By Barbara Harvey and John Ferrannini
A campaign poster belonging to Associated Student Body Student Senate Director of Finance and newly elected Student Senate President Jorge Riley was defaced recently with the words “Prop 8” written in pencil, appearing next to a list of Riley’s proposals.
Riley was unaware of the damage until informed by the Current.
“Because I’m conservative,” Riley said, speculating the reason his poster was targeted. “What was the message? They wrote ‘Prop 8’ to remind everybody that I was involved in Prop. 8. Is that what the point is? I can only imagine.”
Riley was on the student government in 2008 when it passed a resolution endorsing Proposition 8, the voter-approved state constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.
The American River College Student Senate was the only such California community college student senate to do so, a fact that brought media attention to the issue.
“I’m gonna leave it up. I didn’t do anything that I’m not proud of,” Riley said.
Riley said that his signs fared better this time around than they did during his last campaign.
“Well at least they didn’t tear it down. That’s how I felt about it. I mean last time, last year I ran, my signs didn’t even stay up 10 minutes,” Riley said. “I mean, I literally walked around and put them up and by the time I’d come back, they were gone.”
ASB Student Senator Laurie Jones was also a victim of apparent vandalism. According to Jones, one of her banners was removed the day before the elections began.
“I guess it’s just (vandalism). I don’t know if it’s a comment on me personally, or elections, or bulletin board space. I just don’t know,” Jones said. “You wish the people would come talk to you, tell you what the issue is, so we might be able to address it. This way, it’s just sort of mysteriously perplexing.”
“Tammi (Dunning) said some of her smaller-sized poster ones have been taken down,” Jones said. “Somebody wrote ‘Prop. 8’ on Jorge’s, which was an issue he was involved in. So that one, at least you sort of know what the motivation is, but the other ones, we’re just sort of confused.”
Dunning is the current Student Senate vice president. She ran against Riley for the position of president.
Jones said she felt the apparent vandalism is representative of a lack of communication between the student body and the elected representatives.
“I just wish people would come talk to us.” Jones said. ”Anybody who has an issue, on anything, because we’re trying to work for the best interest of the students, and maybe it doesn’t feel like that.”