By Javier Lopez
Fellow peers see Romel Lopez, the new East Los Angeles College Associated Student Union president, as kind and helpful. Lopez expresses his dedication to help students.
When Lopez was asked how he would improve students’ lives as ASU president, he stated that not only regular students were his priorities but also non-traditional students.
Lopez said his main concerns was non-traditional students. “ I want to make education that much easier for students who have so much going on in their lives,” Lopez said.
Lopez has faced many struggles throughout his life. Lopez came from Homeboy Industries, which is one of the largest at risk gang prevention institutions around. Being a single father has showed him how important it is to help students and his community, as well.
Lopez said, “It’s a stepping stone, you have to do it,”Lopez said.
This is not to say that his only concern is non-traditional students. Lopez makes it clear that he hopes to help all students get the resources they need to transfer.
Lopez said his plans involve boosting transfer rates. He said his main goal is “making ELAC a transfer community college.”
Lopez stated that ELAC has all the resources students need to raise the transfer rate and that is his goal. He is also really concerned about student safety and hopes to improve it.
The idea to have a shuttle from the gold line to East Los Angeles College campus was presented and started by Lopez himself.
Current ASU President Sonny Martinez also agrees that the presidency is being handed down to the right person. “I feel confident that I’m leaving it in good hands,” Martinez said. Martinez has worked hand in hand with the new ASU president.
“He (Romel) pushed the boundaries of his position, so I think he’s going to push his boundaries as president,” Martinez said.
Not only does Martinez believe that Lopez is going to be a good president, but he knows that Lopez is incredibly kind. “He has nothing but the best intentions,” Martinez said. Students and people he’s worked with feel that way about him do as well.
Student Milagros Hidalgo said Lopez would be a good president. “I think he does look committed to his position, I think he will change everything that needs to be changed,” she said.
Hidalgo met Lopez while helping her with the Administration of Justice Club. “He would give us good advice so we wouldn’t get in trouble,” she said. Students aren’t the only ones who believe in him, his friends do as well.
“I’m excited, because personally, we have the same upbringing,” Luz Flores, a friend of Lopez, said.
Representation is very important and it’s is why Lopez winning is so important to Flores.
Flores said she and Lopez had a conversation where she was congratulating him on his victory and they agreed, “Let’s make this the year where we get more transfers.”
Lopez has many goals as ASU president and he has not only friends backing him up but also students and faculty that believe in his goals.