Board approves adding student trustee

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SGA President Andrew Hubbard talks with District 7 trustee Yvonne Katz after Tuesday’s meeting. Photo by Melissa Perreault

SGA President Andrew Hubbard talks with District 7 trustee Yvonne Katz after Tuesday’s meeting. Photo by Melissa Perreault

Applications for nonvoting seat are due Tuesday at each college’s SGA.

By Katherine Garcia

A student will have a seat as a nonvoting member of the Alamo Colleges board of trustees as soon as May.

Trustees voted unanimously to approve the addition of a student to the elected nine-member board.

Through Tuesday, the Student Government Associations for all five Alamo Colleges will collect and review applications. One candidate from each will be submitted to the board by March 31.

In April, the board will review applications and conduct interviews, and the student trustee should be selected and sworn in at the May 13 regular meeting.

The student trustee will serve one year May 13 through April 30, 2015, and receive a $600 scholarship.

“I am looking forward to having a representative sit on the board so we can hear the voice of the students,” District 2 trustee Denver McClendon said.

According to the minute order, the student trustee must participate in all board meetings, events, conferences and training; is barred from participating in executive session and viewing nonpublic executive session materials. The student can view the board agenda and propose items and must inform Student District Council of the items presented to the board. Student District Council is composed of SGA presidents and vice presidents from each of the colleges.

Because they don’t have an SGA, Northeast Lakeview College sends two delegates of their Officers’ Roundtable and Northwest Vista sends the president and vice president of the Inter-Club Council.

To apply, a student candidate must be enrolled in at least six credit hours at the Alamo Colleges throughout their term, maintain at least a 2.5 GPA, prove how they have served and are committed to their college or community, and submit an essay on why they wish to serve.

Students can apply through one campus only. After being chosen, the student and alternate attend principle-leadership training within 60 days of being seated, said Ross Laughead, general counsel for the district. He said the district would cover the cost.

Laughead said many states, including this one, have student trustees at major universities, but there is no statute in Texas that allows student trustees at community colleges. If the student trustee were elected under the statute that major universities use to elect their student trustee, the Alamo Colleges would have to choose a student trustee to represent all nine districts. “We’ve found a way to not violate laws and put a student trustee in a similar position,” he said.

Because the student trustee is chosen independently of the statute law as a nonvoting member, the Attorney General’s office did not need to be informed of the change, Laughead said.

The student trustee initiative started with Jacob Wong and Justin Wideman in spring 2013.

Andrew Hubbard, current SGA president and Student District Council chair, said, “This is a positive step forward, and we’re to help our district move forward in the right direction.”

Hubbard, a champion of the proposal, said he would not run for the position.


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