ASDVC election results publicly criticized on social media


Shane Louis

Students vote at the ASDVC elections in the Food Court on Wednesday, April 8.

Taylor Pagan, News editor

Former Associated Students of Diablo Valley College President Keith Montes suggested a strong voting influence from international students affected the 2015-16 election results. Montes, who was not re-elected this spring, criticized the results on the official ASDVC Facebook page on April 10.

Interim President Kevin Tian said Tuesday he decided to respond to the dispute on the ASDVC Facebook page after critical comments continued to surface over the weekend.

Tian said he recognizes freedom of speech and appreciates student input and involvement. However, he said the ASDVC Facebook page is a public channel that should exist to keep students updated, and it should not become personal. Tian said heated arguments happen, but they should be handled internally.

“The conversation they are seeing in this thread doesn’t really represent the whole entire truth of what ASDVC is doing,” he said.

Newly elected President Hao (Jason) Wang, along with the nine other elected officials, compose an executive board of both domestic and international students. Nonetheless, Montes’ original comment said they are not representative of the 20,000 students of DVC.

“Let’s not fool ourselves or the public into believing that this election was not swayed by the strong, ever growing international student network at DVC,” he posted. “The task of this mostly international executive team should be to resolve this vacuum of power and not exploit it.”

Student Scott Brown, who goes by Cesare Borgia on Facebook, mentioned the former president’s decision to resign from office in the Fall 2014 semester and recommended Montes take this break from student government to focus on his studies.

“The student body has spoken,” Borgia commented. “Listen carefully, they are saying you are no longer desired as leader.”

ASDVC director of public relations Vivian Natalia then wrote a post accusing Montes of being condescending, racist and bitter.

“Multiculturalism is definitely not international vs. domestic students, let me tell you that first,” she said.

Montes was quick to respond with his defense. He said it is not about race, it is about understanding cultural and socioeconomic differences. He said not all DVC students have parents who can afford to pay for their college education and living expenses.

“It doesn’t make me racist to analyze the demographics of the board or to analyze voting patterns,” he commented. “My father was an international student and I will not tolerate being accused of racism when I have shown great support of the diverse student body we represent.”

Natalia posted that she doesn’t understand the discrimination between ASDVC members.

“Because in my eyes all students are equal,” she commented. “Because at the end of the day, no matter our skin color, living environment and preference, we’re all only a proud DVC student.”

Montes is a former Inquirer editor and Natalia has also been on staff. Montes is on staff this semester, but has not participated since beginning his campaign.

The ASDVC normally uses its public Facebook page to announce meetings and events and post agendas.

Contacted by phone, Montes said ASDVC has a longstanding issue of lack of involvement from domestic students. He blames a lack of advertising targeted at domestic students.

Montes said he decided to go public with the issue because “It’s time to confront the elephant in the room.”

Montes said he and Borgia have an ongoing, personal dispute.

Contacted by Facebook Messenger, Natalia confirmed that there are both domestic and international students on the ASDVC executive board. She was not sure of the exact ratio.

Also contacted by Messenger, Wang declined to make any personal comments.

“Right now I just want to focus on how to accomplish our goals, and provide more convenience to the student body,” he messaged.