By David Borja
Triton’s Call Staff
The creation of a Regional Public Policy Center was announced in the School of Business and Public Administration on Thursday, February 16.
John Rivera, Ph.D., assistant professor and chair of the SBPA board, stated that there is an opportunity to affect change with this plan.
“More than lacking, we prefer to see the opportunity, potential, and what this can mean for our island communities,” Rivera said. Aside from the obvious work that the Regional Center can foster, as the President has stated, we have the potential to “pool expertise and research and provide robust, meaningful, and non-partisan information.”
Over the course of the past two years, SBPA has hosted various events addressing pertinent issues such as the Enhanced Collaborative Model to Combat Human Trafficking and the anti-sexting campaign focused Project Foresight.
The idea itself is the brainchild of what the SBPA look at as an asset to island.
According to Rivera, it took almost two years to come to fruition. An initial discussion occurred months before the first official proposal was given.
Rivera said, “the first official proposal was transmitted to the SVP on Sept. 28, 2015. On October 31, 2016 the President officially endorsed the center.”
For now, the formation of tasks is the primary focus of the Regency Center.
“We are currently setting an agenda for priorities of our policy focus” Rivera said. “In particular, one of the main reasons the Regional Center was started was that SBPA saw community engagement and the creation of relevant policies as an need for the island.”
Stated within the rationale of the RCPP is the University of Guam’s “responsibility to examine and research the economic, social, and cultural issues that affect Guam and the region.”
The opening of this Regency Center for Public Policy calls upon the roster of professors and faculty with the requisite knowledge in UOG to improve issues such as education and healthcare.
Rivera explained that “the formation of tasks is the primary focus of the Regency Center. The Center is currently setting an agenda for priorities of with a certain policy focus.”
When asked about whether the RCPP will work with schools such as the University of Hawaii to develop policies, Rivera said “We are certain that such collaborations will be in the near future.
Rivera only sees more growth in the center. “In the next 5 years we envision that we will continue the good work we started with the same veracity and passion as that when we first brought this Regional Center to life.”