Vice President Kamala Harris visits CSN

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Excited students snap photos at Harris' entrance. Photo by Shainna Alipon.

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN) North Las Vegas campus this Thursday to a packed audience. It was the 18th stop on her nationwide “Fight for Our Freedoms” tour to various college campuses. 

At the event, Harris spoke extensively about a variety of issues impacting the Southern Nevada community, including mental health, rising drug prices and gun control laws, in reference to the 2017 Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting on the Las Vegas Strip.

“You are the generation that has only known the climate crisis,” Harris exclaimed. “You are a generation that saw George Floyd be murdered. You are a generation that grew up having active shooter drills.”

In reference to increasing frequency of active shooter incidents, Harris passionately stated, “You’ve got a bunch of feckless people, who lack courage, who are in the United States Congress who are pushing a false choice, which suggest you’re either in favor of the Second Amendment or you want to take everyone’s guns away.”

Harris was introduced by CSN’s student body president Pio Rejas, and the conversation was moderated by Annie Gonzalez, film producer and activist. Various CSN students also asked questions about voting and reproductive rights.

Harris also spoke with students regarding the nature of voting rights and future political involvement. “There are powerful forces in our country that are trying to make it more difficult for you to vote. Understand that,” Harris said. “Don’t let anybody ever silence you.”

Both Harris and Gonzalez encouraged students in the crowd to vote.

“I agreed with her stance on gun control and how our generation cares about mental health,” said Lilly Cartino, a UNLV computational physics major who was in attendance for the talk.

Harris emphasized the importance of mental health and praised Gen Z’s ability to make it an important issue. She incited a call-to-action for all students to go into mental health professions and to support mental health in some way.

Cartino also had a chance to meet the Vice President before Harris went out on the Horn Theatre stage. “I absolutely loved getting to meet Kamala Harris. It made me feel inspired,” said Cartino. “It was fun to have the VIP experience.”

Some other topics Harris touched on throughout the moderated conversation was student loan forgiveness, climate change and how it disproportionately affects low-income families, and the importance of diversity and inclusion.

“Let’s figure out who’s not in the room and figure out how they can have an open door to be in the room where important conversations are being made about all of us,” said Harris.

The talk concluded with Gonzalez prompting Harris and the audience to take one big selfie together.

As part of the broader initiative, Harris will be attending various college campuses to share the Biden administration’s viewpoint on political issues and how students can get involved. The Vice President’s office stated that CSN was an ideal choice, given their large Hispanic and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander (AANAPI) population, along with its award-winning educational programs and student diversity.

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