A.S. slate leaders debate on student issues prior to elections

Cynthia Gomez

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Approximately 30 students attended the A.S. presidential and vice presidential debate at Plaza Del Sol last Wednesday as the leaders of each slate elaborated on issues affecting the university and students.

Candidates were given two minutes for an opening statement and two minutes to respond to questions asked by attendees.

Current A.S. President Adam Haverstock, who is running for re-election, said it would not be appropriate to re-elect a president that has not made any accomplishments while in office. Haverstock talked about the accomplishments he has made as president over the last year. He first talked about last year’s winter session fees and how the Tseng College of Extended Learning made a proposal to increase the fees.

“The student fee advisory committee that I’ve had privilege sitting on and that I’ve appointed students to was able to (bring) down the fee increase in November right before winter break,” Haverstock said.

Haverstock also spoke about how the university decided to cut the tram service hours from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., to 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. He said this caused safety concerns for students who use the trams from the campus to the dormitories.

“There isn’t adequate lightening running between the campus and the dorms at night,” Haverstock said.

“We circulated a petition, got several student signatures, and spoke with the vice president of student affairs and were able to get the trams running again at night,” Haverstock said, adding that the tram service now runs until 7 p.m., but that there is also a transportation task force on campus that talks to students about safety security transportation.

Miguel Segura, who is also running for A.S. president, said his goal is to “enhance” students and to educate every CSUN student on issues that affect them.

“I will establish a strong foundation for the future CSUN students,” Segura said.

Segura said if he is elected as president, he would reach out students who do not get involved on campus.

Vice presidential candidates Alex Shahin and Nicole Umali discussed the issues they would provide solutions for that affect the campus and students. Shahin spoke about his goals for the next year if he were to become vice president.

“Firstly, we want to continue to be effective advocates of students,” Shahin said. “A.S. has now come to the point where we are (at the) negotiating table with the faculty discussing important student issues.”

Shahin spoke about the importance to increase support of helping the university’s athletic teams.

“Imagine the possibilities of success of our support for our sports teams (if they) had more resources,” he said.

Shahin said other important issues that need to be addressed are an increase in parking for students, an increase in class availability, and a decrease in tuition fees.

“These are major problems that don’t have quick fixes, but we will work to resolve them,” Shahin said.

Umali said she is running for vice president because she “can make an impact on campus.” “There’s so many things that students can do and change in CSUN,” Umali said. “Also we become the force on campus, but (students) don’t realize it. I want to provide other students the ability to be that force and make an impact in CSUN.”

Umali said she would create a “united” CSUN by giving students the opportunity to get involved on campus and provide resources that will help students “enhance” their lives.

“I believe that each student’s CSUN experience will enhance as well. Educating the students on issues is an important goal?such as issues regarding the state level as well on the local level,” she said.

“Empowering students to make an impact on campus is my personal mission, allowing them opportunities to get involved in (the) administration and as well in student clubs (and) organizations,” Umali added.

One question that was asked to all the candidates was why students should vote for them. Segura said students should vote for him as president because he feels connected with students as he has been involved in many aspects of the university such as Greek life and freshmen orientation.

“I feel that I connect more with students because I feel that if I don’t have only (the) perspective of government, I have the perspective of orientation and the overall community,” Segura said. “I would like to have a united CSUN instead of having all these different things, just getting everybody united and everybody together.”

Haverstock explained why students should reelect him as president.

“In a nutshell I would say is because I walk and talk,” Haverstock said. “I talked a lot last year in the elections about effective government, fair funding and student issues. And I think (A.S.) worked really hard this year to have a more effective government, to make sure we have fair funding, and to work on student issues and I’m going to continue doing that.”

Shahin agreed with Haverstock’s answer. “I feel that our message is clearly strong,” Shahin said, explaining why students should vote for him as vice president. “We want to put the students first essentially when it comes to funding, when it comes to?legislation in the Senate.”

Umali explained why students should vote for her as vice president.

“I think students should vote for me as vice president as well as the E3 slate is because by the senator I have experience in the senate,” Umali said. “And also it’s not just about passing legislation and that’s it, it’s about implementing the legislation. Our goal as E3?is to implement the things that?A.S. stands for and if that’s not going to happen, we need to reflect on the issue and that’s why when we get into all this I think we will get an effective government that implements what they stand for.”