness between the two tickets,” Tomczak said. “The candidates had experience in running elections and knew how to talk to students and get them out to vote.”

The CU Student Government headquarters located in the University Memorial Center. (CU Independent/James Bradbury)

The Pulse was declared the winning ticket as the preliminary results became available on Oct. 28. Tomczak said that there was only a five percent spread between The Pulse and the other ticket, Value. The two highest vote recipients of each ticket separated by 240 and 278 votes in the Representative at Large and ASSG candidacies, respectively.

The student body also elected 13 independent representatives to the Leeds Business School council.

Despite his ticket’s loss, Representative at Large Value candidate Sean Robinson said he was proud to be a part of an election with such high voter turnout.

“I have to give it to the Pulse,” Robinson said. “They did an amazing job of getting everybody’s names out there and getting student attention. And it’s also because of [Value]—we had a lot of experienced candidates who are familiar with the issues students care about. It was a pretty cool thing to be involved in.”

Axel Urie, a 20-year-old sophomore political science major, was one of the thousands attracted by the atmosphere of the election and his duties as a student.

“As a poli sci major, I’m constantly thinking about civic responsibility and how important it is on a campus level,” Urie said. “I’m exercising my voice in how my student fees will be spent. And honestly, it’s just really easy to vote. It took about three minutes.”

Urie researched the candidates prior to voting and talked to a couple of them in person throughout the week of the election.

“I split my ticket, but for the most part I went for Pulse,” Urie said. “To me, most of the party’s platforms seemed really similar. They preach the same things. But when it came down to the way they described how they were going to implement things…The Pulse just had a better idea of what they were going to do.”

Brittni Hernandez, one of the Pulse’s newly elected representatives, said the most important part of her ticket’s campaign was the interaction between candidates and students, and ultimately what drew in the votes.

“We really are the Pulse of campus in that we’re everywhere,” Hernadez said. “We’re connecting with so many people. Students, faculty and staff know us personally. We got a lot of flak that our platform was just about the community, and that’s not all we’re about, but it’s so important.”

After being sworn in and officially given their positions Nov. 10 during CUSG’s legislative council, The Pulse will begin taking measures to keep the promises they made to students during the election.

Hernandez said their plans to improve the university and student life revolve around increasing safety, decreasing student fees, and maintaining complete transparency in the efforts to do both.

“Safety is always going to be an issue on a large campus,” Hernandez said. “We’re looking to add more lighting around the darker areas of the Hill, but in a way that fits into our budget and is energy efficient. We also want to extend Night Ride’s hours, and be able to have online bookings to make it easier and faster for students.”

The issue of student fees and how the student government should utilize them was the hot topic of the election. The Pulse won over students with their dedication to supporting and funding the various groups and clubs on campus.

“We want to handle student fees in a way that’s responsible and fair,” Hernandez said. “In the past, there’s been bias. We want to make sure our system outweighs any discrimination, and we want to make sure our representatives are completely educated before any decisions are made.”

The Value ticket also made it clear to voters that student fees were their priority, too.

“Lowering student fees was our biggest goal,” Robinson said, who was up for re-election for Representative at Large. “We’ve done a pretty good job so far. We know what you can and can’t do within a budget.”

The Pulse is made up of graduate and undergraduate students, international and Colorado natives. Hernandez said they represent the queer community, racial diversity, and lower-income students.

For election commissioner Tomczak, this election was important in its portrayal of students who are interested in their campus, and in the experience and knowledge of every candidate.

“Last spring’s election was record-breaking, too,” he said. “There’s no reason for me to think that this won’t continue. The candidates competed very fairly and respectfully and obviously inspired students, and this interest will be maintained and improved upon.”

Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Annie Melton at Anne.melton@colorado.edu.

 


Annie Melton

Annie is a senior news-editorial journalism major. She spends most of her free time following politics obsessively, listening to music and missing good barbecue from her hometown of Austin, Texas. Follow her on Twitter @meltonannie1

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