EDITORIAL: ‘Media field day’ at open forum

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‘EXISTING CANDIDATE’: Doug Figeroua states his opinions
on the media at the candidate’s open forum April 18.

Media everywhere, from here in Riverside, to across America, and even to a newspaper overseas buzzed this month about Riverside City College’s associate’s student body president being a registered sex offender.

When a Viewpoints staff member found fliers posted around campus April 1, editors immediately thought it was a cruel April fool’s joke.

After all, who wants to believe that the person chosen to represent the students at RCC was a criminal and a creep?

However, after researching websites such as http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov, Viewpoints’ editors found the “cruel joke” to be government stated facts.

Almost a year has passed of Doug Figueroa’s reign as student body president and he is up for re-election for yet another semester.

Are we as students going to let a registered sex offender rise to the top again? A registered sex offender, establish us, lead us, and worst of all represent us?

The answer is yes! Currently, Figueroa has zero competition.

No other candidates are running and RCC students have no other choice but to be led by the same person who was once convicted of kidnapping an 11-year-old boy.

If there’s one thing we want to believe after all the secrets, it’s that Figueroa and the rest of ASRCC student government is committed to improving RCC, and keeping all the promises they have collectively made.

In Figueroa’s speech on why students should re-elect him, he claims that he hopes the student body will accept “rehabilitation” and not believe in the “one-sided” stories that the “media” publish.

He demands that the “media” do their research and that the “media” get correct facts.

During the candidates’ forum April 18, the “media” were mentioned in almost every question Figueroa answered.

Figueroa went off on rants about the media, side tracked his answers to questions that did not concern the media, and stumbled on his answers because of pointing out the “media.”

“We have been successful regardless of what’s going on in the media and shame on you for reporting things that you don’t even know what the heck you’re talking about.

Get the facts, do your research, get the police reports, know what the heck your talking about.” said Figueroa.

This comment was at the end of his answer to the question on what he plans to do about the notoriously small election voter turn out.

In his one minute closing statement, he chooses to use his time to call out the media, instead of addressing important issues.

“I’m here to state that people should state the facts. Not their assumptions, not their fallacies that they have going on. We’re in an institution of learning, do your research.

What comes out of your mouth shouldn’t be… Scratch that. I’m sure the media is going to screw that one up too. I don’t know where I was going with that. Have a field day, media” he said.

It seems that his main concern about the whole ordeal is that the story was exposed in the first place.

This is something that he probably wanted to be kept a secret between him, Riverside police, ASRCC, and the RCC administration.

As for right now, the cat is out of the bag and students
should be given statements that are more than attacks at the media.

He mentions rehabilitation, but he does not mention whether or not he has achieved rehabilitation for his actions.

Implying is not enough; explanations are required for a matter as massive as this.

“One-sided” stories are published because Figueroa refuses to comment when questions are asked. He even went out of his way to say that he does not welcome the media in his office.

“I have always had an open door policy. There have been students who come to my office and express their concern and I have been open. Not once have I denied the ability for anybody, except for media, to come to my office,” Figueroa said.

He released a statement that is published on the ASRCC website as well as Viewpoints’ website, but refused to answer any further questions that were asked by the reporters on our staff.

He states, “Do not let life’s mishaps define who you have to be.”

Picking up a child in the desert and taking him to a motel, as reported by The Press Enterprise, is more than a “life mishap.”

He is belittling the crime he was convicted of and not taking proper action that is required for this situation. To commit a crime as serious as this, then to ask for understanding and acceptance from roughly 19,000 students – according to 2011 data– without explanation is entirely insulting to the student body.

Votes have not been counted, heck; they haven’t even been made, however, being that Figueroa is the one candidate standing, one can only assume we’ll have yet another semester of a sex offender representing us.

Viewpoints’ editorials represent the majority opinion of and are written by the Viewpoints’ student editorial board.