Dear Viewpoints Staff,
People often ask me, “What were you trying to accomplish?” A few weeks ago I was unsure myself why I walked into the Registrar of Voters office this summer and ran for a position on the Board of Trustees. Yet it all made since just a few weeks ago. I was walking through the quad and overheard another student commenting on the article Viewpoints published regarding Dr. Rotella maneuvering into chancellorship. Only they weren’t commenting about the President, they were expressing dislike for my comments. If I remember correctly the statement was something like… “he already lost, why is he still pushing this thing.
Contrary to popular opinion I didn’t run for the Board of Trustees to enhance my own political career, to build name recognition here on campus, or to impress the community organizations I am affiliated with. To be honest, I didn’t run because “I wanted to”. I ran because I had to. Riverside Community College is home to over 20, 000 young adults. Not children, constituents, or even students in its connotative meaning. We are smart, intelligent, prosperous young adults capable of knowing what we do and do not need. Any one who takes a second to really explore our campuses should know too, however the pondering question that is left unanswered is “why doesn’t the administration, including the Board of Trustees know. Why does it take almost six months to replace elevator permits (and expired ones at that), why is the college spending thousands of dollars a year to send Dr. Rotella to recruit international students (when we can barely house our own), but most importantly why is the voice of the students of the Riverside Community College District not being listened to? The answer is simple, it isn’t being heard.
More recently Dr. Rotella was invited to attend a Student Senate meeting. We inquired dates, and invited him, almost a six weeks in advanced…yet he still manages to escape? Before deciding to run I attended a Board Meeting, and was anxious to hear Student Trustee Gina Grace question some of the faulty decision making on the part of the college. When it came her time to speak, she delivered a brief report about activities…and that’s it! The one who seems to be the only voice of reason to the college administration, and she lets them off the hook. I have much respect for Mrs. Grace, so don’t get me wrong, she is an excellent person and Student Trustee. At some point we have to blame the intentional effort made by certain administrator to hide certain doings. This is when I decided enough is enough and the students must be listened to, and filed candidacy for the Board.
This winter a professor (who shall remain anonymous) stated that during a staff meeting this year Dr. Rotella said that he does not believe there is a parking problem, and challenged the staff (with $100) to find any point during the day when there is at not at least one parking spot available. While this can be realistic, there is always more than one person looking for a spot!!! This ignorance to the student population is exactly what my point is. As long as we continue to let things slide, whether intentional or because we are uninformed to the problems, it must come to an end. We must unite as students to ensure our voices are heard. Whether or not you agree with me, and do not accept my comments. We MUST agree that there are problems on our campus, and we MUST unite to create change.