Governor waives student trustees’ tuition

On Aug. 27 Governor Jerry Brown passed the measure SB 325 that California State University student trustees will have their tuition paid for. The bill will also allow sophomores to apply for the two student trustee board positions. Over 100,000 sophomore students now have the availability to apply for the position, said California State Student Association President Sarah Couch.  

Senator Marty Block, author of the bill and former CSU professor and dean, knows that student trustees add a critical perspective to the Board and their decision making.  

After six months of applicant interviews, and interviews with all 23 CSU Associated Student presidents, Talar Alexianan was voted to be the next CSU student trustee.  

Daily Sundial reports that Alexianan, “wants to make sure students know what’s going on at Board of Trustee meetings because often times students don’t really know what they are or why they exist.” She also wants students to know issues that might affect their college experience and campus life.  

Student trustees have responsibilities that include visiting Sacramento and CSU campuses. Trustees also have academic requirements they must also meet. 

“There’s much more to the student trustee than just serving on the [board],” said CSU spokesman Mike Uhlenkamp.

Daily 49er reports that the CSSA, “saw that trustees were having a hard time holding the job and paying their way,” said Couch. “The waiver would … make it so that students who have financial difficulties or who would be working that full-time job to pay for their education — it allows them to go for that student trustee role.” 

“Given the work the two students trustees do, we believe it’s fair to waive their tuition costs,” said Block, author of the bill. With tuition paid for, the two student trustees do not have to worry about the financial burden college might leave them with, possibly allocating their time more appropriately to represent the 430,000 other CSU students.   

According to the CSU website only two of the 25 board members are students. The Daily 49er mentions, adding a few more student seats on the board would better represent 430,000 students.  

The two student trustees serve two-year terms and gain voting rights in their second term. 

The Board of Trustees is responsible for the oversight of California State Universities. “The board adopts rules, regulations, and polices governing the CSUs,” said the Calstate.edu website.  The board also has jurisdiction on curricular development, use of property, development of facilities, and fiscal and human resources management.

The board meets six times a year allowing communication between trustees, chancellors, campus presidents, executive committee members of the statewide Academic Senate, representatives of the California State Student Association, and officers of the statewide Alumni Council.  

The board votes on many relevant issues that CSU campuses face.  

With budget cuts being a commonly discussed issue for many CSU students, the compensation for chancellors, campus presidents, executive committee members, and officers of the statewide Alumni Council is coming under closer scrutinization. Calstate.edu open records show that every CSU executive member is making over $200,000 and the majority well over $300,000.  

“The CSU trustees don’t seem to understand that their ‘compromise’ of setting a CSUs president’s pay at $325,000 is insulting to California students, parents and taxpayer,” said State Senator Joel Anderson.

Bill SB 325 will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014.