By James Williams | Staff Editor
By James Williams | Staff Editor
A flier found on campus by a member of the Viewpoints staff April 1 revealed that Doug Figueroa, president of Associated Students of Riverside City College, is a registered sex offender.
Figueroa, 40, was convicted of kidnapping a child under the age of 14 years old “with intent to commit lewd or lascivious acts.”
Figueroa, who was elected as president of Associated Student of RCC during the 2012 spring semester, had informed college administration about his past.
“He told us about this before he was elected to office,” RCC President Cynthia Azari said.
Prior to being elected, Ed Bush, RCC vice president of Student Services, talked with Figueroa to ensure that he would comply with the terms of his probation, according to Azari.
“I also talked with (Figueroa) and there are certain events he cannot attend, like Halloween Town and Bunny Hop, because there are children on campus,” she said.
Viewpoints contacted Figueroa, but he did not comment. He instead directed the newspaper to Bush and President Azari.
UPDATE: After this story was published Viewpoints received the following message from ASRCC President Doug Figueroa
MESSAGE FROM ASRCC PRESIDENT
Many times I am reminded that life will always come with challenges and struggles to help us build the skills necessary to survive. I often hear the old cliché that our history defines who we are today, but I know that our present status defines who we are and that our history is an invaluable resource to draw from so that we are able to make better decisions for ourselves.
We all have the capability of making the best and the worst of decisions throughout our lives. And some of those decisions can have a life-long impact. It is up to us to give ourselves the opportunity to live a better life, to make better decisions and not allow our past to define who we are today. It is also our responsibility to give each other that opportunity and chance to be a better person.
For some people it is easier to point the flaws of another instead of looking at the problems in their own life, easier to knock someone down when presented the opportunity. We all have our own story, our own mistakes and our own successes. Some stories are left in diaries, journals or in those dark spaces of our memory while other stories are public for the world to see. Whichever the case may be,
they are our stories and it is up to us how we chose to carry the narrative.
It is about the decisions we make today and the value that we add to one another’s lives that makes a better difference than our own flaws or those of others. Ours can be a society in which we judge first then ask for understanding later. We have conditioned our minds to stigmatize anything that we don’t understand or perhaps because we are taught that once you have done something bad that you cannot change.
We are all in this institution to learn and to change ourselves for the better of our own humanity. We are here to invent ourselves and at times, reinvent ourselves for the second, third, or even fourth time. Learning to understand the human condition and the good and bad that come with it is a gift that the structure of instruction imparts on us.
You must ask yourself if you are doing everything you can to be the person you want to be. Do not let life’s mishaps define who you have to be. I have made mistakes in my life, but I have learned from them, accepted the consequences of them, made a difference in my life and will continue to make a difference for the lives of those in my community. Don’t get me wrong, it has not and will not be easy and there will always be those that find humor in bringing you down, but we all must choose to be resilient so we can overcome anything.
In holding a public student office, I understand that there will always be those that are malicious and try to prevent good from happening, whether you are president of a community college student body or the greatest nation on Earth. But I am a strong person, a strong leader and through the support of many friends and colleagues, I will continue fighting for the good of every student at Riverside City College. I will continue to serve as a civil servant; fight for what is right without looking back; teaching others about tolerance and understanding. I ask for your support in continuing to make a difference on this campus and in this world.
Lastly, remember who you are and the environment you want to be a part of. Remember that you can make a difference in the lives of others by showing wisdom, compassion and understanding. Let’s build communities that rehabilitate, not condemn.
Doug Figueroa, President
Associate Students of Riverside City College