DHE Change Gives Part-Time Students Opportunity to Serve as Student Trustees

The Student Advisory Council (SAC) to the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education has successfully championed a change in state law that will allow part-time students on public college and university campuses to serve as representatives of their student bodies. This change will ensure equitable representation of students at community colleges in particular where nearly 70% of students are part-time.

The student trustee is a representative of the student body, elected annually, who serves on the board of trustees and helps make important decisions, including those related to budget and personnel, which impact students and the college community. Prior to the change, signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker on December 11, 2020, only students who were enrolled full time were eligible to run for election. Additionally, if a serving trustee dropped a course and were no longer enrolled full-time (12 credits, or four courses) they would have to step down.

“As a working mother and a student leader who was denied the opportunity to run for student trustee this fall due to part-time status, I am immensely proud to be part of this progressive action,” noted Monic Bliss, Secretary and Public Relations Chair of the Student Advisory Council and President of Berkshire Community College’s Student Government Associated in the December 15 release from the Department of Higher Education. 

The Massachusetts Student Advisory Council is composed of the SGA/Student Senate President and the student trustee from each of the 15 community colleges, nine state universities, and five campuses of the University of Massachusetts. The Student Advisory Council was created to establish a dialogue between student leaders from every public college and university in Massachusetts and the Board of Higher Education. Learn more about the Student Advisory Council at the DoHE website.