Countywide : Student Trustee Guidelines Changed

After hearing complaints from students, the Ventura County Community College District has moved to change eligibility guidelines for student members of its Board of Trustees.

The changes include eliminating a conflict-of-interest clause that prevented work-study students from seeking the office.

The board, which governs Oxnard, Moorpark and Ventura community colleges, took the action in a series of votes at a meeting last week.

The board voted 4 to 1 to eliminate a rule that triggered most of the student complaints--that students in the journalism and work-study programs could not run for student trustee because of potential conflicts of interest. Board member Tom Ely voted against the change.

Rose Riley, an Oxnard College work-study student, and Darius Aubry, a member of Moorpark College's Black Student Union, argued that the requirement was unfair to students who must work to support themselves.

Board member Tim Hirschberg said about 70% of the student government leaders are in the work-study program and would be ineligible under the rule.

In other action on the issue, the board voted unanimously to reduce the number of signatures students must collect to qualify for the ballot from 200 to 50. The board also voted 3 to 1, with board president Greg Kampf voting no and Ely abstaining, to provide health benefits for the student trustee.

The board also approved, by a 4-0 vote with Ely abstaining, a measure to increase the pay for student trustees from $100 to $400 a month, bringing them to the level of regular trustees. But the board later delayed action after Chancellor Barbara Derryberry said further research was needed to make certain that the increase would be allowed under the state Education Code.

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