R-e-s-p-e-c-t, find out what it means to the trustee

It’s hard to understand why students should care about the student trustee election, when the candidates themselves aren’t even paying attention to the race. The student trustee is the only student to sit on the Board of Trustees. And, even though the student trustee doesn’t get a vote, he or she is the only avenue for student input in the Board’s decisions.

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By Desiree Perez

Desiree Perez (Khai Le)

By Desiree Perez

It’s hard to understand why students should care about the student trustee election, when the candidates themselves aren’t even paying attention to the race.

The student trustee is the only student to sit on the Board of Trustees. And, even though the student trustee doesn’t get a vote, he or she is the only avenue for student input in the Board’s decisions.

So, if Riverside City College students want their voices accounted for in the Board’s decisions, well, the student trustee is a pretty important position.

On April 1, Ruth Jones, Francisco Landa and Jesus Ovier, the three candidates for RCC’s student trustee position, held a forum to discuss the race. The candidates took to the stage, picked up the microphone and started to tell students why they were the best person for the job.

Apparently, a couple of candidates must have really thought they had the prize in the bag. Either that or the speeches must have been excruciatingly boring, because both Ovier and Landa were using their cell phones during the others’ speeches.

And I thought talking while other people were talking was rude. Hey, maybe I just wasn’t raised properly.

Sure it’s possible both candidates were dealing with some sort of emergency – but I really don’t think that’s the case.

Instead, they seemed to act like as long as they weren’t making a big scene, it really wasn’t a problem that they weren’t paying attention to their opponents.

It’s an issue of respect. If I’m up on stage talking, I would expect my fellow candidates to shut up, sit down and at least pretend to listen to what I have to say. That doesn’t seem like too much to ask.

Student voter turnout at RCC is usually pretty abysmal, but is it any wonder?

In the past, RCC elections have run the gamut in presenting reasons for students not to vote.

I’ve seen empty voter booths, deserted by both voters and staff. I’ve seen the lack of publicity on who the candidates are and what they stand for. And it’s not uncommon for an RCC student candidate – or even most candidates – to be running unopposed.

These are all major turn offs for student voters – or at least to me.

This latest showing at the student trustee forum isn’t improving the situation.

If anyone should know the importance of the student trustee forum, you think it would be the student trustee candidates. But, if students were to follow their lead, I guess nobody should be paying attention to what the candidates have to say.

Maybe it would send a clearer message to the candidates if the students they were addressing at the forum all took out their cell phones and started to chitchat away.

Point blank: if you expect the students of RCC to actually elect you, at least show them the respect of paying attention at your own forum.

Well candidates, can you hear me now?

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