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By Wally Perez
District 2 candidate Elmo Murry Aycock III is no stranger to a political setting as he was once City Council aide to Mario Salas, which taught him how a political leader is supposed to administer a political jurisdiction.
He has a bachelor’s degree in social studies with an emphasis on political science from Our Lady of the Lake University.
He said his education, along with his experience as a teacher, has helped him understand the needs of students, staff and faculty.
Their voice is one of the most important things, Aycock said.
He wants to improve communication between trustees and faculty by being an open board member.
“I want my door to not even exist; I want open doors,” he said. “I want everybody, regardless if they’re in my district or not, to be able to come to me and tell me their problems or ideas.”
Aycock said he’s a person of action.
He’s going to reach out to students or faculty and ask questions so he can stay involved.
It’s unconstitutional for the board of trustees to implement a policy that would prevent students and faculty from speaking during meetings, he said.
“I fought in the Marine Corps. I’ve had friends die for America; I’ll be darned if a college district board takes the freedoms of American citizens that my friends fought for and died for,” he said.
With the Alamo Colleges board pushing more toward workforce certificate programs than funding for liberal arts degree programs, Aycock said there should be an equal push for both.
“You can have both; we need to develop the academic programs more rigorously at the Alamo Colleges,” he said. “There is no ‘either or’; both certificates and degrees are important.”
If bachelor’s degrees can be offered at the Alamo Colleges, Aycock is all for it, but his focus is on the associate degrees and certificates currently offered.
Keeping classes affordable is also important to him. The budget needs to reflect the values of the district’s residents, he said.
“We need to cut out any unnecessary building projects, or unnecessary projects in general, and put it into financial aid and scholarships,” he said.
Money should be spent on student’s first, and then faculty.
He said he doesn’t support spending almost $2 million over the next four years on FranklinCovey’s “7 Habits of highly effective people” and “4 Disciplines of Execution”.
“We need to spend it on making things better for students and faculty, not on a program that is out of the needs of the students,” he said.
“There’s one reason I’m the best candidate,” he said. “I’m here to serve, not to be served.”