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Q&A With SLC President-Elect Patricia Simon

Patricia Simon

Student Leadership Council elections were held at the end of winter term, and now it’s time to welcome our new president-elect, Patricia Simon. Simon won the election after Chris Bayers won the student vote, but conceded the election citing that he didn’t have adequate time to fulfill the position. Bayers, however, will still serve as vice president for the upcoming school year.

Simon is a communications major, and has been a student at LBCC for three years. She plans to pursue a career in education or advocacy after her tenure.

Q: How long have you been a part of SLC?

A: The student leadership I started getting more introduced to the past year, but I haven’t really started working with them until now. I joined the OSA, which is close to what they do, fall term.

Q: What is the OSA?

A: [Oregon Student Association] You go to a board meeting once a month, and they talk about different things that are going on. Such as legislative issues– tuition for one example. They do things like lobbying.

Q: Has it been a good experience?

A: It has been a good experience figuring out what things they have been fighting for.

Q: What experience do you have in leadership?

A: I’ve been the vice president of Estudiantes Del Sol for the past year.

Q: What was that experience like?

A: So, we started off kind of small. We used to have a Latino Club, but we decided to bring it back. It’s been hard trying to get people involved. We had a hard time beginning. We have gotten it to progress, working to get more involvement with the community– hosting slide shows, and presentations.

Q: Are you going to juggle both positions?

A: Yeah, I’m going to try to. I still haven’t figured out who is doing what next year, such as who is going to be the new leadership next year. A few members are staying, but we are losing about half our people next term. My hope is to still be involved in that club after this term, but I need to see how to I’m going to manage my new position.

Q: What do you see as your goal as SLC president?

A: I want to get students more involved in student leadership, I also want to improve diversity on campus. It’s been doing well, though. It has improved a lot since I’ve started here. But I think there is still more to be done. I’ve seen the SLC struggle to get more people to come in, anybody can come in, but I see that people stay away from it. Even I stood away from it, but now I’m more involved.

Q: How do you think that you and Chris Bayers are going to get along?

A: I think that we are going to get along really well. I see that he is a caring person, and he’s motivated. I think that our personalities are going to get along well. I know that I want to make sure that some of what he wanted to get done, will still be done. I think we are kind of going to be co-presidents in a way.

Q: What changes do you think need to be made, or do you want to make within the SLC?

A: I know that the SLC struggles keeping members energetic after the start of spring term. Lots of them start to lose interest towards spring term with the summer coming. I think that’s the one thing, just trying to keep our team together.

Q: Why are you interested in promoting student welfare?

A: I went to a conference during fall term and seeing everything that they [SLC] do, I feel that a lot of students don’t know what goes on in the background. They were trying to make sure that the tuition didn’t increase– I know in Portland they want to increase it to fifteen percent– we are trying to make sure that for LBCC students it remains affordable. I feel like it would be helpful for students to know that. I’ve always wanted to help people. Here [LBCC], I started out and my grades were very poor. I’ve gotten a lot better and more involved, and I want progress too.

Q: Do you think your grade increase was directly related to your involvement in the school?

A: I think it helps you feel more motivated and that school is a good place to be. I’d already been working on that, but coming to school and being in the club helps to give you a little bit more purpose.

Story by Alex Gaub

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