As we dive deeper into the search process for the 2012-2013 Student Trustee, I’d like to take an opportunity to fill you all in on what the Student Trustee actually does that makes the position moderately important.
And before you all stop reading, please know that I’ll do this in as self-deprecating and humorous a way as possible. No guarantees that I’ll succeed, but if you want guarantees then you should talk to a used car salesman.
Everyone knows St. Mary’s has a President, but much like everyone else in this world, even he answers to someone else. In this case, that someone else is that mysterious entity some of you may have heard of, the Board of Trustees (they answer to the governor, who answers to Barack Obama, who answers to Michelle Obama).
Well, that omnipotent group of individuals needs to have some checks and balances in place, so they don’t run amok and put all our tuition dollars in a Cayman Islands bank account. In this case, they created a position for one of those tuition paying folk we call students, who might not want to see his/her tuition dollars siphoned off the top. We call this position “Student Trustee.”
Now, before I go any further, I’d like to reassure all of you that I don’t think our current trustees would put our money in Cayman Island accounts and flee the country. They’re much more the Swiss bank account type of people.
Now, that “Student Trustee” thingy spends a year in training, getting to know the trustees and how the whole process works. Then s/he jumps into the full role of being the voice of the students and attempting to secure his/her own offshore account.
On the side, the Student Trustee gets to advocate for the students in such mundane processes as the Strategic Planning, mold fiasco solution brainstorming sessions, buildings and grounds initiatives, enrollment and student affairs happenings, tuition hikes/drops, internet ramblings, and anything else that s/he feels needs student representation and doesn’t have it.
The position opens doors that might otherwise have been welded shut by the Physical Plant.
In all these instances, it might be helpful to have the opinion of the student body as well. This takes us into the phase Einstein referred to as “information gathering.” This can be done a multitude of ways, from sitting on the patio with a giant sign looking like an idiot, to heated discussions over the pong table.
Sometimes it’s done through everyone’s favorite means of communication: the All Student E-mail. The critical step in this whole process is having people care about things. An impassioned student body gets things done.
So now, if you’re a first-year or sophomore, stop and think about whether or not you might make a good student trustee. If you’re a junior or senior, take a moment to chuckle at the fact that you’re more than halfway through/almost done, and then think if there are any first-years or sophomores that you know who would be good at this. Suggest it to them.
Stress the offshore bank account and the free use of recreational dinghies and kayaks to really sell them on it.
Students who are interested in applying should pick up an application at the info desk in the Campus Center, or e-mail me with questions. People who want to find out more about the position in general should check out the website, www.smcm.edu/studenttrustee.
And just remember, if you really want to get things done, be prepared to bribe someone; it’s what our government is based on.
See you on the path!