SC bill could add college students to decision-making boards

SC bill to add college students to decision-making boards

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Three state lawmakers want college students to have a bigger say in making decisions for their schools.

A new proposed bill calls for students to be included on the board of trustees.

Nearly two months ago hundreds of students on the campus of the College of Charleston rallied and protested. They were at odds with their board of trustees over how and why the college's next president was chosen.

Now, state Representatives Bakari Sellers, Joshua Putnam and Charleston's Leon Stavrinakis are proposing House Bill 5152. It's being dubbed as the "Student Empowerment in College Governance Act" and would allow students to serve on the decision-making board at their schools.

Two students would be elected by the student bodies at each public four-year university.

Under the proposed bill, students would hold a one-year term. A special election would be held to replace any student on the board who graduates or withdraws from school before his or her term is over.

CofC, The Citadel, and MUSC are among the 10 schools on the list, but not all students agree with the bill.

Cory Kirk a student at The Citadel said, "It might not be a good idea to put them into any direct role making decisions like that."

"I think it would be a great idea to have students on the board with them to kind of give their ideas and really have a mind coming from that specific group of people," said Vincent Marsh, a medical student at MUSC.

Marsh says the board would have a better feel for what's going on by including students.

"I for one, going to MUSC paying for my college tuition, I would like to have a say in what kind of college experience I get. I understand where the students are coming from on the same idea," said Marsh.

Over at The Citadel, Cory Kirk says the lack of leadership training could be an issue when making decisions.

"Students in general don't have any experience running a school; they have experience going to school," said Kirk, "Their input should definitely be heard. I just don't think they should have any direct authority in those decisions."

Spokesmen from CofC and The Citadel say their schools cannot comment on legislation that hasn't been passed.

Live 5 is still waiting to hear back from MUSC.

The bill is currently being looked over by the House Committee on Education and Public Works.

Supporters are hoping to put it in place for this coming school year. ?

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