Taumalolo proposes communication

Good communication is the key to any relationship.

According to Noke Taumalolo, a lack of communication is the biggest issue between the student body at Santa Monica College and their elected representatives on the Associated Students board.

Taumalolo, who is running for AS president as part of the "Change We Deserve" slate, wishes to bridge the gap between the AS and the student body should he be elected.

"My first year at SMC was hard; I didn't have information about how to be successful, or how to get involved with the school," says Taumalolo. "I felt like there was no communication."

Taumalolo has spent the past three years at SMC getting to know many students and constantly interacting with them, gauging their interests, and seeing which issues affect them the most.

"I feel blessed to be so outgoing," says Taumalolo. "I want to inform as many students as possible, to be a student advocate, and make sure they know about all the different resources available to them."

Taumalolo also believes that communication can be improved through more promotion of sporting events.

"A lot of people don't even know how many sports teams we have," says Taumalolo. "You look in the crowd at some of the games and there's only a handful of people. It's a great way to bring students together."

Aside from the lack of communication, Taumalolo believes that the other major issues needing to be addressed are the food prices in the cafeteria, the prices of textbooks, and the cutting back of classes.

Part of his vision for the cafeteria is to start a small cafe that would be completely run by SMC students.

"I'd like a place that we could bring in homemade-type food at reasonable prices," says Taumalolo. "It's a great way to bring in money and to get students more actively involved."

In terms of textbook prices, he wants to look into possibly starting a book-rental program at the campus bookstore.

"I think it would help with lower prices on textbooks, and if they were more affordable for students, we'd see a decrease in the dropout rate," says Taumalolo.

When it comes to addressing the cutting of classes, Taumalolo believes the place to make student voices heard is in Sacramento.

"We can't just march around campus yelling and complaining; that won't get anything done," says Taumalolo. "It's not really SMC's fault. It's more of a state issue that needs to be addressed at that level."

As a political science major, Taumalolo's passion for politics first started in 2010 when he began actively involving himself with local groups dedicated to fighting for social issues such as gay rights and poverty.

"It really changed me; I learned a lot about trying to unite people for a cause and it really made me who I am today," says Taumalolo.

After SMC, Taumalolo hopes to transfer to Azusa Pacific University, and after he gets a degree, go to law school.

His newfound love for politics is a big reason why he wants to pursue it at a higher level, and he has enjoyed his recent campaign experience.

"It's been very stressful, but it's also been very exciting at the same time," says Taumalolo. "It's a great experience and that's what life is all about, experiencing different things."