Student Government Debate on Funding

adjDB0272adjdB271On Thursday March 7th in the Penthouse of SUBO from 2:30 -3:45pm was the presidential debate for student government which covered funding issues.  The 3 candidates were CLAS Speaker David Rosenberg, Jamaal Henderson a past student government president at Borough Manhattan Community College and Paolo Cremidis a freelance writer for the BC papers and worked for congressman.

There were about 50 students most with special interests from the student government, clubs,  NYPIRG and more. The panel was run by the Kingsman Editor Charly Himmel and contained a writer from Kingsman, Excelsior and the Night Call papers.  There were no knock out punches and a substantive debate. All the candidates were well informed on the issues.  There were many general promises but like aspiring politicians no details how they would implement it.  Rosenberg as speaker was the established candidate and got most of the fire.

Henderson was the most relaxed speaker was as the others were a little rushed and reading from their notes at times and when listening. Henderson may have made many more speeches as a president. Rosenberg emphasis was on many issues including accountability, Henderson was on diversity, Cremidis was knocking Rosenberg and how he could do a better job.  All were for promoting student life. The panel asked questions all 3 had time to answer to. We will be posting all the candidates position papers.  Here are the highlights of a long debate.  adjDB278adjDB299On Thursday March 7th in the Penthouse of SUBO from 2:30 -3:45pm was the presidential debate for student government covered funding issues.  The 3 candidates were CLAS Speaker David Rosenberg, Jamaal Henderson a past student government president at Borough Manhattan Community College and Paolo Cremidis freelance writer for the BC papers and worked for congressman.

There were about 50 students most with special interests from the student government, clubs. NYPIRG… The panel was run by the Kingsman Editor Charly Himmel and contained a writer from Kingsman, Excelsior and the Night Call papers.

There were no knock out punches and a substantive debate. All the candidates were well informed on the issues.  There were many general promises but like aspiring politicians no details how they would implement it.  Rosenberg as speaker was the established candidate and got most of the fire.

Henderson was the most relaxed speaker was as the others were a little rushed and reading from their notes at times and when listening. Henderson may have made many more speeches as a president.

Rosenberg emphasis was on many issues including accountability, Henderson was on diversity,

Cremidis was knocking Rosenberg and how he could do a better job.  All were for promote student life.

The panel asked questions all 3 had time to answer to. Here are the highlights of a long debate.

Rosenberg wore a black polo shirt and tan slacks and said in his semester as speaker he has had bipartism support and introduced new rules that cut his power.  He said he is against spending big money on a concert as has happened in the past; he is not for cutting funding of academic clubs as others claim. He said he is for audits and accountability. Henderson was the only one wearing a tie along with it a gray suit. He is for an S.H.I.E.L.D. program and said if clubs do not promote events for all they will be fined.

Cremidis wore a dark sports coat and blue shirt. Usually he has a bow tie He said he is not trying to make news but answer the questions.  It was asked how to reach out to the 90% of students not in clubs.

Rosenberg said each club should schedule 2 events a semester

Henderson said it starts with leadership and being a partnership with the clubs and not just when they need money. He wants to penalize clubs that don’t do well and there are too many clubs th-at don’t do enough.  He wants the student activity fee to be visible.

Rosenberg said clubs should not be able to double dip for finds from ACA and student government under a new law he will have. He will give out information and an app to help. The BC administration is doing a bad job. CLAS or day students fee is higher because they have more services. He would promote services like the Health Clinic. The phrase “End of discussion” he said many times at the end of many of his responses.adjDB303Cremidis said he was tired of Rosenberg increasing funding.

Rosenberg said the participatory budget is not student government but the students to decide.

Henderson said not enough promotion was going on, Twitter should be used and online voting. Students can’t participate if they don’t know about events.

Cremidis said he was the first to post a platform and Rosenberg copied. He vowed to be a worker and not sit all day in the CLAS office.

Henderson said he would have key signatory events, monthly town hall meetings, a Mr. and Miss Brooklyn College and more diversity.

Rosenberg   said clubs do events better then student government does and cheaper. An example he repeated was the $40,000 concert from a past administration. He said he knows he sounds like a republican. He is planning a movie on the Quad in April around the election.

Night Call’s treasurer Simon Stern asked if club budgets should be equal and go over $3,000.

Henderson said some will get more budget money if clubs promote student life. If they just spend money on food they should be penalized.  Every club should be reviewed and their constitution. He would give them a second chance or repercussions. He would merge some clubs.

The panel asked about improvements proposed in the Rosenberg platform and how to fund them.  Rosenberg said fixing the bathrooms would come from the Facilities budget. The Science building being planned has their own budget and he likes it is about teaching and not research. He wants printers in every building and said it should have been here 10 years ago and the technology is pathetic and would come from the tech fee.  He wants a 5 bar pledge for public safety  to have 5 bars in cell phones and wifi in a year and the college says it will take 3 years. .

Henderson said “I believe in the power of the students, they can rally and do surveys, use FaceBook and the BC page. Each body has a role, the students fees keep it going, without us there is no BC”.

Cremidis said he would have a dialogue with President Gould to avoid years wait to implement ideas.  He was at the Washington Convention Center and it was green and sustainable. He is for grant funding from the city and state similar to Hillel’s fund raising. He feels he has experience working with politicians. He attended BC instead of  Cornel because it was rated the 5th largest activism in the country. He is for promoting community with more speakers, movies helping the college prestige.

Henderson said BC lacks diversity, students say there is a divide, he was told he would need the Jewish vote, or the Black vote or the Hispanic vote to get things done which he disagree with. He is a Poly Sci major and used to hearing both sides. He wants us to represent the borough and this is not 1953.

Rosenberg said he is for open discussions and student groups talking to each other.    On the 4 students thrown out and journalists not let in of the BSD lecture he said he could not comment on it because it is under litigation but said the students come first.

Cremidis said the students come first and it is the most important event of our time.

Henderson said the clashes here set the tone for borough and city to feel. To promote diversity he would have ethnic food and culture events and unity religious events.adjDB305Cremidis spoke and there was some reaction noise in the crowd and he said that’s David’s group is in the audience.

Henderson would not increase budgets.

Rosenberg said the fees are too damn high. He would have an audit and run a referendum.

Cremidis said Rosenberg had cronyism by funding clubs that did not ask for it. There was no reply or a follow up from the panel. Details were needed by both candidates.

Rosenberg said Henderson is more of the same.

Rosenberg said he wants lower costs for text books, open source material as all other colleges do. He would lead and not follow.

Henderson said there is no strategy to do Rosenberg’s answer.  He would listen to the students first and then plan.

Cremidis was for open sourcing.

Rosenberg said he would not punish clubs. Henderson said Rosenberg is the same old which has failed.

Henderson  asked how well known is the speaker and student’s don’t know where the student government office where there playing video games and it is not for sitting around all day but he would be on his feet  on the job. “Our time is now.”

Cremidis said Rosenberg wants involvement yet was ineffective because there were small turnouts for his meetings. He is not for the status quo.

Henderson said no one from BC attended the 2012 CUNY Leadership Conference except him who represented 2 colleges.

The debate was well monitored with the questions and equal time for each candidate. There were some good questions that could have been answered but they would deal with an individual candidate verse ones that all 3 responded to as was the format. Some follow up questions could have been asked to get around the talking points. The audience was allowed to write questions on a card and many were selected.   Another debate is planned and the election is in April.

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