The board of trustees is supposed to be a champion of students’ best interests in response to administrative requests for action. Board members can’t do that if they don’t know what students need.
Administration submits proposals to the board, but the board still has to vote before anything can be implemented. Should they decide a proposal is not in students’ best interest, they can vote against it.
To help the board understand what should pass and what should go back to the drawing board, students should speak out about their wants, needs, complaints and compliments.
Citizens-to-be-heard is a forum for people to address the board at the monthly regular and committee meetings before proposals are sent to vote.
Participants wanting to address the board can sign up from 5-5:55 p.m. at a kiosk outside Room 101 at the district offices at 201 W. Sheridan.
If trustees do not hear from anyone, the board can only act on their own beliefs or blindly follow administrators’ wishes.
Alternatively, when students or taxpayers do speak, the board needs to pay attention. They shouldn’t be checking texts, taking a break or holding a private conversation. Listening is their job.
They aren’t even required to reply to comments in the citizens-to-be-heard portion of the meeting. The least they can do is listen.
To come to an understanding of what students actually need versus what administrators think is best, students and board members need to have an active dialogue.
Students and faculty spoke against the standardization of textbooks across the district and the addition of EDUC 1300, Learning Framework, to the core last semester. After multiple people spoke out against these issues, the board decided to halt the initiatives until a better solution was found.
Get educated on what is happening around campus and within the district by following board minutes and news, then take concerns to the appropriate place.
Students are more empowered than some would have us believe.