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Trustee elections: Take Two

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By Dora Yrigoyen / Features Editor, Felix Pineda / Asst. News Editor

Having your say (Jasmeet Singh / Photo Editor )

By Dora Yrigoyen / Features Editor, Felix Pineda / Asst. News Editor

With Student Trustee elections just around the corner, candidates Nick Bygon, Francisco Ramos and Maximo Raya have been campaigning to try and win over the votes of students at Riverside City College, Moreno Valley College and Norco College.

RCC students will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite candidates in the A.G. Paul Quadrangle on May 17 and 18 from 8 a.m. – 2 p.m. and from 4 – 6 p.m.

The election was initially postponed when it was discovered that the previous two candidates, Maximo Raya and George Escutia Jr., had unpaid student activity fees.

In the new election, Bygon, Ramos and Raya have all met all the qualifications for Student Trustee, which include being a California resident and  completion of twelve units at Riverside Community College District prior to election.

Once elected, the trustee must maintain a 2.5 grade point average while in office.

To run for Student Trustee, all students must submit a petition with 250 valid signatures, a candidate statement and a request to be placed on the ballet for candidacy to any Student Activities office within the district.

Candidates are also required to attend mandatory meetings.

However, prior to these meetings, candidates may “campaign verbally” to students while on campus.

Candidates are also allowed to pass out flyers and put up posters approved by Student Activities.

Part of the campaigning includes an open forum, where the candidates are asked questions pertaining to what they hope to accomplish if elected.

Students were able to hear what candidates had to say at the first forum held at Riverside City College, May 9 in front of the Martin Luther King High Tech Center.

Candidates shared specific plans with fellow students, revealing how they would go about fulfilling their duties, and what actions they would take to help the student body prosper.

Communicating with students is one of Bygon’s main objectives.

He said that students need to be aware of what is taking place on their campus.

“I believe that utilizing technology available such as Facebook and Twitter is key to communicate with students on all three campuses,” Bygon said.

Bygon spoke of his time spent working with Ralph Nader.

“You will need someone that will work on a district, state and federal level voicing your concerns,” Bygon said.

His main concern and priority if elected is to fix the budget cuts and try to have more courses available for students looking to transfer.

Along with communicating with students, the Student Trustee will  act as a liaison between all three colleges, reporting to the Board of Trustees.

Student Trustee duties and responsibilities Election Packets, available in Student Services, states that trustees “indicate recommendation/vote breakdown, where applicable, per college on issues requiring a formal student response” to the Board of Trustees.  

Raya, one of the previous candidates who is now campaigning as a write-in, said he has been working with school officials for the past few months trying to gain a hands-on understanding of what it takes to be a successful student trustee.

Like Bygon, he emphasized communication and having many face to face meetings with the student body.

“I think it is important to have personal communication with students on all three campuses,” Raya said. “I’m a go getter and will be ready to work for you once I am elected.”

The elected Student Trustee must also chair all regular and emergency Student District Consultation Council meetings as well as disseminate all information pertaining to student issues to the council.

Candidate Ramos who has represented 499 students at  Moreno Valley College, as well as worked alongside judges and lawyers, hopes to bring a sense of unity to all three campuses.

Ramos also wants to have weekly open forums so that students remain informed of what is happening on their campuses at all times.

“Your vote is a contract between you and me that I will have open forums,” Ramos said. “If you vote for me, you’re going to get someone that’s going to fight for you.”

Although Student Trustee campaigning forum had a small turnout, it had a positive effect on students who stopped to hear what the candidates had to say.

Students Molly Gosline and Areej Hakim, who stopped to watch the forum, were inspired to vote for their favorite candidate.

“The forum is a good idea so students get information on who’s running for what,” Gosline said.

She likes Nick Bygon’s idea of using resources such as Facebook and Twitter to inform students.


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