Palomar’s Associated Student Government held an open forum on April 20 for students to question potential candidates for next year’s student government.
Next semester there are 14 senator positions available, president and vice president.
The forum was hosted by current vice president Michael Dentoni who asked presidential candidate Malik Spence and senatorial candidate Michael Nagtalon questions about their plans for ASG and how to make students more aware of its presence.
Spence, currently a senator in ASG, was very prompt about his answer.
“While holding a position (in ASG) is already fulfilling, I’d like to make it more attractive so we can obtain more people in ASG,” Spence said.
Nagtalon, who currently serves in the Inter-Club Council (ICC), felt that the ASG needs to make students aware they have a voice, so they would feel more engaged in the school.
“To get them to be heard, we need to get out there and provide that personal touch; you know, value their time,” Nagtalon said.
Both candidates have been heavily involved with ASG throughout the year; Spence said he started off as a delegate before being promoted to senator in February.
Nagtalon said he has been to every ASG meeting this year; paying attention to how they run the group and getting a feel for how the ASG is involved in student affairs.
When asked about how they would handle controversial matter such as the gender neutral bathrooms, both were very delicate in their responses.
“You want a neutral approach to things; get as many viewpoints as possible. You’re not going to appease everyone but you want to make a decision that is best for the students,” Spence said.
Nagtalon agreed, but added to it. “There’s a certain empathy you have to have in every situation. At best, you want to make a decision that is best for the students…after all, that’s who we’re serving,” Nagtalon said.
After the forum concluded, Dentoni expressed his confidence in the people running for ASG.
“Being in ASG is a challenge in itself; from what I’ve seen, Malik and Michael tend to respond well to challenges,” Dentoni said, pointing out to their involvement in helping to plan student activities on campus.
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