A Glendale Community College student will join the Maricopa County Community College District governing board as a student representative for the 2019-20 year.
GCC’s Alejandra Maya was selected as the first student representative on the board, which includes people with backgrounds in real estate, state government, business, teaching and college administration and oversees one of the largest community college systems in the country.
“We are excited to have student representation on our governing board,” MCCCD Chancellor Dr. Maria Harper-Marinick said. “This important role will advance the success of the next generation of scholars and thinkers by ensuring our board’s decisions are informed by student experiences. Alejandra will serve as an advocate for our students and help shape our college community and the future of the Maricopa Community Colleges.”
Board President Linda Thor said she had numerous discussions with students, through which she learned their input was invaluable when it came to different issues.
“Students bring a different perspective to the conversation and can assist the board in valuable ways,” Thor said.
Maya was selected to serve as the first student governing board member, which is a nonvoting position, but she will be able to participate in all governing board forums, speak on behalf of student priorities, and provide comprehensive input from students on community college issues.
“As a first-generation college student, I am enthusiastic to serve as an example for other students who don’t know how to get their voice heard at an institution,” Maya said. “I want to be able to connect with student representation from all 10 colleges and speak on their behalf. I am thankful to be given this opportunity to help improve the student voice at the Maricopa Community Colleges.”
The MCCCD governing board sets policies for a 10-college system that enrolls approximately 196,000 students in credit and noncredit courses. Board members, who are elected by voters in Maricopa County, also set tuition rates, approve the budget and hire the chancellor.
Maya was selected by student leaders and can make requests and recommendations to have discussion items placed on the board’s meeting agenda.
Maya’s position will be an advisory vote, which would be cast before the board officially votes.
She will not be allowed to take part in executive sessions, which are closed to the public and can be used by law under narrow circumstances.
She is studying political science, and intends to transfer to ASU to pursue a bachelor’s degree in public policy and a master’s in public administration.
She has held a variety of leadership positions at GCC including captain of the cheer team, Phi Theta Kappa vice president of membership, associate student government member, and president of the Student Honors Organization. She is also active in her community, serving as a volunteer cheer coach at a local elementary school.
Previously, she has volunteered with the GCC Theater, the MCCCD Make It Happen campaign and Women Rising.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Alejandra to the board,” Thor said.
“The addition of a student board member will have an important impact on the governance of our system and provide elected board members with a valuable, student perspective. I look forward to working with Alejandra and her contributions on behalf of students.”