By Araceli Diaz / Staff Writer
By Araceli Diaz / Staff Writer
The Student Trustee election which should have been held March 4 and 5 took an unusual turn when it was discovered that the two candidates running were invalidated due to unpaid student service fees.
The student trustee is elected by the student body in a district wide election.
The student trustee represents and voices the concerns of the student body to the board of trustees.
The student trustee attends all the board of trustee meetings and has the ability to discuss issues with the board of trustees.
The board of trustees consists of five members who have authority over a range of issues from adopting an annual budget to electing a district chancellor.
When it came to light that both students were invalidated due to unpaid fees, the election was cancelled and expected to resume at a later date.
It was later revealed that the election would resume with only the two original candidates, who did not pay their fees, running.
This action prevented any other student from entering the election.
Riverside City College students said this action was undemocratic and unfair to students throughout the entire district who may have been interested in the position and had paid their fees on time.
RCC students Nick Randhawa and Brian McFadden formally filed a grievance and collected 220 student signatures in support of restarting the election from the beginning.
They were successful in giving the entire student body a chance to run for the position.
“It was very simple to win the dispute, since it was undemocratic,” said Randhawa. “It was unreasonable and unethical to do what they did.”
With the announcement that the election would restart and would be open to all students, Randhawa expressed his own personal interest in the position due to the significance of the role.
“The student trustee is entrusted with being responsible with what happens to the students, or at least informing the student body and getting the information across to them,” said Randhawa.
“[The board of trustees] is important since they cover all the budgetary issues, we need students to sit on those committees and be able to hear what is happening or else they will do what they want and there will be no accountability,” said Randhawa.
Not to be overshadowed by the student trustee election, there is also an election over the Associated Students of Riverside City College (ASRCC) Presidency and Vice Presidency.
McFadden has expressed his interest in running for the position of President.
Before the voting of the student trustee takes place, there will be a student forum in which the student body is able to hear the each candidates political platform and what they hope to accomplish if they win the position.
This forum allows students the opportunity to get to know their candidates and become informed voters.
“Just by running we have enhanced the level of work performed at those positions by encouraging the competitive nature of it,” said Randhawa.
“The best candidate should win, so open it up and let’s have a debate,” he said.
McFadden stresses the significance of student involvement and need for information.
“Students can be totally silent and things will go on as usual, but tax cuts will happen and classes will get cut without anyone referencing what students need,” said McFadden.
“If you want to act like it is a democracy you have to do something,” said McFadden.
Applications for running in the election for student trustee are available at the Student Services office.