Bringing American River College students together was the talk at the first of two candidate forums for Associated Student Body representative and for the Los Rios student trustee that took place noon Tuesday in the Student Center.
“I’m a community person and I like bringing people together,” Student Senate vice presidential candidate Alexander Wrinkle said. “I know that as we work together, we can do things that we can’t necessarily do on our own.”
“I bring people together in what I do,” Student Senate vice presidential candidate Derek Thomas said.
Tuesday was the first day that candidates were allowed to campaign for the elections that will take place April 8-9. The voting will be online through eServices.
Candidates talked about what they would do if elected.
Student Senate presidential candidate Tamara Trecek-Dunning said she wants to lobby on behalf of students, and promised to be “responsible, responsive, and respectful.”
“We are all coming up against prices for textbooks. We are all coming up against unit caps. You’re getting to the end of your degree and you can’t get into a class. And once you get into a classroom, you find out what it costs you is about half of what it’s going to cost for a textbook. In my opinion, that’s not acceptable,” she said. “As students we have to continue to lobby our leaders at the statewide level at the capitol so that we have better accessibility to textbooks.”
Student Senate presidential candidate Jorge Riley spoke to projects he started when he served as acting president last semester, and addressed his plans if elected.
“I made promises to this school that I was going to do my best to make sure there are summer bus passes for students that are going to be taking classes during the summer,” he said. “We recently had a bill that went through the assembly that said we were supposed to have a tuition freeze for three years but it did not pass. I hope to work with our assembly members and our Senate higher education committees to make sure we make sure we have a hold on where our tuition is at.”
Student Senate presidential candidate Ross Rayala gave ideas on how to improve sustainability on campus.
“I think it’s important to use resources we have here on campus,” Rayala said. “As far as waste and stuff, we could be a little more creative, reaching out to clubs. For example, horticulture. I know they sometimes work with Starbucks and use their coffee grinds for composting. Things like that, getting creative, and using resources on campus already.”
Omba Kipuke, a candidate for Los Rios student trustee, said that he asked himself whether he was up for the job.
“I think it’s very easy as student leaders to stand up here, or to be locked up in our offices, fighting legislators and fighting policies and saying ‘We are fighting for you.’ Well are we?” Kipuke asked. “That’s the question I asked myself before I put my name on the ballot.”
“The answer is yes, obviously, because I’m right here in front of you,” he added. “I believe to be a great leader you have to be a versatile leader.”
Gavin Fielder, another candidate for the student trustee position, stressed how his personal experiences have prepared him for the job.
“I’ve lived in poverty for a while now, and I know the feeling of working two jobs, of going to school, volunteering,” he said.
“When you live in poverty, you have decreased opportunities and it really impacts your student success … That’s why resources are really important. That’s why bus passes are important, because people need to get here. That’s why textbook policy is important. These resources need to be sustained to support the diversity we have on this campus and throughout the district.”
Jeremy Diefenbacher, president of the Clubs and Events Board, is running for re-election unopposed.
“Currently, I sit as the chair of the group that has one member from all of the clubs on campus that meet once a week so we can have club day and all the events that we do so that you guys have a place to show the campus what you’re doing in your individual organizations,” Diefenbacher said.
Senator Laurie Jones is running unopposed for Student Senate director of finance.
“I’m unopposed, so hopefully the choice won’t be too difficult. So please at least do get out there and vote and vote yes for each candidate, each office,” Jones said.
“I have a bachelor’s degree in business, so I have had accounting classes, so I feel qualified for this position and I’ve been attending the Joint Budget Committee meetings this year,” she said.
“I support having an independent audit of our accounts for the past 10 years. It seems to me that our budget is ridiculously small for the size of the school that we have. Senate is only given $9,000 in one year,” she added.
Katheryn White, a candidate for Senate, has a long history with ARC.
“I did start taking classes when I was 13 here at American River … So I’ve been here a long time and for me, myself, American River College has given me so much to start my college life,” she said.