As of Oct. 25, Delaware Valley (DelVal) University selected a student to be on their Board of Trustees, according to their website. Julia Reynolds is the first student to be on the DeVal trustee board itself.
This is important and a landmark decision for many reasons.
A student being included on how a college spends it’s money is a very smart move because a student is able to speak for other students.
It also is beneficial to the students as a community because now there is someone who is in their age range looking out for their best interests on the campus.
Being a full-time student at Keene State College, I am excited to know that another college is including students on these important boards.
I would like to think that this is the first step to allowing students to connect with people who are financially in power to provide the input to make a university or college desirable to potential students. However, there can be challenges with this.
According to the article, “A Rare Look at What Makes Student Trustees Effective” by Peter Schmidt on the website The Chronicle of Higher Education, it discusses the breakdown of the challenges a student on a board of trustees can experience.
One that stood out to me was the short term the student is given.
It makes you wonder, how can a student truly speak out and accomplish tasks for other students when they are not given that much time to do this effectively.
This is something that would make me weary of being completely overtaken with excitement when the harsh reality is that not everything a student body wants can be achieved in one term.
Although this is a part of the job, it is not the whole job.
A student being on a board of trustees can be an empowering position for students to see someone their age wanting to speak for them and their interests.
It also allows students to reach out to someone they can relate to in order to speak up with concerns or worries they have when it comes to their day to day life on campus.
Another interesting aspect to adding a student on the DelVal Board of Trustees, is the fact that Reynolds is a woman.
This can give identified female students a safer route to go to when advocating for groups that can help other women on campus.
It is also important because a woman is given a powerful position that is held by men.
In a way it is shocking to me that a college chose not only a student, but also a female one.
It’s a message that yes, women can be in powerful positions making decisions that are financial. It is also included under her picture that she is also the president of the university’s student government board as well.
I am hoping that more colleges take an initiative to start having students on their respective trustee boards and not only having students in general, but making sure that whomever they pick speaks up for all students.
Lisa Russo can be contacted at email@example.com