By Sai’da Green
By Sai’da Green
The Associated Students of Riverside Community College District Senate sponsored a rally on April 21 to protest the proposed budget cuts to education in California. At the rally there were picketers, live bands, food and speeches to help inform students of the effects the budget cuts may have on community colleges.
All the student senate members were passionate and excited about the rally and its purpose, but we couldn’t help but notice the extremely low student turnout for the event.
Sophie Noriega, a member of student senate, said that they weren’t able to have the rally in the A.G. Paul Quadrangle or in a more open area because then they wouldn’t have been able to have the live bands perform.
Hmmmm. The purpose of the event was to protest budget cuts and inform students about how the budget cuts may affect them, not to showcase some cool local bands.
We believe informing students about the proposed budget cuts is much more important than providing students with live bands for entertainment as they walk from class to class. And even with the horrible location behind the cafeteria, more students would have attended the rally if it had some publicity.
State budget cuts to education are an important issue, and like many other events sponsored by our student senate, there was no advertisement or publicity for the event prior to the event, or even the day of.
The rally was great. They had great food, entertainment, and passionate speakers that gave out some good information on budget cuts.
We’re sure if students actually knew about the secret rally, in the secret location behind the cafeteria, they would’ve made an effort to show up.
When we asked members of the student senate what they thought about the low student turnout they didn’t seem too concerned.
“We’re not trying to change the future, we’re just trying to change today,” said Josue Guerrero, a member of the RCC’s Supreme Court. Their energy was contagious. And at first we were also excited about the rally and what it was accomplishing even if not many students showed up.
Reflecting back on previous events sponsored by the student senate, we realized those also had low student turnouts. Now, to be fair, the rally was held the Monday after spring break, so there couldn’t have been too much publicity the days before the rally, and that’s understandable. But even the day of there were no signs around campus advertising and directing students towards the rally’s strange location behind the cafeteria.
When we first walked up behind the cafeteria and heard the bands performing we thought it was a private party for the student senate or something.
The only people there were student senate members, the members of the live band and about five random students who didn’t even know what the rally was about, they were just there to hang out and eat their lunch.
The student senate does lots of stuff for the school, but they don’t seem too concerned with the people that actually attend school here. The events they sponsor seem moreso for them than the students they’re supposed to serve and represent.
About three weeks ago elections were held for a new student trustee. The three candidates were people most students had never even seen before.
In high school if a student wanted to run for student government they had to walk around the week before introducing themselves to students and asking students what they wanted changed at their school, and how the candidate could help.
But at RCC it’s a different story.
All you see is a random voting booth in the Quad one day. Sometimes there are staff available so you can vote and sometimes there aren’t. And, occasionally, there will be a forum so students can ask the candidates questions, like there was a few weeks ago.
It’s good that the student senate has an optimistic view of what their events do for students, but it would be better if they had a more realistic view.
They should be focusing more on how to improve things like student turnout for the events they sponsor, because there is no use in sponsoring an event or rally for students if barely any students actually show up.
That’s just a waste of time and money.