Incoming Student Trustee Looks Forward While Incumbent Trustee Looks Back
Charlene Alex Boyd, the director of budget management for the Associated Students (A.S.) at Santa Monica College and a Dale Ride intern headed to Washington D.C. for the summer, is now the student trustee for the college. After being sworn in at her first meeting on June 5, Boyd will be sitting amongst the seven city-elected trustees during the school’s monthly board meetings to represent SMC's student population.
The student trustee has several responsibilities; according to the constitution and bylaws of the A.S., the trustee serves as a liaison between the board of trustees and the A.S. board. The student trustee does not have a vote while sitting on the A.S. board but can choose to report upon what has been happening to the board of trustees. The position also does not directly vote on items for the board of trustees, though they can voice their thoughts through advisory voting.
Boyd was elected to the position by students in April and will be replacing Chase Matthews, who sat on the dais for the last time at the board's May 1 meeting. Matthews, previously the president of the Black Collegians club, said he has learned a lot of leadership experience in his time at the school. The highlights of his time as the student trustee were seeing the opening of the Center for Media and Design, the latest satellite campus, and a raise for student workers.
“I feel like I was really able to represent the students to the best of my ability, and I hope they would agree with me,” Matthews said. “It was a bittersweet moment because I am happy to pass the torch to my predecessor, [but] it’s also bitter because I really do have a love for Santa Monica and I will definitely miss it here.”
Matthews said that oftentimes he will see students voice their complaints through social media or other channels but as a student trustee, he rarely had students come to him. “A lot of time, people say things and have complaints or have ideas, but they never get expressed,” Matthews said. “If they knew where and when those decisions were getting made, maybe they could be a part of that discussion.”
Boyd echoed similar concerns while talking about how she would like to operate during her time as the student trustee. Boyd and Matthews were part of an A.S. sponsored trip to Washington D.C., and Boyd felt that meeting politicians such as Kamala Harris and Maxine Waters helped show her how important reaching out can be. “I would love for students to be engaged with me and talk about their concerns,” Boyd said. “We can’t please everybody, but we can at least get a majority.”
Matthews expects the upcoming year to be interesting and exciting for Boyd and encourages her to immerse herself in the position. The board of trustees meets publicly during the first Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in SMC's Business Building room 117.