ASCC hosts Pizza & Politics with Ian Calderon


Majority Leader Ian C. Calderon answering questions from students at the cerritos student center on Tuesday. Topics ranged from immigration policy to the rise of college tuition. Photo credit: David Jenkins

David Jenkins

Majority Leader Ian C. Calderon came to Cerritos College for an event titled ‘Pizza and Politics on California’s Future”, hosted by ASCC.

Pizza was served in the beginning of the event on Tuesday, and students, faculty and professors took their seats and Calderon began to take questions from the public.

Questions ranged from tuition cost, immigration reform, Trump’s administration policies, and problems with trickle down economics were asked by the audience members.

Some asked publicly while others wrote down their questions and asked anonymously.

Most time was spent on Calderon answering questions concerning college tuition and President Trump’s immigration policy.

However, there was a moment when a question was asked anonymously about taxing churches and religion in order to help pay for college tuition.

A sense of awkwardness and shock filled the room.

He responded respectfully to the question by acknowledging that if a bill as such was put forth, it wouldn’t be very popular among his constituents.

Calderon liked questions concerning AB540 students and lower income students.

“I appreciate the concern of undocumented students and poor students because that is something that’s important to me and […] the legislatures are trying to wrap their head around on.

We protect them to the best of our ability and understanding that these are federal laws and that we are subject to federal laws,” he said.

Counselor and UMOJA Coordinator Dr. Shelia Hill attended the event along with her students to understand leadership skills.

She enjoyed the event and states how she believes that the political discussion helped her students involve themselves in real issues.

“I think that student engagement is something that leads to civic engagement, so having that ability for our students to engage in real life issues, discuss real life political projects, bills and legislation.

“I think those things lead to students becoming more engaged in our society,” Dr. Jill stated.

After the event, few students came to Calderon and had a one-on-one discussion with him. One of those students was computer science major Edgar Allan Griss.

“I think this event was pretty settled. [He answered] his questions with honesty.

“With today’s politicians that kind of [truthfulness] was very hard to find. I don’t like [that] in politics, arguments come and go. I think the majority leader answered questions how they are” he stated.

There were many student leaders that showed up to the discussion such as President of Phi Beta Lambda Lucio Ramirez.

He said, “I thought it was a magnificent opportunity for the students of Cerritos College to engage, not only with their government officials, but with such a high ranking member.

“It’s one thing to talk to a counselor, but it’s another to talk to a Majority Leader, [because] he can get things done.”

Calderon said he intends to return to Cerritos College for another dialogue.

“The isn’t the only time I’ll be here. Eventually I’m going to come back and we’ll do another conversation and continue to get students together.

“I participate so I can get information and use that as a compass [to] help guide myself through decisions that I’m making on legislation,” Calderon concluded.