Governor Brown signs new bills increasing student trustee votes on the BOT

Champaign Williams

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Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed two bills that will allow CSU student trustees a greater voice in the decisions made regarding CSU campuses.

The newest bill, Assembly Bill (AB) 447,  allows students to vote at every board of trustees (BOT) meeting. The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.

The Senate Bill (SB) 325, authored by Senator Marty Block, was signed in August and will allow college sophomores to become student trustee members. SB 325 will also waive the student trustees’ tuition fees while they are in office.

CSU student trustees are nominated by the CSSA and appointed by the governor in office at the time.

In the past, student trustee members served a total of two terms and had a limited vote. Of the two student trustees, only one had a vote, the other was known as a non-voting member and was only allowed to vote during their second term once the voting student’s term expired, according to the CSU website.

With the new bill, if the voting student trustee is not available to vote for any reason, the non-voting student trustee can then vote in his/her absence so that there will always be a board member voting solely on the behalf of students.

Students will continue to serve two terms on the board, and with AB 447 and SB 325 student voices will now be taken into account during every vote.

“I am extremely proud of the work that CSU students did to guarantee the passage of AB 447,” said Sarah Couch, president of the California State Student Association (CSSA). “This bill will ensure that students always have a voice on the board of trustees.”

SB 325 specifically will allow more students, nearly 100,000, the opportunity to participate in the CSU BOT because it will allow sophomores to apply for the position, according to a press release.

SB 325 will come into effect Jan. 1, 2014.