By C.J. Tavera
Anna Bustamante, a board member since 2008, is seeking re-election as District 3 trustee.
With the insight she has, the current board chair said she wants to keep an open dialogue with students and employees.
“Yes, we have seen bumps in the road, but it’s not about just one type of student. We need to meet the needs of all students in Bexar County,” she said.
Bustamante said there is room for strengthening communication between the board, faculty and students. She prefers an open forum and supports the current policy allowing a person to speak on the issues.
She said she refuses to even consider any policy that would prohibit anyone to be heard in public meetings.
“It doesn’t make sense,” she said, referring to a recent proposal to prohibit public comments during citizens to be heard unless the speaker has exhausted all options with administration.
Bustamante said she would follow the lead of the faculty to strengthen programs for workforce certification and liberal arts.
“We will continue to push for training, but liberal arts is also important,” she said.
Bustamante would continue funding for programs like FranklinCovey’s “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”
Faculty are required to take Covey training and the training is also available to students.
She would also continue Alamo Initiatives and AlamoAdvise. The trustees were briefed on the program’s success at the April 19 Student Success Committee meeting.
“AlamoAdvise is progressing well and a lot of success stories are coming out of it from students and their advisers,” she said. Bustamante hopes to see continued progress of both programs.
She also wants to look at cost-effective ways to help students afford college, such as lowering textbook costs. She said she would rather ease their financial burden than increase tuition.
“I do not support any initiatives that raise tuition costs.”
However, she noted the board has limited choices because of a lack of state funding. She is positive there are other ways to keep costs minimized.
This is also part of the ongoing discussion regarding potential bachelor’s degree offerings at the college. She believes there are affordable options, but more details are needed to make any final decisions.
Bustamante also has concerns regarding the concealed carry law effective for two-year colleges in August 2017. She said the board received a briefing about the law at the Dec. 8 meeting from general counsel Ross Laughead.
“We are working on it,” she said.
Bustamante has taught music for 32 years at Southside High School, specializing in classical guitar, conjunto and mariachi. Bustamante said her focus is long-term.
“I want to continue supporting our students with the best opportunities to reach their education goals,” she said.