Call for school spirit at debate

Juana Esquivel

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(L-R) Neil Sanchez, philosophy major, Conor Lansdale's choice for vice president, and presidential candidates Conor Landsdale, information system major, and Amanda Lynch liberal arts major, answer questions during the A.S. presidential and vice presidential debate Thursday. Photo Credit: Hannah Pedraza / Photo Editor

Presidential candidates for student government encouraged CSUN students to come together and show school spirit in the A.S. presidential and vice presidential debate.

The panel of candidates that advocated student involvement in the CSUN campus included current A.S. vice president Conor Lansdale, information system major, and Amanda Lynch, liberal arts major, who are the presidential candidates. Also present was Neil Sanchez, philosophy major, who is Lansdales choice for vice president, while Lynch’s running mate was a no show due to scheduling conflicts.

“Show more support for school, be proud of where we are,” Lynch said.

Students walked by Plaza del Sol on March 18 to listen to the debate while a few sat at nearby tables listening while they ate lunch. About five chairs set up for the debate’s audience were filled at one time or the other during the event.

Lilianna Oustinovskaya, editor in chief of the Daily Sundial, was the debate’s moderator. Among other questions, Oustinovskaya asked the sole question asked from an anonymous audience member dealing with the potential of the recently cut swim team being brought back to CSUN.

Sanchez said he was not familiar with the problem but believed in a student voice and it should be established.

Lansdale said he was really glad the question had come up.

“My heart goes out to those affected,” Lansdale said.

He added it was a bad situation and money was the determinant.

“Sucks to say it’s all about the money,” Lansdale said. “The only way to help them is by helping them move past it.”

Lansdale said he has been working with the student swimmers and parents.

“I can’t change the money, I’m not rich,” Lansdale said.

Lynch said she disagreed.

“There’s something we can do,” Lynch said.

Lynch said that as a former swimmer, she understood what the sport means and did not understand why that specific sector was cut.

Lansdale said there are five unprotected sport programs on campus.

“It’s all about the money,” Lansdale said.

He added the swim team was cut in order to save the rest and “so they don’t have to go through” what the swim team has gone through.

Other topics that were debated included the March 4 walk outs, the senate’s accountability, the student government’s relationship with the Daily Sundial, the cost of textbooks including the Rent-A-Book program and funding for clubs and organizations.

Making the campus more sustainable was another issue that was bought up.

Lansdale said most students are not aware of the recycling resources on campus that are available to them.

Sanchez credited A.S. President Abel Pacheco for keeping a green initiative on campus.

Sanchez said Pacheco has done a “good job.”

Most recyclable items are taxed in the state so people should take advantage of them, Lansdale said

“It’s a time we need to invest,” Lansdale said.

Lynch said students should follow the green movement and the resources around campus are “kind of in the dark sometimes.”

She added that one of the first things she would do if elected president would be to add a recycling bin in the Greek Walk.

The idea of haltering the “Big Show” due to budget cuts was also bought up.

Sanchez said, “there is no need to reduce it’s existence.”

Lansdale said he could not answer that because there is “unfinished planning” but he supported the concert and said it was “a great program.”

“It is one of the best (programs) on campus,” Lynch said.

She added that as a former S.P.A.C.E member, she knows the hard work that goes into putting the event together.

Lynch said the “Big Show” does not need to be halted, instead, there just needs to be a smarter way of planning it.

She said she hopes to make it bigger with less cost.

To end the debate, the candidates shared what they hope to accomplish, the challenges they envision, the goals they hope to achieve, and what they hope to gain as A.S. president.

Sanchez said he would like to have “a lot of fun” and internalize education. While Lansdale said the challenges are already seen and one of them is whether or not people will take them (candidates) seriously and their individualism.

Lansdale said he would like to see dorm residents marching united towards the Matadome wearing red.

With regards to the budget crisis, he said it will not get better because this year, they have dealt with last year’s issues and next year, they will deal with this year’s issues.

One of the achievements Lansdale said he hopes to accomplish is a student bill of right.

Lynch said budget cuts will be the biggest problems but would like students to be proud of being Matadors and increase the amount of spirit.