SA needs to prep new trustee

The Student Association must prepare student trustee candidates as they wait for the Board of Trustees to adapt a policy for filling the student trustee vacancy.

Raquel Chavez resigned from her position as student trustee to focus on her role as a law student, according to a Jan. 21 SA news release. If the student trustee position becomes vacant, the SA president must appoint a replacement with the SA Senate’s consent, according to the SA Constitution.

The Board of Trustees does not have a formal procedure listed in their bylaws for the replacement of student trustees, said Ari Owens, SA director of Public Affairs.

The Governance Ad Hoc Committee and Enrollment Ad Hoc Committee, both committees attended by Chavez in the fall, will meet today at noon and 2 p.m., respectively, without a student trustee. These committees discuss important issues like enrollment, which has seen a 2.5 percent decrease this semester.

The Governance Ad Hoc Committee will propose the Board of Trustees adopt the SA’s procedure for filling student trustee vacancies, Owens said. The procedure would not be formally adopted until it is approved by the board at the next general meeting on March 17.

In addition to the two committee meetings today, there will be no student representation at five committee meetings prior to the Board of Trustees general meeting. This means a student voice will not be heard as the trustees and administration discuss budget and enrollment issues, which impact students heavily as Illinois enters month eight of operating without a state budget.

SA President Nathan Lupstein has begun the search for candidates for the student trustee position, Owens said. However, the SA cannot do more than search as they wait for the Board of Trustees to adopt a policy.

As the Board of Trustees enters this process, the Editorial Board recommends the SA encourage student trustee candidates to attend the Board of Trustees meetings. Board of Trustees meetings are open to the public so these candidates are free to familiarize themsleves with the issues.