‘Representing the student body in the best way possible’

WSC’s student trustee works hard with the Board of Trustees to improve college experience

Leah Riley, Staff Writer

The student body is a vast, ever-changing, colorful enigma and is in need of someone to represent its voice. The role of the student trustee is to speak for the student body to the Board of Trustees.

“The student trustee must represent students and advocate for student issues,” Dr. Jeff Carstens, Vice President and Dean of Students, said.

The Board of Trustees relies heavily on input from the student trustees to fulfill what the students of the three state colleges (Wayne, Chadron and Peru) want out of a rewarding four year education.

Wayne State’s student trustee must interact with board members and student trustees at 5-6 meetings throughout the year. Each meeting last about one and a half to two days, during which the trustee will have a chance to become acquainted both formally and informally with the student trustees of the other two state colleges.

“The Board looks to me at meetings on ways to improve the college,” Madison Becker, current student trustee, said. “The board is always extremely interested in what I have to say and is more interested if I bring someone from Student Senate they can talk to.”

Becker is well acquainted with this process of communicating with the trustees of Peru State and Chadron State.

“We have meetings and lunches and then there is a reception where we really get to know each other the most,” Becker said.

Her experience representing the Wayne State College student body to the other two colleges has definitely been rewarding. Her on-going communication with the student trustees of Peru and Chadron has been concentrated on improving the college experience for the students at Wayne State.

“I would communicate with them [the other two student trustees] about things they did on their campus and what we do on ours,” Becker said.

The process by which a student trustee is chosen begins with a nomination procedure, for which the guidelines are set by the Nebraska State College System. A selection committee reviews applications.

This selection committee consists of the current student trustee, one Student Senate faculty advisor, the Vice President/Dean of Students and four other students who are appointed by the current student trustee and Student Senate president.

When three candidates are nominated they must be approved by the Student Senate. The names of the three nominations must then be sent to the System Office. The System Office then forwards the nominations to the Governor’s office who will decide the new student trustee.

This process may seem nerve-wracking, but Becker did not feel intimidated by this pressure.

“The Student Senate picks your name so they obviously think your good,” Becker said.

Representing the student body in the best way possible comes from experience with other students, on-campus activities and from the college experience itself.

“There is no minimum number of credit hours, but the more experience a student has the more they will be able to represent students,” Carstens said.

As someone who will be working with the student trustee, Carstens finds that previous leadership experience on campus is one thing that helps students more aptly communicate with faculty and board members.

The student trustee position is currently being filled.