Affordable education was the focal point at the A.S. presidential debate on Wednesday as candidates vying for the presidential and vice presidential seat met to solidify why their slate is best suited to govern the student body.
There was disagreement among the different slates on what would be the best way of tackling expensive textbooks.
Luis Carbajo’s plan to tackling the issue is to give $100 stipends to the first 200 students who apply for the program to use at the Matador Bookstore. Students would need to meet certain requirements, such as taking evening classes in order to encourage students to take those classes.
In response to Carbajo’s plan, ‘I don’t believe $200 stipends for 100 students is fair because we have 33,000 students on campus,’ said Pacheco.
‘It is easy to judge my proposal and not propose other ones,’ Carbajo said. ‘Maybe 200 stipends is too little but it’s a start.’
When the discussion shifted to the role vice presidents would play in their respective slates, Conor Lansdale made it clear that he won’t play ‘second fiddle.’
‘This isn’t a dictatorship,’ he said. ‘We need that balance. I’m going to make sure (Pacheco) doesn’t leave anyone out.’
Arthur Keukazian plans to work with the deans of various schools and the administration to provide internship opportunities.
However, vice presidential candidates Slomit Shaman and Aron Schlabra weren’t at the debate to discuss their potential roles. This is the second time the former, who is running alongside presidential candidate Malik Basurto, missed the debates due to scheduling conflicts.
Schlabra wasn’t at Wednesday’s debate because he flew to Kansas City, Miss., to watch the CSUN men’s basketball team play the Memphis Tigers.
‘We’re a team and we don’t need to be at the same place at the same time,’ Carbajo said.
As the debate proceeded, candidates did their best to sell themselves and their position on key issues to onlookers.
‘President Koester calls me the bulldog for a reason,’ said Lansdale when responding to the question of how his slate would bring change to CSUN when its candidates have been involved with A.S. for at least two years. ‘If you guys have some desire I will fight for it.’
But Basurto interjected with, ‘The bulldog is an animal that attacks blindly.’
To which Lansdale responded, ‘the debates should be a cornerstone, not a tombstone.’ An issue brought up was lack of involvement by the student body in Associated Students.
Andrew Collard, presidential candidate, said that holding directors accountable is a major key in increasing A.S. participation.
‘Making sure directors go out and fill positions on committees should be the first priority before programming,’ Collard said.
‘We can tap into funding resources we already have on campus,’ said presidential candidate Abel Pacheco, referring to the prospect of using the campus quality fee to make student health affordable.
When the question went from student health services to whether a Greek Row at CSUN was a feasible option most candidates had a similar stance.
Basurto said, ‘Things like these are like reaching for the stars.’
While Pacheco said that the creation of a Greek Row could reduce drunk driving among students, Collard said that various Greek organizations would work better together if centralized.
‘Greek Row would be awesome but there’s not a good chance for it,’ said Collard.