The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Senatorial candidates debate

Taking podiums Tuesday, candidates for the upcoming election debated on their views regarding student issues and gave their comments on the current student senate.

Justin Bagnall, director of current affairs and the only running candidate for president, believes there are issues that need to be changed within the recent executive office.

“There’s a lack of awareness when it comes to students and that’s unfortunate because we are working for them,” Bagnall said.

Bagnall has talked to students who are unaware as to who is representing the student body.

“(I have asked) students on campus who their ASO president is or who their student trustee is; most of the time, they won’t know who that person is,” he said.

Bagnall said that, if elected, he would concentrate on making ASO more known to the student body.

“I want the students who get the run-around to come directly to ASO to give their student representatives a chance to fix the problems, instead of stressing out about not getting what they need; that’s the kind of administration I want,” Bagnall said.

Regina Suh, secretary of Inter-Club Council, is running against Phillip Gomez, current ASO president, for the position of student trustee.

Suh said recent executive officers dealt with certain student issues within their own office and did not include the student senate, therefore not representing the entire student body.

“If you’re not communicating with the student senate, you’re not communicating with the students and that’s been the problem with the past administration,” Suh said.

Suh said that issues like the new parking structure designs were not presented to the students in a manner that would prove work is being done.

“People think there’s been no progression, but I want to show people what’s been accomplished,” Suh said. “If we keep everything as internal business, how are we outreaching to the students?”

Gomez agrees that student involvement is a major responsibility of the student trustee and is a priority in his campaign.

“If elected, I would work on building a better sense of community between the board of trustees and the students,” Gomez said. “I believe, as president, I did that between students and administration.”

A major platform for Suh and Bagnall is educating the students on current concerns, empowering students to act and to unite the administration, student government and student body.

Gomez said informing students is not something that needs to be done and there are more pressing issues.

“I’m not going to waste the students’ time educating them. We know what we want and we know what we need,” Gomez said. “We need more access for our education and to protect our student services programs that ensure student success.”

Bagnall commends the efforts of the current ASO staff, but said the communication with student senators of each division on campus could have been more effective.

“The student government did the best it could to represent students, but (using senators) was something that had not been ambitiously pursued,” Bagnall said.

“I really want ASO to make its presence known on campus,” he said. “That is the standard I want to set for student government.”

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