Virginia Blumenthal centers campaign on fiscal responsibility

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By Stephanie Holland / Editor In Chief

By Stephanie Holland / Editor In Chief

As a successful lawyer and educator Virginia Blumenthal is deeply invested in the future of Riverside City College students.

In the upcoming Nov. 2 election, Blumenthal is running for re-election to the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees.

Blumenthal understands that most students’ chief concern nowadays is the economy.

“Right now everything seems to center around finances,” she said. “Whether it be student finances or district finances.”

She discussed how the enrollment cap at California State Universities and Universities of California along with rising unemployment have caused increased enrollment at RCC.

“Whenever you have high unemployment the community college attendance increases,” she said. “They go back to get skills, retraining and decide to get degrees.”

Blumenthal says that it is the board of trustees’ financial planning that has gotten the district through the state budget crisis intact. Fiscal responsibility has been a central issue of Blumenthal’s campaign.

“As of right now, we’ve gotten zero dollars from the state since July 1, so everything we’ve had has been coming out of our reserve because this board has really planned well,” she said.

Looking ahead, one issue that she hopes to improve upon is distance learning.

“The area where we have legitimate criticism…is the access on the computer online, not online taking courses as much as online to get classes, online to get information,” she said. “I think we have an antiquated system.”

A current IT study is doing a system analysis to determine how the program can be updated to meet today’s technology.

In discussing students’ frustrations with the many obstacles they face in the current economic climate, Blumenthal thinks students aren’t being communicated with enough.

“I think students’ input is valuable,” she said. “I think there has to be straight talking of this is where we are fiscally.”

She thinks that if students and administrators work together as a team, new ideas for problem solving will be discovered.

When making a decision about who to vote for, Blumenthal feels students should consider her experience and dedication to the district and its surrounding communities.

“I really believe I’ve been a good trustee,” she said. “I think I’ve become very knowledgeable and very active in the community and all of student activities…at all three colleges.”

In discussing her excitement for the school of the arts, Blumenthal admits that the district needs to cut some of its reliance on state funds.

“We’re going to have to quit relying on the state for everything, we’ve got to start looking for alternate means of financing,” she said.

She thinks the recent grants the three colleges have received will have a positive impact on future donations.

“People want to be a part of a success and they will help to contribute to it,” she said.

With the election fast approaching Blumenthal discussed how important it is for young people to stay involved.

“That is the only way for people to know what the will of the people is, is by those individuals that do vote,” she said.

She says that voting keeps people knowledgeable about the issues.

“I think you start to examine your real beliefs a lot more if you vote,” she said. “So I think it’s important that students stay actively involved. It’s not a one issue country.”

Blumenthal explained why she is committed to the RCCD and its students.

“I like working with people who are helping themselves and college students are helping themselves,” she said.


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