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Gov. Brown Signs Key CSU Student Trustee Bills

Assemblymember Das Williams

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed two important bills that give students at California State Universities a greater voice in the decisions that affect their campuses.

AB 447, introduced by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, allows a student trustee to vote at every Board of Trustees meeting. SB 325, authored by Senator Marty Block, allows sophomores to serve as trustees.

“Students must have a voice in the events on their campuses,” Williams said. “These bills knock down the doors to create more student representation.”

The CSU system is governed by a 25-member Board of Trustees, which includes two student trustees. Two student trustees are allowed to serve on the CSU board of trustees for staggered two-year terms. The student trustee in his or her second year serves as the voting trustee. The second non-voting trustee succeeds to the voting position upon the expiration of the term of the first.

In the 2012-2013 academic year, however, the voting trustee missed three of six meetings for health reasons.  These absences, through no fault of the student, meant that of the 25-member board, there was not a single member voting solely on behalf of students like that of a student trustee. The new law allows the second trustee to vote if the voting trustee is out.

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