Navor Jacob Tercero
On December 7, 2017, the elected members of the Associated Students of Skagit Valley College (the ASSVC), met to select the interim replacement of then President of the ASSVC, Victor Gonzalez, for the remaining academic year. After meeting with three candidates for the position the ASSVC chose to appoint Flor Zamorano-Beltran as the interim Student President.
As per the ASSVC bylaws (Article II, Section 8), if there is a mid-year vacancy for a position within the members of the ASSVC, an interim appointment process will begin to fill that seat until the next general student election when the interim holder of that seat can seek to retain their appointment if they so choose. While the selection of an interim Student Representative is not uncommon it is far rarer for the Presidential seat to be filled by interim selection. Brian Murphy, advisor to Student Life and Student Government spoke to the Cardinal and says that within the last ten years the role of President has only been left vacant mid-year twice, and each time has been filled by appointment.
When asked for comment on the unique situation surrounding her appointment, Miss Zamorano-Beltran said that she believes that the way that the ASSVC went about filling the Presidential vacancy was the best course of action. Miss Zamorano-Beltran says that Student Government was working on several projects which were rather important to her predecessor and that Student Government wanted to make sure that these projects were seen through and that whoever filled Mr. Gonzalez’s seat had the right qualifications.
Several students who spoke to the Cardinal were unsure of this policy, however.
Grace Davis, a third-quarter SVC student said that she believes that “it would just be better to have regular students vote instead of the student council deciding for everyone.”
While Luis Pimentel, an SVC student who is nearing the end of his third year believes that Student Government should have assigned someone to fill in the seat temporarily while also starting an immediate special election to make sure that Student Voices were being more directly heard in the selection of the head of the representative body. He says that he “[does] not believe student government made a correct choice in this situation.”
Born in Los Cabos Mexico, Miss Zamorano-Beltran moved to the United States with her family when she was 7 years old. When she started SVC two years ago she was studying to be a part of the Associates of Education because she wanted to be a teacher. Since her first year, however, she said that this current political climate has moved her to pursue another path.
“I realized that I am really interested in Political Science and Social Justice and [so] will be transferring…[to major] in Political Science”
During the almost two years which Miss Zamorano-Beltran has been at SVC, she has made herself a very active member of Student Life and Student Leadership. Before becoming the President of the ASSVC she was a member of the Program Board and is also the founder and sitting President of the Dreamers Club. Herself a DACA recipient she has been an active part of lobbying the SVC administration to support the needs of Undocumented Students.
During the next few months, her vision for her term is one of advocacy and representation. “I hope to…empower students to do the same as I’ve been doing” and finds inspiration in her predecessor, Victor. Gonzalez. “I would always see Victor and everything that he was doing and be like ‘wow I want to be like Victor’… so then that was a goal which I set [for] myself and as soon as the position was open I applied and I got it, I earned it”
Candice Morrow, Miss Zamorano-Beltran’s former English 102 instructor says of her that she “is naturally curious and kind and has a keen interest in speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves”
Angel Camarena, a third-quarter student at SVC who has worked with Miss Zamorano-Beltran in putting together the Voces de Mujeres panel, which took place April the nineteenth, says of her that he feels “like she is a true reflection of an empowered woman…she’s educated. She’s smart, and I feel like as president of the student body she fits really well because…she is a Latina and I feel like during this political climate it shows that we as Latinx students and Latinx people could actually do bigger stuff”
Miss Zamorano-Beltran will only be holding this position as the Interim President of the ASSVC until the end of spring and will not seek to retain it as she will be transferring to Seattle University in the Fall. For more information about Student Elections and Student Government please contact Brian Murphy in the Student Life Offices in the Cardinal Center.