A day in the life of Nick Bygon, student trustee of RCCD

By Charles Wagner / Asst. Features Editor

By Charles Wagner / Asst. Features Editor

Riverside Community College District produces many students who hope to play a major role in shaping the world of tomorrow.

One such student is Nick Bygon, student trustee of RCCD.

Some of Bygon’s duties and responsibilities are to represent student’s interest to the board of trustees.

“The position of the student trustee is really unique in some respects,” Bygon said of his current position. “You sit on the board of trustees which determines any district policies.

 “Whether it’s the creation of a new building to the way budgets are being allocated through certain programs, maybe travel overseas, so everything really comes before the board at some point,” he said.

“As long as it’s over a certain threshold as far as monetary or just whether it’s an issue that needs to be dealt with publicly in a board format,” he said.

Students have shared governance through the board of trustees by having student representatives.

Bygon’s parents were immigrants from India. They played a large role in shaping his world view and instilling a work ethic that keeps him challenging himself.

“My parents really helped in a sort of unique way, although I kind of rebelled at one stage,” Bygon said. “My parents are immigrants, so I was raised in an immigrant family that was constantly in between opening different businesses.”

 “When my parents came to America, it was hard on them because of their educational level that didn’t allow for them the opportunity to enter into the larger upper areas of management in companies,” he said.

“I was always really kind of acculturated into a family that placed highly the sort of duties and responsibilities of the individual,” he said.

But Bygon was not always an overachiever. He rebelled from the strict structure set by his parents during high school and following graduation.

He took some time off from studies to travel with various rock bands. He decided to come back to college after getting a chance to work with politician Ralph Nader.

Now Bygon aims for a career in politics.

“I’m interested in creating a platform where I can inform more people to take charge of their own lives and get involved in the process of determining their own future,” he said.

On the day of a board meeting, Bygon wakes up early to read the board book, which may contain over 200 pages, as thoroughly as possible to prepare.

For a student like Bygon, this process of serving in an office as demanding as the student trustee can get difficult when one has such a challenging academic schedule to juggle.

“I have to try and reconcile all those things and just go to class, do well, and perform well, and then I generally have to travel to one of the three colleges for meetings,” Bygon said.

Fellow honors student  Nicholas Beckwith said the following about his peer.

“Nick is a very ambitious person,” Beckwith said. “Very passionate about what he does. I am glad to have someone like him represent us.”

Like Bygon’s fellow honors classmates, faculty members had nothing but high praise for him.

 “Nick has done outstanding work for us in the honors program,” said Ron Yoshino, instructor of history. “A fine writer and articulate person. Our seminars would be the less without him.”

Bygon has shown through his work and dedication that he is headed for success.    

“If you want to get involved in a board meeting you just have to attend,” Bygon said to those who may want to become more involved.

“If you want to get more involved formally, you can join your student government, your local associated students, become a senator, or run for an executive cabinet. Then you can essentially work a more direct relationship with the board,” Bygon said.