Posted: Feb. 17, 2015 | Written by Crystal Olmedo
Riverside City College’s Student Resource Center is back in business. There was speculation among members of the Associated Students of Riverside City College that the Student Resource Center would have to temporarily close its doors due to a misappropriated budget and lack of volunteers.
The Student Resource Center, located behind the cafeteria, has been open for approximately two years. It has been supplying students with snacks, scantrons, pencils, paper, toiletries, feminine hygiene items and diapers to students who are in need and request them.
ASRCC held a Senate meeting Jan. 24 that was open to the public. Attendees included ASRCC members and other RCC students.
The topic of the Student Resource Center was of high priority at the meeting. Senators addressed their peers and the students who attended. Each senator provided a unique perspective on the issue.
“We have no power, but we have a voice. So we must make our voices heard,” said Marvin Manzana, senator of ASRCC.
Ryan Rudolph, vice president of ASRCC, presided over this meeting at which ASRCC senators had the opportunity to openly debate the issue and take comments from the public.
According to the ASRCC Finance Committee, there was an error in an order for $250 of exam blue books that was accidentally submitted twice. The issue reportedly stemmed from a lack of communication between volunteers and left the budget for the Student Resource Center well below the amount necessary to provide supplies to the approximately 350 students that visit daily.
“The public needs to stand up and speak. That’s why I’m here,” RCC student Isaiah Griggs, said. “There are students who are struggling financially. Le has been doing a great job with what he has.”
Le Nguyen is the current ASRCC executive treasurer.
There are no designated members to run the Student Resource Center and its operation is done purely on a volunteer basis.
ASRCC’s executive branch requested funding from the senate in the amount of $1,300 or a minimum of $1,000 to keep the Student Resource Center in operation for the spring semester.
“$1,300 is a little steep. But, we cannot deny students,” said Tylin Walker, senator of ASRCC.
Senators stressed paying closer attention to regulating the amount of funds spent per week in future semesters. Rakhee Uma, senate outreach chair of ASRCC, encouraged members to seek out more sources for supply donations, such as the contract ASRCC has with Second Harvest Food Bank in Riverside. She also suggested offering service hours and incentives to students who make donations to the Student Resource Center.
As a result of the debate, the Student Resource Center was granted $1,300 by ASRCC senate and the threat of its closure has subsided for the winter and spring semesters. The funding was transferred from a contingency line item into the Student Resources line item on the ASRCC budget.
ASRCC executive branch members and students in attendance complimented ASRCC for their decorum in discussing the issue of funding and the potential of a temporary closure. Argie Hill, chief justice of ASRCC, commended the senators on their “passion and heart” in discussing the matter and proposed developing new and more sustainable methods for managing the Student Resource Center and its allotted budget per semester to counter the balance of costs.
“With diversity comes conflict. When conflict does not turn into communication, this is where problems arise,” Ray Orozco, president of ASRCC, said “Diversity is what makes RCC’s student government the best, although we are a diverse city, we look for more feasible and realistic solutions.”