Students at COD need to have a representation when it comes to major decisions. That representation is supposed to be reflected in the student trustee position. However, is our student representative doing her job to represent the school?
In any situation, an elected position should be followed by actual results of work. Where is the evidence that our student trustee is working to represent the students? The lack of proof attracts the idea that the student trustee is more interested in the title than in actually representing the student body.
Historically, the student trustee has not made any noticeable attempt at connecting with students and finding out what issues matter to us. Typically, their contact information is not public knowledge, and their campus schedule is unknown. As with any political seat, it does not make sense to have someone so inaccessible and unrelatable be the face of a population.
During recent debates between CODFA and the Board of Trustees, where was our student representation? Regardless of what the situation is truly like, the fact that a strike is still an imminent threat highlights the absence of anyone rooting for COD students on the frontlines of the possible strike situation.
On the flip side, how much of a role is the board of trustees allowing the student trustee? The student trustee’s presence at the meetings comes off as a mere formality or insurance so the board—if there is a student representative at the board meetings, decisions that could potentially affect students negatively won’t seem so detrimental because of the student trustee’s presence.
However, it is worth noting that it’s hard to determine the true influence in student trustee has over the school board. Because the position’s vote doesn’t count, the board could very much choose to ignore whatever vote is cast in honor of the students.
Perhaps the solution is for the current and future student trustees to be more proactive in representing the student body and for them to be allowed true influence over campus decisions such as with public office hours, regular listening forums and honest transparency regarding Board meetings.