A bill that would change student representation on the Board of Trustees of the California State University (CSU) was introduced in the Assembly on Monday.
Assembly Bill 1625, authored by Assemblyman Jose Medina (D-Riverside), would allow student members of the CSU Board of Trustees to remain a trustee after their two-year term limit for up to six months if the Governor had not assigned a new replacement. Currently, the two students trustees of the 25 member board alternate board staggered appointment times based on if it is an odd or even year, with the two-year terms ending on June 30th and the new appointee starting on July 1st. Under this system, it ensures that a new student trustee will come in each year. Under AB 1625, if the Governor has not picked anyone new, the student Trustee can remain on the Board until January 1st or until the Governor finally assigns someone.
Assemblyman Medina wrote the bill to ensure continued student representation on the board even if the Governor does not assign someone in time. He also noted on Monday that AB 1625 would continue to expand student voting rights on public university boards and would promote student representation.
“Starting off the week with introducing my very first bill of 2022: AB 1625,”the Assemblyman tweeted on Monday. “Happy to build upon my previous work of expanding student voting rights on public university boards through fair and equal representation!”
Starting off the week with introducing my very first bill of 2022: #AB1625. Happy to build upon my previous work of expanding student voting rights on public university boards through fair and equal representation! #caleg #highered #mondays pic.twitter.com/3QEXkRGwQg
— Jose Medina (@AsmJoseMedina) January 10, 2022
The Assemblyman later added on Tuesday that “AB 1625 builds on my previous work to extend student representation and voting rights on the boards of public university. I am happy to finish the job by creating parity between students and faculty at the CSU Board of Trustees.”
The latest higher education bill by Assemblyman Medina
In the past several years, Assemblyman Medina has spearheaded many bills to expand student representation on higher education boards, including AB 514, a bill signed into law in 2019 that ended the prohibition against student board members from being allowed to vote during their first year on the board.
CSU students reacted positively to the bill on Tuesday, with many expressing firmly that student representation should not be discounted or ignored.
“Experience matters when running a big system of colleges, but they often forget to get student input on these things or somehow know what’s right for us without ever talking with us,” said Andrea, a CSU student who is a representative for many student groups, to the Globe on Tuesday. “Anything that gives us a voice is needed. From what I understand, this bill would always make sure that two students would always be on the board, instead of sometimes there being only one if the Governor forget to put someone in for awhile. That’s big.”
“To some it doesn’t seem like it, but if there is a big trustee decision on something that affects students, like cutting student services or something, we need as many voices there as possible. Even if a lot of students here are not caring about whether or not they have one or two reps for them during a given time, when something comes up that could push them to possibly leaving campus or seeing prices go up, they will suddenly care. So this is good for everyone.”
As of Tuesday, no formal opposition has been mounted against AB 1625, with no major hurdles expected as many previous similar higher education bills were passed unanimously with bipartisan support.
AB 1625 is expected to be heard on the Assembly floor soon.
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