I am deeply troubled at the factual inaccuracies of much of the information in Mr. Riley’s letter to the editor of the Current.
First, Mr. Riley’s managed to both accuse the Administration and Advisor Tanika Byrd of impropriety and yet also gives examples of both the Administration and Advisor Byrd upholding the Constitution of ARC. For example, Mr. Riley asserts, “I was told by Tanika Byrd that I didn’t give enough publication for these positions and should have to wait, of course after waiting getting only one response from my ads and leaving no student representation on any of these boards.” Advisor Byrd is correctly advising Mr. Riley that he is not following proper procedures. This is one of the functions the advisor is tasked with under the ARC Constitution. She is doing her job properly in this respect by pointing out that Mr. Riley is not following proper procedures. His statement is not that he was not allowed to post ads to seek candidates for appointment, but that he didn’t follow procedure. In my opinion, this is an example of Mr. Riley not taking responsibility for his own actions and trying to blame Advisor Byrd for his deficiency. He neglects to mention that some of the ways he posted his ads, including by using his personal Facebook page, violated the ARC Bylaws because he had blocked some students from seeing the ads. Perhaps if he had followed the proper procedures for posting more students would have applied for appointments. Second, Mr. Riley further asserts “…from the gate we were told as a board that we could not spend any money nor work on legislation beyond our bylaws so we ran to try to pass those as quickly as possible.” Previous articles in The Current have attested to the fact that the passing of the Bylaws was taking an extraordinarily long time. The Bylaws were not passed by the Senate until October 5th. Mr. Riley’s attempts to make appointments, pass legislation, or do any other ASB business prior to the passing of the Bylaws was rejected because the ASB can not function or conduct any business without Bylaws. Mr. Riley was aware of this, and instead of focusing his efforts on getting the Bylaws passed in a more timely manner, he tried to circumvent the Constitution of ARC and proceed with his own agenda. He is expressing frustration over his failure to accomplish tasks that he knows he was not legally permitted to do. He contends that he is pushing for a bill to audit school funds, yet this bill simply does not exist and has not been placed on the Senate Agenda for any discussion or vote. Third, I must address Mr. Riley’s claim “I came into the Center for Leadership and Development to check my mail and found that the candidate who is running against Senator Laurie Jones who is not even on the board already had a tag on the mailbox slot as Vice President as if admin had already decided who was going to win.” The tag in question was shown to me by Current reporter Melissa Hurtado at the Candidate Forum. I had never seen the tag before, including when I had gone into the mailroom to check the mailbox for the Legal Assisting Club. I find it interesting that the tag read “Tami Trecek-Dunning, Vice President” because all of my candidate information, including my bio, states my name as Tamara, not the nickname Tami. Also, the only person in the Center for Leadership and development who has ever properly spelled my nickname correctly is Mr. Riley himself. In an email, Frankie Johnson (the Student Personnel Assistant in the CLD) referred to me as “Tammy”, not “Tami”. I have been shown no special treatment or preference over any candidate. I think it is reprehensible of Mr. Riley to claim that the admin decides who will win an election. It is certainly disrespectful to myself and the other candidate running for Vice President, Senator Laurie Jones. I have a great deal of respect for Senator Jones and it saddens me deeply that Mr. Riley would attempt to use her candidacy (and mine) to falsely accuse the administrators of wrongdoing. The students, not the administrators, make the decision of who will serve as Vice President and Mr. Riley is well aware of this. Fourth, I find Mr. Riley’s comments regarding the Los Rios Police Department ludicrous. He said, regarding the police asking him if he had been drinking, “I was very confused why they would ask me that and said no I hadn’t then they asked me if I would take a sobriety test and I asked for my full diligence starting with them telling me if they were actual cops or not.” In a previous phone interview while the Current, Mr. Riley stated “(The police) did not give me a breathalyzer or field sobriety test”. Mr. Riley, by his own statements, has admitted that he was asked to take a sobriety test. Also, I find it surprising that Mr. Riley would ask if the officers were “real cops”. The website for the Los Rios Police Department states, “The Los Rios District Police Department (LRDPD) employs P.O.S.T certified police officers whose peace officer authority extends throughout California.” As an elected leader, Mr. Riley agreed to follow the ARC Constitution and the Students Rights and Responsibilities Handbook. Perhaps he should have read them before agreeing to do so. If he had, he would have known that under Violations of the Student Standards of Conduct, his “lippy” behavior and failure to cooperate with college personnel (including our very “real” officers) could result in disciplinary action.
Mr. Riley seems surprised that his attempts to circumvent the ARC Constitution and the Student Rights and Responsibilities Handbook have been met with resistance. This is further evident by his outrage over not qualifying to run in the Special Election. It was Mr. Riley’s responsibility to turn in 50 signatures on his nomination form that could be validated. He failed to do so. Every candidate, myself included, was told at the Candidate Workshop that we should gather more than 50 signatures because sometimes a signature is not able to be validated. In fact, the candidate packet provided space for 100 signatures. I personally gathered 75 signatures to ensure I would have 50 that were verifiable. Administrators did not block Mr. Riley from participating in the Special Election…his failure to gather the required verifiable signatures made him ineligible to run. The only person who prevented Mr. Riley from being a candidate in the Special Election is Mr. Riley. Finally, Mr. Riley stated “that the admin has successfully replaced the First Native American Student Body President with a Caucasian man during Native American Awareness month and denied the rights of a veteran just before Veterans Day.” Mr. Riley is not the Student Body President. He is an elected member of the Student Body in the position of Director of Finance. Due to the resignation of the President at the beginning of the semester, he became acting President. He is not being replaced as President because he was not elected or appointed to the position. Instead, a Special Election (as voted on by the ASB) is being used to fill the position of President, Vice President, and 8 Senator positions. His claim of admin not representing the diversity of the student body because of his own failure to qualify for the election is another example of Mr. Riley failing to take responsibility for his own actions and trying to blame others for his shortcomings. As acting President, Mr. Riley has had many opportunities to show he is committed to representing the needs of ARC students. He has simply failed to do so. Sincerely, Tamara Trecek-Dunning President, ARC Legal Assisting Club Candidate, Vice President for ASB