Letter to the Editor: Student government vice president deems last Editorial racially offensive

As an elected representative of the student body, I have always strived to equitably and represent all students who attend Las Positas College. It has never been in my character to favor certain groups because of my firm belief in equal representation.

The Express’ latest editorial expresses disapproval of mine and current ASLPC President Amir Salehzadeh’s involvement in LPC’s Middle Eastern Awareness Club. In the editorial, our involvement in the club “does not help with the perception of fair treatment for all students, all clubs and all interests.”

I believe this statement could not be more incorrect. I do not see how being in a club which I was in a year before I was in office shows any favoritism towards that club.

I think it fails to understand that I am also a student who has passions that are separate
from student government. In my two years at LPC, these passions have lead to my involvement in the Middle Eastern Awareness Club, the Physics Club, the Gay-Straight Alliance Club, the International Business Club, the Poetry Club and the Philosophy Club. It was this experience that prepared me for the position of Inter-Club Council chair.

I also thought it was interesting that out of the many clubs I have been involved in—Amir and I were called out for our involvement in the Middle Eastern Awareness Club. I personally asked for the reasoning behind this and it was explained that it wasn’t that but the fact that two officers were in the same club. I then thought, ‘OK, if two officers in the same club is a problem, then how come it is not mentioned in the editorial that two officers are also in the Alpha Gamma Sigma Club?’
In fact, why were the only two Middle Eastern Officers shamed about being in clubs while other officers involved in clubs are not?

Then it all made sense to me. The editorial compares my involvement in the Middle Eastern Awareness Club to, and I quote, “it had been found that Barack Obama was also the chair of some random United Black People of America Club?”

When I read that, I was high- ly offended because I felt I was not getting called out because of favoritism but because of my race.

The direct parallel drawn between Amir and I being Middle Eastern to Obama being involved in an African-American club made it clear that it was my race that was the real problem. Why else would no other clubs be mentioned or it not mention non-Middle Eastern officers involvement in clubs?

I wish that this wasn’t true but this is how I felt. In my opinion, student officers should get involved in as much campus activity as possible. Not only does being involved help officers meet new students and gain needed leadership experience—it helps broaden an officer’s campus awareness.

This is their right as students. It is not favoritism to follow one’s passions.

If I had been asked if it was a goal of mine to represent the interests of Middle Eastern students, I would have proudly said “yes.” Along with the goal to rep- resent Political Science majors, women, Californians, Americans and all LPC students.

With that all being said, I want to ensure that my loyalty is to my LPC peers, not only my race.

Christina Aboud, incoming ASLPC Vice President


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