By Javier Cabrera / Editor in Chief
By Javier Cabrera / Editor in Chief
A new president of Associated Students of Riverside City College will be elected May 4, as Doug Figueroa and Giovanni AviÃ±a are the candidates running and looking to make a change in the way students at the college respond to the issues going on at RCC.
The candidates spoke to a group of students on April 19 at the stairs leading to the Martin Luther King Jr. Teaching and Learning Center on a blazing sunny afternoon, addressing their concerns and ideas they had regarding the RCC student body.
Figueroa and AviÃ±a addressed the budget cuts occurring at the college, the lack of participation from students and the ways they were going to make students involved with the student activities on campus.
“One of the reasons why students may not be involved is because they’re not informed,” AviÃ±a said. “There is about 35 clubs here on campus so there is something for someone here, and if there isn’t, they’re more than welcome to create their own club.”
Figueroa said every student needs to be involved with what is happening at the campus.
“We need to include 100 percent of our population here,” he said. “We have such a diverse campus, and some of the things that I’ve already been doing is being involved with clubs.”
One club that Figueroa has been involved with is Active Minds, a club focusing on mental health.
Figueroa said the club engages with the students at RCC by doing workshops and meeting with students one on one.
“It creates engaging in conversation with students, it gets more students involved because not everyone wants to join a club or what not,” he said.
The candidates shift their focus on the class cuts as AviÃ±a suggests fundraising as an option to keep activities going for students at RCC.
“Definitely fundraising would be an option, as well, working together with all of student government and the new student trustee elect Noemi (Jubaer) to help resolve that issue as far as how we can deal with the budget cuts,” he said.
Both candidates said they believe the budget cuts are something students should not run away from.
“The first challenge is going to be all the class cuts; they’re looking at cutting all the basic skills classes and English as a Second Language classes,” Figueroa said. “It’s up to us to come and collaborate and come up with a solution.”
Figueroa said students will need to get involved with each other and should consider having tutoring groups and peer-to-peer groups, so everyone can get through the cuts.
“We already know the changes are going to happen, the solution is to find solutions to collaborate on an improvement on how we can deal with those challenges,” he said.
Victoria Hecht is running with AviÃ±a as his vice president while Miguel Bagsit is running with Figueroa as his vice president.
Hecht said she has plenty of networking among RCC students to have a feel for what RCC students want when the subject is student activities.
“Definitely through school events because we do have school events, but they’re not for everyone,” she said. “We need something that can really connect all of the different programs: drama, athletics, the clubs, executives and Senate.”
Hecht wants the student body at RCC to unite and become as one.
“Everyone really needs to come together and I believe the students really need to be informed of what’s available for them here on campus.”
Bagsit said he will wants to work on getting students active on campus if he were to be elected.
“The reason why students are not motivated is because they don’t see this as a school that, ‘oh I’m here for two years then I’m going to be leaving,’ but that’s not the perception we want them to see, we want them to know this is a place they can get involved, it can be a second home for a lot of students,” he said.
The candidates running for ASRCC president took the week of April 23 through 27 to campaign and gain another RCC student’s vote as the election for ASRCC president is scheduled to be on May 1 and 2 in front of the Martin Luther King Jr. Teaching and Learning Center from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.