L.A. Community College district student trustee candidates Milo Anderson and Ryan Navarrete will meet Thursday at Pierce College for a debate ahead of the election next week.
Exclusive to the Roundup, the candidates both answered five questions about their campaign platforms and goals if elected.
Responses were submitted in written form and have not been edited for spelling, grammar or punctuation, but in some cases longer answers have been excerpted.
Roundup: “What is the most important issue to you, or better yet, if you could only accomplish one thing in your term, what would it be?”
Ryan Navarrete: “There are several important issues that need to be addressed in which I feel one cannot be over weighed by another. In a sense student advocacy is the reason why the student trustee position exists, into which it connects all the issues and can look deeper into finding more resources and solutions for the students. The most important issue is creating a better system of student advocacy which will carry onto the rest of the issues that are at hand which in a sense would lead to a domino effect of stronger advocacy for the student by the students.”
Milo Anderson: “If there is only one thing I’d like to see us accomplish as student leaders this academic year, it would be to change the culture of student representation in our college district. We have the opportunity to improve the way that this college district hears student voice. They can see us as allies who give insightful and inspired solutions on improving our nine colleges for our community and for future students. To do this, we first have to change the way we see ourselves. We are more than simply commuter college students…”
RU: “What is the biggest difference between you and your opponent?”
RN: “The biggest difference between myself and Mr. Anderson is that I have had prior training in parliamentarian procedures and knowledge of the governing documents such as the Brown Act, Roberts Rule of Order, and S-Regulations. I also have previous experience in the field of being involved with student government, in which I have held a position in the ASO at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College and currently have a position in Student Senate for California Community Colleges (SSCCC).”
MA: “While I cannot speak for Ryan, I am entirely volunteer-minded and community-focused. I am not running for Student Trustee so that I have something else to put on my transfer application to a four-year university. I am running because I believe in the power of students working together to make our colleges better…Ryan has promised that he will work on several issues that he feels are important to students. I promise that each month, I will visit each campus to work directly with the leaders of those campuses so that the students’ issues and interests are actually represented on the district level.”
RU: “What are two or three of your greatest accomplishments which you believe make you the stronger candidate?”
RN: “…as commissioner of student advocacy I traveled to Sacramento along with LATTC’s ASO, to advocate for the students of LATTC. I spoke with senators about ideas on how to improve the educational system for community colleges. Also, as SSCCC Region VII Communications Officer I have been able to reach out to various campuses in the region and finding out how they have found solutions to long-term problems that have effected their campuses individually. Lastly, I was selected to attend the University of California, Riverside Puente (UCRP) Leadership conference where I learned how to be an effective leader in my community.”
MA: “Based on the issues I brought to light about the election last semester, the district is now in the process of reforming policy and procedure to make student representation more accurate and accountable. Future Student Trustee elections will be held electronically in order to eliminate the possibility of the flaws that occurred in the last election attempt…Last year I received awards from both the California College Media Association and Intercollegiate Broadcast Systems for a campus radio-news segment I produced regarding a safety issue at Pierce College… I am a returning college student already possessing a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Journalism from Humboldt State University…I will utilize my prior education and experience to be the best possible advocate for student interests in our district.
RU: “What has it been like having to campaign for a second time? Are you doing so actively, or relying on your original base?”
RN: “Honestly, having to campaign another time made me think I really wanted to run and be the next Student Trustee. However, I found out that I have to run a stronger campaign this time around. Because of what I have did for the students the during my first campaign, I must not allow for their voices to be silenced. I’m running again for the student voices that have yet to be heard. This re-election has not only taken a toll on me, but also the student governments in the LACCD who have to fund another election and take the time out of their semester to do so, and the students who now have to vote again.”
RU: “What has it been like having to campaign for a second time? Who do you consider your ‘base’ (demographic or campuses) and how are you working to broaden your appeal?”
MA: “Campaigning again has been a lot of fun actually. I enjoy visiting all the campuses and meeting with my fellow students to hear their concerns and ideas. As I see it, that is the most important job of the Student Trustee, and I love doing it…I want to stress that I am not about promoting my ideas or opinions. My main interest and desire is helping to create a sustainable system in which every student has the real opportunity to meaningfully voice their ideas on how to improve our colleges.”
RU: “Can you describe briefly what it is the position of student trustee means to you? Specifically the responsibilities, the impact of the position, and your reasons for wanting it.”
RN: “The position of Student Trustee means being the bridge between students and the board of trustees. It is one thing for the board of trustees to debate on student’s needs; its another thing entirely to have a student on the board that actually knows what his fellow students need. On a personal level, I want to be a role model both for my little sister and my community. I want to be the Student Trustee to show everyone it doesn’t matter where you came from but where you are going.”
MA: “In my opinion, the Student Trustee is the servant of all the Students of the Los Angeles Community College District. As Student Trustee, it will be my job to support the student leaders & representatives of each campus so that we can include the voices of our fellow students in the conversation about how to make our colleges better. I want this job because I love to serve, and I love seeing solutions and positive change come into reality. I think that now, more than ever (and with accreditation coming in March), we have a huge opportunity to make a difference that will last for decades to come.”