By Samantha Bartholomew
Students elected Associated Students of Riverside City College president, vice president and senators, as well as the District’s student trustee for the 2018-2019 school year May 2-3.
Taylor Abernathy and Andrew Rivera won the positions of ASRCC president and vice president with 126 votes.
Their opponents, Gabriela Hinojosa and Jessica Harman earned 123 votes, while Gabriela Mena and Claudia Clone Lucrey had 95 votes.
Abernathy, a veteran, served in the United States Coast Guard from 2011 to 2017. During this time, he worked in physical security, logistics and acquisition where he said he learned some core skills.
“I was a hard-worker, a leader, an organizer and a representative of something larger than myself,” Abernathy said.
Rivera has been involved with ASRCC for three years, serving as Campus Activities Council Co-Director. He has also served as a representative at the General Assembly for RCC and participated in numerous committees and shared governance meetings.
“The student population contains brilliance and we are committed to hearing what you have to say,” Rivera said. “Our door will be open to anyone who wants to share their ideas or voice their complaints.”
“We are committed to assist it becoming a more vibrant community-oriented campus,” Abernathy said.
Abernathy and Rivera plan to implement several changes including a student lounge equipped with televisions, couches, tables and games, as well as more frequent and larger-scale events held by ASRCC, and more frequent non-ASRCC events such as food trucks, radio talk shows and job fairs on campus to engage with students.
“We will seek your opinions on what you would like to see changed or improved and ideas as to how to implement them,” Abernathy said.
Students were also asked to vote on a revised version of the ASRCC Constitution, which passed with 244 votes.
Yashmeen Sharma, Diana Terrazas, Geby Rawung, Michelle Aquilar, Skylar Fisher, Ghazala Khan and Jacob Swartz were also elected to serve as senators with more than 50 votes each.
Each of the new senators are responsible for representing 500 students each throughout their term beginning the first day after the end of the spring semester until the last day of the following spring semester.
“I see a lack of resources at this college and I’m not the only one,” Swartz said. “Certain resources are only available to specific students, while others are nonexistent.”
Swartz claims that these lacking resources are what ultimately led him to run to be a senator to begin with.
“This imbalance and inefficiency was what drove me to put aside irrelevant issues to help other students overcome trivial obstacles that stand in the way in the education for us all.”
At the start of the fall 2018 semester, RCC’s Jacob Velasquez will take on the role of student trustee after gaining 183 votes, beating out his opponent, RCC’s Nathaniel Dominguez, by 123 votes.
Velasquez said he intends to hold open forums to allow the general student body to have a platform to speak with their ASRCC representatives.
“I want to make sure that, as students, our voices are heard,” Velasquez said. “I am making it my goal to actively engage and hold open discussions with clubs, organizations and programs to guarantee that any issues or concerns are accounted for.”
Velasquez said he plans to create an open communication between the Associated Students Organizations so as to be the best possible advocate for students.
“It will be my honor and privilege to serve, listen and advocate for my fellow classmates at RCCD,” Velasquez said.