Magic Mountain and Universal Studios have nothing on Southwestern College when it comes to roller coasters. Since 2002 our institution has had 14 people sit in the President’s chair and a revolving door of administrators.
Thank goodness for the election of 2010 that brought in the stabilizing influence of trustees Tim Nader and Norma Hernandez. It was a turning point. Since then the community has sent three more excellent people to our board. Humberto Peraza, Nora Vargas and Griselda Delgado have continued the 2010 revolution that began the process of stamping out corruption, addressing a toxic campus climate and restoring our good standing in terms of accreditation.
Delgado is running unopposed for re-election, which is good news for the college. She has been a solid trustee who cares about students, respects employees and is focused on community service. The Editorial Board of The Sun enthusiastically endorses Trustee Delgado for a new term.
Unfortunately, the talented Peraza has decided not to run for re-election. He is in graduate school working on a Master’s degree that he hopes will help him to become a college professor. We are saddened by his departure and worried about who will replace him. We thank Trustee Peraza for his outstanding service.
Vying to replace Peraza are senate aid Roberto Alcantar, SWC student Lander Iriarte, Coronado Mayor Casey Tanaka, attorney Lei-Chala Wilson and firefighter William “Bud” McLeroy.
The Sun invited each of the five candidates to speak with the Editorial Board. McLeroy did not respond, but during hour-long interviews Alcantar, Iriarte, Tanaka and Wilson all answered questions about issues students and faculty face at SWC.
We were impressed by Mayor Tanaka, who would almost certainly make an excellent trustee, but The Sun is endorsing Roberto Alcantar for seat #3. Alcantar is passionate, smart and grounded in realism. He has deep roots in the district and cares deeply about SWC and higher education. As a field representative for California State Senator Marty Block, he has served as a point man in Sacramento and San Diego County for education and has enormous, valuable experience. He is also well-connected politically and seems capable of “bringing home the bacon,” a valuable talent.
With the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges breathing down our neck waiting for SWC to slip, it is the governing board’s job to ensure that a capable president restores our accreditation and our reputation. Accreditation has, unfortunately, become highly political and Alcantar has the game to help the college steer between the rocks.
We were also impressed that Alcantar is ready to fight against sexual assault on our campus and hold our campus police accountable for improving student safety, filing accurate crime reports and molding professional conduct.
Alcantar is an active supporter of Proposition Z, which the Editorial Board also strongly endorses. Due to the South Bay Corruption Scandal, some of SWC’s Proposition R funds were misspent and gobbled up by inflation. It is very important that our community knows that all the corrupt board members and administrators are long gone. Our college is in much better hands now and is worthy of the trust of the community. Proposition Z is a necessary investment in the next 50 years of Southwestern College.
Griselda Delgado and Roberto Alcantar will help keep our college on the right track. Proposition Z is a vote for our community’s future. We urge members of this district to vote for Delgado and Alcantar for the SWC Board of Trustees, and to vote Yes on Proposition Z on Nov. 8.