By Javier Cabrera / Editor in Chief
By Javier Cabrera / Editor in Chief
The results are in and the next president of Associated Students of Riverside City College is Doug Figueroa, who is already thinking of how to unite the student body at RCC.
Prior to the election on May 1 and 2, Giovanni AviÃ±a withdrew his name from the running for president of Associated Students of RCC because he was going through personal issues.
AviÃ±a told Viewpoints he pulled out of the race because he was going through a mid-semester crisis. He said he was mentally and physically drained and felt it was the right choice, for he was not in a position to lead Associated Students of RCC.
Joey Reynoso, interim president of Associated Students of RCC, said this year’s election turnout was the lowest in 20 years, as only 221 votes were cast for the presidential election. All 221 votes were counted for Figueroa and his running mate, Miguel Bagsit, who is the elected vice president of Associated Students of RCC.
The first issue Figueroa is going to address is the participation of students.
“I think one of the issues is getting more student involvement,” he said. “Some of the challenges that we are facing is that we already know the cuts are going to be there; (the cuts) aren’t going anywhere in the next four to five years.”
Figueroa said he wants the student leaders to rally together and put their heads together to figure out a solution for the students.
“One of the things I see is that, even though the tutoring program is being cut, it is about getting students together to come up with a student led initiative,” he said. “It’s kind of a peer to peer support thing.”
Another issue Figueroa said he wants to address is student advocacy.
“There are so many bills that are being passed in Senate that we need to address,” he said. “Generally, we haven’t been too involved.”
Figueroa said Reynoso has been getting involved with shared governance, has been involved with his Senate and has been to the Legislator’s office in Sacramento, since Reynoso took over office in February after Jonathan Flike resigned as Associated Students of RCC president.
Figueroa said he wants to build on the success and direction the previous two presidents of Associated Students of RCC did during their times.
“I’m definitely going to learn from the past two presidents, Flike and Reynoso, and see what we can build from that, because becoming president isn’t about starting over; it is about continuing the things that we are doing good and changing them to be great,” he said.
Figueroa said he has a vision rather than ideas.
“I’m trying to get together a group of leaders to make up my cabinet, to make up the Senate that represents 100 percent of this campus, and that doesn’t represent just a small group or a small portion of the population,” he said.
Figueroa said the majority of the students at RCC do not get involved with any extracurricular activity on campus.
“My vision is to get feedback from everyone whether you are involved or not, and see where it lies,” he said. “It’s not about starting over as president; it’s about continuing doing what I’m doing, and it’s about representing 100 percent of the population regardless of what the demographic you’re coming from.”
Figueroa said he wants each student at RCC to have a voice at the college.
“One thing that I want to implement next year is having a president’s corner or a student’s speak corner where every week I give myself an hour where students can come in and talk to me about issues, whether its good or bad,” he said. “I think it’s about reaching out to the (students); that’s the only way we are going to solve things, is if we include everyone’s voice in it.”