Presidential candidates talk nicotine, new students, and the need for better tutors

Vanessa Gomez

The City College Associated Student Government (ASG)presidential debate was held April 13 at 5 p.m. in the campus cafeteria. The debate began with introductions from the three presidential candidates: David Campbell, Josef Shannon, and Vikrum S. Deol. The introductions were followed by questions from the audience.

A City College student with a hearing disability came forward with her story about being insulted by her tutor. Through an interpreter, she mentioned how she knew she was “older and slow, but that the tutor should have patience with (her). What are you going to do about that? (She) was so embarrassed.”

Campbell immediately fired back saying no college student “should ever be insulted by campus representatives.” Campbell said he would definitely look into qualifications of tutors on campus.

Shannon addressed the disabled student’s needs by noting that “DSPS (Disabled Student Programs and Services) funds are being cut as well,” and that “we as a campus should look for private and public grants” to support such programs. Shannon also suggested the student file a complaint with ASG.

Deol asked “why are they a tutor in the first place?” Deol suggested that he would search for alternate “disability services outside of campus,” and try to “solve (such) problems without the finance.”

The candidates were also asked about their positions on smoking on campus and whether they supported a campus-wide ban.

Campbell felt that it was “unfair to ban smoking altogether. Some people need their nicotine.” He noted that designated smoking areas were the “responsible and safe manner” to appease to both sides.

Shannon was quick to bring up the three soon-to-be designated smoking areas going into effect next semester. Shannon reminded the audience that a past survey of students projected “51 percent in support of a smoking ban and 49 percent against.” Shannon said “those statistics are just too close and we need more student feedback.”

Deol suggested that another student vote be held and that the campus needed “a higher voter turnout” to give everyone “an equal opportunity” to voice their opinion. Deol suggested “involving more students” because “it should be students who set the standard.”

One of the last questions of the session came from a brand new City College student who felt alone on campus. “I felt lost on my first day,” he noted, “and I wonder what you guys could do to make new students feel more welcome.”

Campbell mentioned that students should volunteer to be “on campus to help with questions.”

Shannon added that “there are student ambassadors on campus available,” and that there had been “a night club rush this past semester” where students new to campus could ask questions, regardless of what time their class was.

Deol brought up the idea of placing maps on campus that used “you are here” markers to help new students familiarize themselves with the campus.