By Raymond Nava
The Los Angeles Community College District board of trustees will be getting a new Student Trustee on June 3rd. Elias Geronimo was declared the winner of the Student Trustee election on May 18, defeating four other candidates. Germino will be sworn in on June 3rd and succeed incumbent student trustee Alfredo Salmeron.
Germino is currently a full time AB540 student at Los Angeles City College. In his candidate statement, he said his current career goal is to become a medical doctor. His classes for this semester and following semester are prerequisites for his associate degree in biology, which Germino says is a first step towards his career goal. Prior to running for student trustee, Germino was a senator and executive of finance at LACC’s associated student government. He said he’d wanted to run for trustee before but decided to start in ASO to allow himself to gather experience to prepare him for a higher position.
Germino said he decided to run for the position because he wanted to advocate for students across all nine LACCD colleges. Germino touted his community involvement as what allowed him to gain experience and knowledge of legislative meeting procedure.
Germino touts a list of positions and deeds he’s done. As mentioned before, he was a senator and executive of finance at his college for two years. In addition to that, he’s also volunteered at different projects such as City Plants, LA Kitchen and Let’s Volunteer LA. He said all of this has allowed him to gain knowledge on the various resources that are available to the community.
As he heads to the start of his term, Germino said the only thing he has on his mind is representing students from all nine LACCD colleges. He said he would make sure underrepresented communities are taken into account when it comes to providing help and benefits. Creating good communication among all nine college associated student unions is another thing Germino says he wants to work on.
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, campaigning was made difficult due to the campuses being closed. Though Germino was unable to campaign at any of the campuses because of this, he said some things were made more convenient, such as being able to attend candidate forums which were all held on zoom. Germino says that his campaign statement helped him a lot with students who may have missed the zoom forums and that they could read his statement to learn about him.
Germino is undocumented as well as an advocate for undocumented students. He believes this resonated with a lot of students and was what made him stand out from all the other candidates. Germino served on his college’s ASO board advocating for undocumented students and students in general for two years. He even went to Sacramento once as a senator and ASO executive.
Germino said there were many issues students brought up to him during his tenure as an ASO officer. Some of the issues brought up were housing issues and access to healthier tap water. The LACC ASO had helped the SHAC club, a club that helps students in low income and homelessness, by funding $20,000 for scholarships. Germino has pledged to be supportive of these actions and any others that help students.
Though the pandemic could make student communication a little harder, Germino said there are many more ways to communicate. He’s already talked to some of the newly elected ASU officers from the different campuses and hopes to create a more approachable attitude between everyone. The first Student Affair Committee meeting is set for June 12 and he hopes that it will be a great kick off for the term.
There are only 12 meetings each for the Board of Trustees and Student Affairs Committee during his one year term. Germino hopes to accomplish all of his goals during his term. He also hopes to have the support of all college ASOs as things would be difficult to achieve otherwise. Germino even encourages students to apply for any vacant ASO office on their campus because he feels it’s important that they are running efficiently.
An event Germino went through in his life was when he had to drop out of high school due to him not being able to pay his rent. At age 17 he started working at a bakery and continued his education through the adult education system. He eventually transferred to the high school program for adults and finished in 3 years. Germino said he now knows that “if we are allowed a space to study and at the same time being allowed to sleep somewhere near for at least a couple of hours at night, we would be able to continue our education without having to look for alternatives that might delay and leave as behind.”
Germino wants to leave behind a message for all young people that it’s possible to get to the goal of attaining a higher education. Germino wants everyone to know that he is a friendly and nice person. Germino also had a message for ELAC students. “Don’t hesitate on reaching out to me if there is an idea or issue that would need to be addressed. We are all a big family.”