Students to have a seat on the college’s District Board

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Madison College’s Student Senate meets recently. Recently, the senate’s efforts to get a student seat on the Distrcit Board were approved.

Tyler Richter, Staff Writer

Right now, there are no students to represent the student body on the District Board. However, with a recent ruling by the board, that will soon change.

As of right now, students have little say in what goes on in a district board meeting without forming a petition. At January’s District Board meeting, it approved allowing a student representative to the board.

This would ensure a student would be present for board decisions and would be able to offer opinions, bridging the gap between the governing body and the students in the process.

The student would not be allowed to vote on a decision, but the individual would be elected by a college-wide vote during the Student Senate spring elections and would begin a 1-year term starting in July. Carolyn Stoner, District Board chair, said these are mostly financial matters. Additionally, the student representative would not be present for closed-door sessions.

Caroline Russell, vice president of legislative affairs for the Student Senate, said while this is not ideal, this is a step in the right direction.

“Even if it’s someone that’s a non-voting member, by having a representative there that they can actually ask questions to that would be in front of them all the time, I think we would be surprised at how much more in contact we would be,” Russell said.

The District Board will assess the position annually, but there are hopes on campus this will lead to a voting member who is an active student.

“Our business is education,” said Carolyn Stoner, District Board chair. “We deal with a lot of matters that pertain to our students and so we thought that it would be good to have a voice sitting at the board table that could advise us as to how to relate to pending issues that are out there.”

With the passing of this motion, Madison College became the fourth technical college district in the state to have a student representative on the district board, joining Blackhawk Technical, Milwaukee Area Technical and Waukesha Community and Technical colleges.

“The hope is that this is a start, not a finish,” said Colin Bowden, Student Senate president. “My goal has always been to have more than one student who votes on that board.”