Lizbeth Cano-Sanchez steps up to the Associated Students presidency
Lizbeth Cano-Sanchez is the first sophomore to serve as president of Associated Students at Humboldt State University since at least 1975.
Cano-Sanchez took over as president of AS following the previous president’s resignation in December 2019. Formerly the administrative vice president, Cano-Sanchez decided to run for HSU student government after serving as president of the Hill dorms and a member of the Resident Hall Association board in her freshman year.
“Sometimes in my life, and I thank God for it, things align and things happen, but I push for them, and I work for them,” Cano-Sanchez said.
AS Legislative Vice President Jeremiah Finley began working with Cano-Sanchez as a fellow dorm president on the RHA.
“During any transition period in any organization, things can get a little hectic and challenging as the new person comes to fill the role left behind,” Finley said. “That being said, after she became AS president, working with her has been the most valuable experience that I have had in my young professional life.”
Originally from Mexico, Cano-Sanchez was raised in Monterey Park, California. She currently has temporary residency in the U.S. and is making her way toward citizenship.
Cano-Sanchez initially came to Humboldt to be a part of the track and field team and the cross-country program. She’s taken part in both varsity sports since her freshman year at Schurr High School. She was the MVP for cross-country her freshman and senior years, and MVP of track and field her sophomore and junior years. She became captain of the cross-country team her sophomore year, and the track and field team her junior year. She also currently holds the 5K record at Schurr High.
Cano-Sanchez decided to step away from sports this spring to make much-needed room for her new role as AS president.
“I don’t think I was intimidated,” Cano-Sanchez said. “I was very excited. But I could feel a little bit of sadness within me, because I knew I had to make a choice between sacrificing more leisure time or self care time or I was going to be sacrificing running.”
Cano-Sanchez said her relationship with running also changed.
“I wasn’t setting goals for myself in that area anymore, and it was because I was trying to grow in other areas,” Cano-Sanchez said. “Now that I’m away from it I can see all of my errors, but I still have some growing to do before I go back.”
As a business major, Cano-Sanchez chose to run for the administrative vice president’s position during the 2019 spring elections because of its practical application to her major. She ran with a platform advocating for a stronger student union, having visited other universities with more efficient systems.
“We have a very lenient and flexible system at the moment,” Cano-Sanchez said. “It calls for innovation and creativity, and that’s a huge thing that I value. So, I’m not talking about making things more strict, not at all. I’m talking about having a more efficient system, within ourselves, in order to successfully serve our students.”
As the AS administrative vice president, Cano-Sanchez made efforts to centralize HSU’s funded programs. She also resurrected the AS Funded Programs Committee that’s been chaired by the AVP position in the past.
“At first, only a few showed up,” Cano-Sanchez said. “Then the second meeting, more showed up and I felt very happy to see them getting involved and wanting to have their voice be represented. That was a hard one to let go of [the AS Funded Programs Committee] because I liked seeing how the money worked and how our students were being served through their student fees.”
As the fill-in president of AS, Cano-Sanchez has taken on the position as if she ran for it. She has weekly advising meetings with the AS professional staff, monthly meetings with HSU President Tom Jackson, and has created strong communication between the AS board.
Executive Director of AS Jenessa Lund has worked closely with Cano-Sanchez for the academic year.
“She has consistently demonstrated that she is willing and capable to prioritize her AS roles,” Lund said. “Being AS president is very time consuming and Lizbeth has done a phenomenal job at doing what she can, but also delegating tasks and roles to other AS board members.”
Cano-Sanchez admitted the position takes time.
“But it’s worth it,” Cano-Sanchez said. “Students need to know and my board needs to know in order to communicate it down.”
Cano-Sanchez’s main focuses with AS are improving the internal structure and raising awareness of AS resources that can help to meet student needs. Cano-Sanchez has also decided to run for AS president for the 2020-2021 academic year.
Juggling classes with a presidency is enough to stress out anyone, but Cano-Sanchez feels she was made for it.
“I think that I’m very much a natural born leader, ” Cano-Sanchez said. “I know that I am. I know that I can tell when things need to be fixed, and I have been fixing them.”