Q+A with Student Trustee Omar Escamilla

The+crowd+of+district+502+citizens+at+the+Board+of+Trustees+meeting+in+the+Student+Life+area+of+the+College+of+DuPage+on+Jan.+28.+

Lucas Koprowski

The crowd of district 502 citizens at the Board of Trustees meeting in the Student Life area of the College of DuPage on Jan. 28.

Taira Alabi, News Editor

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As the College Of DuPage board of trustees was criticized over President Robert Breuder’s $763,000 severance package, there was a COD student who experienced the backlash firsthand. Omar Escamilla has served as student trustee since last April. On March 17 and March 18, students will have the opportunity to elect a new student trustee. The Courier talked to Escamilla to see a student’s role on the board of trustees.

What do you do as the student trustee?

“It’s not just going to the board meetings. You are allowed to sit in on closed sessions and you get all the confidential documents that the board of trustees get. I get to see everything. I represent the student’s voice on the board of trustees.”

Does the student trustee vote count?

“It is an advisory vote. It does not legally count, but the board members do take it into account. Student trustees always vote first, so my vote isn’t influenced by any of the other trustees.” 

What was it like being the student trustee this year?

“Life’s a climb but the view is great. I don’t think I was prepared for the amount of media attention. I wasn’t really used to that environment…I learned to take criticism. There are always going to be people with different viewpoints. It is important to listen to them.”

What do you say to people who believe that the student trustee position is just a resume booster?

“That is not true. I probably spent over 25 hours a week working on this position. It is a voluntary position. You do not get paid. There is this misconception that it is just showing up to board meetings. It is great to put on your resume but you worked really hard to put that on your resume.”

How did you become student trustee? 

Escamilla said that he filed a petition and ran a campaign. To his advantage, his four competitors dropped out of the race, leaving Escamilla the only candidate running. This year, Escamilla wants to ensure that as many students as possible run for student trustee and stay in the race.

Petitions are available in the Office Of Student Life, SSC 1217, until Friday, Feb. 20.

Why do you want to encourage students to run for Student Trustee and vote for the trustees in the upcoming election?

“We need a student voice right now everything that is going on at the college, I want other students to have the same opportunities I have. I am willing to talk to anyone who wants to be the student trustee.”

 

Omar can be reached in the Student Leadership Council Office in the Student Services Center room 2214 or via email at bot-escamilla@cod.edu