New Student Trustee elected for 2016-2017

Written by Chris Valdez 
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                                                                                                              Photo courtesy of Miguel Hernandez               Sammie J. Ayoub addresses students at an open forum in the Bradshaw Building March 21 to campaign for his candidacy for 2016-2017 Riverside Community College District Student Trustee.

By Christopher Valdez

Sammie J. Ayoub has been elected as the new Riverside Community College District student trustee for the 2016-2017 academic year.

The Riverside City College Model United Nations (MUN) officer received 284 votes in this year’s student trustee election.

There were 108 votes from Riverside City College, 91 votes from Moreno Valley College, 85 votes from Norco College. Four times as many votes were casted in comparison to last year, according to Adam Molina, Associated Students of Riverside City College supreme court  pro tempore.

Though Ayoub was the only candidate on the ballot for student trustee, he is not the first candidate to be alone on a student trustee ballot. Ayoub’s predecessor and current student trustee Ryan Rudolph also ran unopposed during the last election in 2015.

Students gathered in front of the MLK Building, April 5 and 6 to cast their votes for Ayoub and make their opinions heard.

“I definitely want a voice for the students because there’s a lot of things that we can’t address,” said RCC Student Meechelle Hawkins “But he has our voice so he will be able to go in there and speak for us as students on campus.”

Hawkins thinks that Ayoub will be successful in his position as student trustee during the 2016-2017 school year.

“I think he’s more eager to do it and he might be the right person for us.” Hawkins said.

Ayoub said he wants to work for change and accountability going into his term as student trustee.

“I would not like to, I will hold them (RCCD) accountable,” said Ayoub.

Ayoub continued saying, it is important to hold officials in power to the standards of those who elect them.

Ayoub is also looking to change the way ASRCC handles issues and events that happen on campus, he said he will be pushing for timely and effective responses to events such as RCC’s failure to notify students during the White Park shooting as well as RCC’s hiring of compliance officer Lorraine Jones without informing the Faculty Association.

“He gets a cause in his mind he will fight for it,” MUN President Matthew L. Craig said “he will give everything he has to make sure that people respect it, to make sure that people get what they need.”

Rudolph expressed doubt that Ayoub would be able to change ASRCC, stating that his position as student trustee doesn’t have the power to do so.

“He wouldn’t have the authority to change the way ASRCC is run” Rudolph said “holding RCCD accountable, if their actions are reprehensible yeah, I think it’s do able.”

Ayoub stated that though his position may not have the power to make changes to ASRCC, he like every other student has a voice that matters and is still determined to change the way ASRCC is run.

Communication between clubs on campus and ASRCC is also a big concern for Ayoub.

He said that having clubs represented at senate meetings would have an impact in the quality of communication between student run clubs and ASRCC, which handles funding for those clubs.

“You would see every single club represented on the senate, which handles money, finances, and all their own interests,” Ayoub said. “Finally you have a group of people within the senate from every single club, so now their voices are being heard.”

A voting booth was made available in front of the MLK Building April 5-6 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4-6 p.m. for students to cast their votes on Webadvisor. Students were able vote online through their Webadvisor accounts until 11:59 p.m. April 6.

According to Ayoub, he will be sworn in as student trustee the last day of the spring semester June 7.