SMC Presidential Candidate Larry Buckley
It was 5 p.m. Thursday evening, the campus' crowd of students started to dwindle. At the Main Stage there was still another presidential forum for the day. It was Larry Buckley's turn. Larry Buckley presented himself as a more reserved man, careful in his words, with a slightly less hands on approach. In fact, Buckley’s platform was largely based on numbers that worked for him at Canada College in Redwood City where he currently serves as President. Buckley was less experimental and more focused on doing what has proven to work in the community college system.
Part of what Buckley feels is experience that only he holds among the candidates is the working relationships he has with over 60 trustees in the state, in which he's worked alongside them at six different colleges.
At the expense of sounding trite, Buckley says, "I think that the experience I've had with my career makes me the best person to take you to the next level."
Why he wants to be here, he answers, "The answer is 4 percent... that is the percentage of local high school graduates who are transferring from Santa Monica." While he admits that we have a high transfer rate of students going to UC's, he points out that our 4 percent equity is below the state average. He seeks to change that number.
Buckley wants to see through the process of students transferring. "You don't come here to fail, you come here to transfer," he says.
He spent a lot of time talking about his values which include being truthful and honest, and also two words he taught the audience "kuleana" meaning responsibility, and "malama" meaning to serve or to honor. He builds off of these principles in how he lives his everyday life.
Very abrupt and probably stemming from his honest nature, Buckley mentioned seeing the word a bit differently now as he has a heart condition, or an artificial heart valve, which gives him a limited time to live—albeit it's a 60 year heart valve which would make it a little less immediately life threatening. And while it was out of the blue, it did bring a certain rawness to what would normally be a contrived speech given the nature of how presidential speeches normally go.
He left the audience with this, "The opposite of love isn't hate. The opposite of love is indifference." This is his platform in which he strives to make change.