Candidates present ideas at Presidential and Trustee Debate


Christopher Macias

The trustee and presidential candidates took turns answering questions and giving rebuttals. Voting takes place on April 10 and 11.

Daniel Green and Daniel Green

When describing his debate performance, presidential candidate, Juan Ramirez admits that he got off to a slow start, but is happy with the end result.

“I felt I started off a little bit rocky. I wasn’t used to the time limit. Overall I think I got my message across. I feel I got some of the best reception.”

On Thursday April 4 the nominees for student trustee and president met in the Student Center to state their plans for office.

The nominees for trustee include current Associated Students of Cerritos College President Lance Makinano who’s term will be up after this semester.

His opponent is Paolo Roca, a UCLA graduate, who attended Cerritos College before transferring.

There are four presidential candidates who have each selected a running mate for vice-president.

The candidates for president and vice president are as follows:

Juan Ramirez and running mate Aldemar Sanchez.

Samuel Fitzsimmons and running mate Anthony Gilmore.

German Sanchez and running mate Dana Ramos.

Ace Caguioa and running mate Janet Parga.

Representatives from Talon Marks started the debate with the trustee candidates going first.

One of the questions asked how the candidates would balance the need to work with board members while maintaining their presence among students.

Makinano stressed the importance of balance and talked about how important this is as a student.

“We have to balance our workload. We have to balance our out cry to the board. We also have to tell the board ‘Hey we’re students. We have needs. So we all have to band together and work as a team so we can get our concerns addressed. So we can move forward and get this school to where it needs to be.’”

Roca emphasized his experience working with the board and his experience from UCLA.

“In terms of experience (in) dealing with higher-ups and power structures…I was able to advocate for student needs in terms of what’s happening with transfer students.”

The presidential candidates were up next with their running mates by their side.

The candidates answered questions and laid out what their platforms and goals would be if they were elected.

Candidate Sanchez wants to do more to increase the resources that students can utilize around campus.

“I personally believe that we are moving forward with technology. When I was getting (signatures) for (the petition) I was talking to the students. And one of the things they really want is better Wi-Fi.”

Common themes that the candidates seem to be focused on seem to be healthier food choices for students. Finding a way to better promote and support clubs to increase student participation. Increasing campus security was another idea that the candidates seem to support.

Ramirez, was focused on trying to bring in healthier food for students such as bringing a Subway franchise to campus.

“I think that they deserve…better in terms of feeling safer, having more alternatives relating to health.

I think nutrition is really important, I think that students learn better when they eat healthier. There’s a lot of full time and part-time students here on the go.

So they have to eat Frantone’s and sometimes that might inhibit them (in class).”

Caguioa is also focused on giving students healthier choices on campus and supports the idea of bringing Subway. However he feels that it may be too difficult and wants to work with current vendors to provide healthier meals.

“Of course health is always an issue…I’m all (for) having a Subway here at Cerritos (College). It has to (go) through administration.

According to the research I’ve done, the restaurants are willing to work with us. And even though the reception (from) students is not good they actually provide so (many) scholarships for the students here at Cerritos College and even host one of the biggest fundraisers for the foundations.”

Sanchez, Ramirez’s running mate, explained that they also want to find a way to increase safety around campus.

“A lot of students have asked us about the safety issues. And a lot of them have concerns about campus security. (Students say that the guards) are either on their phones or just hanging out.

So we want to do something to help train them or have campus police more involved in the school.”

The elections will take place on Wednesday, April 10 and Thursday, April 11.