By Javier Cabrera | Editor in Chief
By Javier Cabrera | Editor in Chief
Jonathan Flike submitted his resignation as president of Associated Students of Riverside City College on Jan. 17, after an issue with the Senate caused him to step down.
According to Flike, the Senate, which was split between being his supporters and detractors, could not move forward with the focus he set for student government.
Flike said he tried sitting down to settle the issue, but there was nothing that could keep the peace within student government.
“Ultimately the differences were just personal and people weren’t able to sit down and say ‘we want to have a personal relationship and we don’t care how we feel personally; we’re just going to work with you and work with what needs to be done,'” Flike said.
Flike said the issue resulted from all the actions student government took in the first semester he was president.
“It stems from a little bit of my fault, I really pushed hard with advocacy with changing programs, things that the students requested of me when I was elected; I pursued those,” he said. “Student government wasn’t ready for those changes, so there were a lot of growing pains.”
Flike said the changes student government took in one semester were gigantic because it made changes such as removing the collegiate points system, starting the food’s program and advocating with departments to create changes in policies.
“There were a lot of things that were changed that were requested by the students,” he said. “One change, let alone 20 changes, will cause a rift, so I just think we pushed too hard in that first semester, so (it was) better for me to leave so they can stay cohesive.”
Flike said student government was not ready for the changes and those changes led to a lot of frustrations, because the Senate felt the decisions were being made without their approval.
“I never acted without the approval my advisors,” he said. “There was approval but not what they were used to.”
According to the constitution of the Associated Students of RCC, the president must do tasks, such as being head of Student Activities, and Flike said those were objectives he was not interested in doing as president.
“Nothing says be a student advocate, nothing says to pursue student issues or change programs for the benefit of students,” Flike said of the constitution. “My responsibly was to maintain the status quo and to be head of activities.”
“It was my fault for not looking at the constitution and realizing that was my responsibilities was the president, because (of that) I did not feel that this is what I went in there for,” he said.
Although Flike realized what were the duties of being president, he said he wanted to do more than be the head of student activities.
“What I went (in) there (for) was to make solid change that the students can feel and see,” he said. “My vision is completely incompatible with the way the constitution is written and (with) what the students have decided are the responsibilities of the president.”
Joey Reynoso, who will be acting as president of Associated Students of RCC for the remainder of the spring semester, said the issue was the lack of communication and transparency.
“Although he has ideals that I admire and that people admire, there is a certain process that needs to be followed for things and he was being put up for review because of violations of those processes,” Reynoso said.
“The dialogue was supposed to be so that he can understand that the people within student government are thinking and perceiving of him so that he can continue on this semester a better leader who is going to take the feedback from his people,” he said.
Reynoso said Flike was a person who had his heart in the right place, but that people do change and have certain things that they believe in.
“It is about creating a dialogue and having open communication so that you can actually create (a) perfect union, and ideally I think that is all what we are trying to achieve,” Reynoso said. “I wish him the best of luck, and I know he is going to achieve great things in whatever he is doing or attempting to do.”
Flike said he will continue with what he does best which is be a student advocate, while Reynoso said Associated Students of RCC will continue doing advocacy and making sure that student needs are met.