Candidates running for the seats on the University of Colorado Student Government and the Arts and Sciences Student Government launched their campaigns across the Boulder campus Monday.

Tuition costs, student-fee increases and textbook prices will be the major focus for most of the campaigns this fall, according to several of the candidates.

If you go

What: CU Student Government candidate debate

When: 7 p.m. Oct. 19

Where: University Memorial Center, Room 235, CU campus

Cost: Free

studentu.colorado.edu

Larissa Armand, an independent candidate for CUSG representative, said she is focused on making sure textbook titles are listed with spring courses during enrollment to help students better prepare for the cost of their books.

"I think it's more accessible to address textbook costs rather than tuition, which the state has lot of control over," Armand said. "There's only so much we can do with tuition, but we might be able to help students save on textbooks."

Twenty-three candidates are running for 10 positions this fall, with online voting slated for Oct. 25 through 29. Nineteen of those candidates are affiliated with two tickets -- Refresh and Excel -- while four other students are running as independent candidates for five CUSG representative positions and five ASSG board seats.

Brittni Hernandez, a CUSG candidate with Refresh, said her ticket's platform will emphasize giving a voice to the "underrepresented students across campus like women, students of color and the GLBT community."

Brooks Kanski, who is running for a CUSG seat on the Excel ticket, acknowledged that the candidates must overcome traditional apathy to get students to the polls -- perhaps by focusing on important issues such as affordability.

"It is very difficult for student government representatives to successfully lobby on the students' behalf and claim that they truly embody the wishes of the students when there is low voter turnout," Kanski wrote in an e-mail Monday.

Candidates from both tickets said the level of student fees also will be important, especially with renovations to the campus Recreation Center going to a student vote in the spring, which could increase those fees.

Two constitutional referenda also will be included on the ballot, but with such questions requiring at least 2,000 affirmative votes to pass, it could be an uphill battle. Last fall, Last fall, fewer than 1,000 students voted at all -- only about 3.3 percent of the CU student body.

One of the amendments on the fall ballot would require, if approved, that 25 percent of the student body -- about 7,500 students -- vote on student-fee increases of more than 1 percent. CU's student elections, however, have never seen a 25-percent voter turnout, according to CUSG election commissioner Danielle Warly.

If passed, student leaders would need record voter turnout in the spring to fund any significant Rec Center renovations that would increase student fees by more than 1 percent, Warly said.

The second amendment on the fall ballot would give the College Council, a legislative group with one representative from each college, a seat on the student government's Finance Board, which controls a budget of about $36.6 million.

But CU students said it'll take more than candidate posters in the University Memorial Center to bring in votes.

"They're going to have to do more than just hang fliers with their names on them," freshman Hane Hung said. "They need to do something fun that would grab students' attention instead of some boring debate that no one's going to attend."

Sophomore Jenna Goodrum said that despite efforts from CUSG, she still doesn't "understand why student government matters unless you're part of it."