Cerritos College
Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Students are the focus for these candidates

Carmelita Islas Mendez
Student Trustee candidates participate in the Student Trustee forum. There were six total candidates with one not attending.

Student Trustee candidates as well as the Vice President candidate participated in the 2018 Associated Students of Cerritos College Presidential and Student Trustee Forum. The candidates promoted what their plans would be if elected.

There are a total of six student trustee candidates, with only five showing up to the Presidential and Student Trustee Forum.

The President and Vice President Ballot #1, who are running unopposed, are Kawthar “Kathy” Azzam and Christopher George Rodriguez, respectively.

The candidates present at the forum consisted of Ballot #1 Philip Herrera, Ballot #2 Sarah Montes De Oca, Ballot #3 Tran Pham, Ballot #4 Frank Perkins and Ballot #5 Jurwairiah “Jo” Uraizee.

However, Student Trustee Ballot #6 Rafael Ivan Amparano and President Ballot #1 Azzam were not present at the forum.

The candidates who attended the forum took advantage of the two minutes they were given to voice their concerns and to present their plans if elected as student trustee.

Herrera, Ballot #1, said, “As a student trustee I would put the students first, just I always have and I would represent the clubs and students first and foremost.”

Herrera also explained the reason for him joining student government was because he was tired of complaining and wanted to enact change.

Vice President candidate Rodriguez expressed the desire to help out other students to become student leaders so come next election there are oppositions for president and vice president.


He said, “If we can help and really engage with students to help them become leaders I will. It’s just one of those things that takes a little bit of training and getting out of your comfort zones.”

Ballot #2 Montes De Oca, who has been the student liaison in Faculty Senate for the semester, said that the experience has, “given me skills such as learning to working well in teams and learning how to compromise,” she continued to say, “these skills are assets.”

She also expressed that she would like to reach out to other students and make sure that they are aware of the resources and programs available, such as counselors and EOPS to have students transfer to four-year institutions quicker.

When the candidates were asked if they would be able to stand up to other board members Uraizee said, “If there was a bad decision being made I would have to voice what is important.

“It’s about what the students want, not what I want for them or what the board members want. We have to keep the needs of the students in mind.”

Perkins responded to the question by saying, “We need to do whatever it takes, whatever amount of money needs to be spent. If the programs exists, but the students don’t know then it doesn’t matter.

“If I have to be more hard headed towards the board then I am going to do that. I am here to run for the students, I am here to do what needs to be done.”

After the forum the candidates expressed that they felt good about their answers. Pham, Montes De Oca and Herrera also said that they felt nervous before going on stage, but that they all helped each other overcome that.

Photo credit: Carmelita Islas Mendez

Pham finished speaking by reminding students, “Don’t just take, but also give back to the community.”

Herrera ended by saying, “If I were to become student trustee there are things that I will pursue. I am already working on them regardless of whether or not I become the actual student trustee or not.”

Rodriguez laughed and said, “Vote for me,” he continued saying, “ in the end you know it’s all about making students successful here.”

Vote April 4 and 5 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. student trustee and president.

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About the Contributor
Carmelita Islas Mendez, News Editor
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Students are the focus for these candidates