I would like to cast an advisory vote that the student trustee should have an official vote on the Board of Trustees. When an agenda item is called to a vote, each Board member’s position affects the outcome. Each vote counts, except the student trustee’s.
The student trustee is supposed to be the official elected voice of the entire student body and not recognizing the vote means not recognizing the voice of more than 28,000 students. I do not understand the purpose of a non-voting member. With an advisory vote, the Board is basically saying, “We value your opinion, but not enough to where we would allow it to impact the outcome of ours.”
Additionally, to even be granted the opportunity to cast the uninfluential vote, the student trustee must make a request with the Board president. While each Community College may grant the advisory option, they are not required to do so. In fact, our student trustee is quite fortunate because some colleges silence the students’ voice by not allowing an advisory vote at all.
However, if I were serving on the Board while grappling with the same issues as all the other Board members, I would expect my opinion and vote to hold the same significance.