Student president gets goals in gear

Cari Arthur

Benjamin Cruz
City Times

For Clemente Valdez, winning the student election during the spring semester was just the start of what he said is going to be the busiest new school year for the Associated Students.

Although he was inaugurated in June, Valdez just took office Aug. 27. Valdez now finds himself attending meeting after meeting with the Board of Trusties and Associated Students.

“One of the first things as president is to have students vote on the Student Community Center again this fall,” Valdez said.

Valdez is referring to the Student Community Center proposal in last spring’s elections. If passed, it will approve the building of a multi-million dollar facility paid for by the students.

Valdez isn’t giving up on the idea. He believes that the student center is vital to the success of many students.

This time, however, Valdez said he will have the ballot casting online as opposed to campus polls, and will extend the voting to five days. The changes, Valdez hopes, will guarantee them the votes needed to pass the proposal.

“I’m going to open forums, I want to go into classrooms and have questions and answers,” Valdez said. “Were going to ask professors for times they’ll let us into their classes and talk about the Student Community Center.”

The student center isn’t the only thing Valdez will focus on as student president. He said the student government has always had difficulty when it comes to the transition between the outgoing council that ends their term and the new incoming council. He plans to change that.

Valdez said another goal is the possibility of regulating smoking on campus. Although a similar proposal was passed in the spring elections, Valdez said that some students will smoke on campus anyway.

Like other first-semester City students, Valdez took the school’s assessment test and scored high enough to be accepted into the honors program. During the first days of his honors classes, a classmate came to him and told him about the Trio Aspire program.

“I went to Trio Aspire and talked to a counselor, Kathy Lopez. I told her I wanted to go to law school so she told me I should intern at a law firm and other things like student government,” said Valdez.

When 2006-2007 President, Francisco Fabian announced that he would not run again last spring because he was transferring, Valdez saw it as an opportunity. He ran against three other students.

Valdez said he plans to be president only for a year. He knows that being student president at City is no easy job, and that he will have to take on a light load of classes during his presidency.

After that, he’ll have a semester left at City, maybe two. The main reason for not seeking re-election next spring is that he said he wants to see how well the transition goes with the next student president.

“I want to stick around for at least a semester after my term ends to make sure the next administration is even better with the transition,” said Valdez.

Valdez is studying psychology and plans on going to law school. Although he lives down the street from Southwestern College, he chooses to go to City because of its diversity.

“I am very excited to be in the position that I am in,” Valdez added. “This is a place where I can have a great impact on students. My job at City is great. I want to make it a better place.”