Letters to the Editor

First, I want to congratulate the incoming (Associated Students) Board of Directors. Indeed this is an impressive group of individuals who in their own right have led their organizations with integrity and civility. I commend you all for your commitment and dedication to student life and look forward to your accomplishments next year. The Associated Students of SMC has always been at the forefront of progressive community colleges not only across the state, but now across the nation. The A.S. is known for its adoption of national and international programs and its services provided to all students. SMC has set the standard for other colleges to follow. Unfortunately, our student government has fallen into disarray. For too long, we have seen dedicated and devoted leaders strewn by the way side and denounced because of a differing of opinions. For too long we have allowed petty squabbles and immaturity take precedent over more important matters. And for too long, we have allowed others to capitalize on these problems. We can no longer afford leaders who lead by words and not by example, those who charm rather than work, and ultimately, those who yield to the demands of other constituencies while failing to listen to and respect its own. Ultimately the time has come for change, one that will redirect the Associated Students back to its original objective: to commit to and serve the student body at large equally, respectfully and responsibly. This coming year will be the recovery year for the Associated Students. My hope is that this incoming Board of Directors will learn from the mistakes of the past and set precedent to move on, progress and provide. This next term will include the development of a new website providing students with the ability to take a virtual campus tour, sell their textbooks, rate their professors and elect their future officers online. We hope to continue the instillation of Operation Crossroads Africa as a permanent program provided by the college and we hope to see the Associated Students become a more notable fixture within the Santa Monica community. To accommodate our students traveling abroad, we will initiate the Support a Student program where members of the College community will assist students enrolled in the Study Abroad Program. We will continue to provide informational activities such as the Campus Resource Fair and Health Fair and execute workshops oriented towards real world interests such as the development of your own business. Furthermore, we hope to continue investing in such worthwhile programs on campus such as the EOPS Book Loan, the Emergency Student Relief Fund and the Scholarship Department. Through recruitment and publicity, we will ensure that all students are aware of the opportunities that the Associated Students provides. With these set goals, this Coalition looks forward to serving both the College and the Community.

-Lillian Cavalieri A.S. President Elect/ Current Director of Budget

Rights of the Govenor to Attend Ceremony

Governor Schwarzenegger should absolutely be a welcomed guest speaker for SMC's graduating class (Article, May 11). In spite of his political views, he is still the "president" of our state, so to speak. You must compare him to President Bush, who despite his political party, is welcomed by many as a guest speaker. Let us not forget that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger was a student at SMC for four years, thus giving him full right to speak at our school, while given respect by all. Besides, he holds an important role to our state. I am sure he can have a positive and inspirational effect on the students here, considering he was one of us. If you were to oppose a person's beliefs based on his/her standings in politics, then you are a blind critic. It is ridiculous to hold judgment against someone without hearing what he/she has to say. His presence at our school will do no harm; rather it will be an honor to have our state's governor speaking at our school. If the students of SMC who are upset that Gov. Schwarzenegger is going to be our guest speaker and their reasoning is based on his political status, then that is just plain ignorance.

-Jubin Soleimani