By Sarah Hendrix | Staff Writer

Diane Russia Famorca knows the difficulty of being a student at KCC and feeling disconnected to the resources and services that it provides. Her hope in stepping into the role of being vice president of Student Congress in the next 2018-2019 school year is to bridge a connection between students who are not involved at KCC and the help Student Congress can offer them.

As of Monday, April 22, Famorca was announced as the new vice president of Student Congress for the 2018-2019 school year. Famorca ran unopposed for the position and will be succeeding Raiyan Rafid as vice president.

Famorca recognizes many of the struggles her fellow classmates and friends experience as students at KCC. In accepting the position as vice president, she ultimately wants to raise awareness that there are many available resources for students to use that make college life much easier. When students have complaints, she wants to be able to listen and point them in the direction of solution.

“I feel like they [students] do have all these resources,” Famorca said. “A lot of people don’t know about Student Congress, but they have all of these complaints or things that aren’t working out, but they just don’t know who to go to. I want to bring more awareness to that. Like ‘Hey, you have a problem? We’re going to do something about it.'”

Famorca, 19, is in her second year at KCC studying Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology. Through one of her psychology classes, she was able to meet Rafid, the current vice president for Student Congress, and he explained to her Student Congress’ involvement at KCC.

“I’ve always wanted to be involved in the campus, but I wasn’t aware that Student Congress existed,” she said. “Through my psychology classes, that’s where I met Raiyan. … He said, ‘Student Congress exists, we solve problems and want to better students’ academic life.’ And I’m like, that sounds awesome. I have a few friends who have a lot of issues with the school as far as their academic life and interests, and if there’s something I can do about it, that is what my goal is.”

Currently, a concern among KCC students that Student Congress has started working on is improving KCC’s wi-fi. This is an issue that will continue throughout the 2018-2019 school year and is something that Famorca wants to continue to push forward.

“The major concern we’re trying to work on is improving the wi-fi,” she said. “Part of the survey is asking if they [KCC students] are willing to pay $5 into improving school wi-fi … because a lot of people complain about school wi-fi. I remember one time I was doing my math home and it was so slow I was like ‘OK, I’m not going to do my math homework.'”

Mark Salvador, 25, was born and raised in Honolulu and is a classmate and friend of Famorca’s. He is currently enrolled in Liberal Arts with a concentration in Psychology. Salvador and Famorca became acquainted over the past three semesters through taking psychology and Filipino classes together at KCC.

“She’s a people person, she can relate to people and she listens,” Salvador said. “So I feel like those contribute to the overall effectiveness of her getting to be vice president.”

Salvador admires the qualities he has been able to witness while taking classes with Famorca. They’ve been in five classes together, and he has witnessed her ability to take initiative when tasks need to get done.

“She’s very task-oriented,” he said. “She always makes a checklist of things to do and then goes about doing it based on the importance [of the task]. So I think that will help her in her position.”

Famorca is excited to step into her new role as vice president in the coming 2018-2019 school year. She hopes to take practical steps in raising awareness to the student body about resources that are available on campus to help them through their academic life. The first step to her solution will be verbally telling the people she comes across about the existence of Student Congress.

“Definitely talking to more people about it,” she said. “When I’m having a conversation with a friend or classmate, maybe if something comes up I can tell them, ‘Hey by the way Student Congress exists, I can tell you about it.’ It’s about making students’ academic life better so they won’t lose interest.”