Slaimen named Student Trustee

JSC junior Alyssa Slaimen has been named the Student Trustee for the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees. The student trustee’s job is to attend all Board of Trustee meetings and bring a student’s perspective into the decision making process. “I have to attend the monthly Board of Trustees meeting, along with committee meetings,” said Slaimen. “I am on the committees of Education, Personnel, and Student Life. I also will be attending the monthly Vermont State Colleges Student Association meetings. I am going to try and make myself visible at all VSC campuses by travelling around to each campus frequently to see what students have to say.”

Slaimen stated the importance of having a JSC student as part of the Board, since this year there will be some changes to the administration. “This year it was crucial to have a Johnson State College student on the board because we are getting a new president and chancellor, and the decision on both of those positions come down to the votes of the trustees,” said Slaimen.

Having a Johnson State student as the student trustee means that the voices of JSC students will be heard and considered when it comes time for the new president to be chosen. Slaimen said that she hopes to elect a president that the students are in favor of. “I hope to have a strong student voice on the board that encompasses how VSC students are feeling and thinking.”

The process for being chosen as the Student Trustee was thorough, and Slaimen was ultimately chosen because of her knowledge of the Vermont State Colleges, and what needs to be done to improve them. “For this position, I had to write a letter explaining why student advocacy is important. Students need to feel like they have a say in decisions [if they are going to] stay at a VSC college. I also had to send my resume, and three references to the Vermont State Colleges Student Association for review. I then had to have an interview with the Vermont State Colleges Student Association. I had one other opponent from Castleton. I won with a unanimous vote,” said Slaimen. “I was chosen because I had a firm understanding about the five Vermont State Colleges, and what problems they are facing. Some of the problems include enrollment and retention, tuition, academic programs, and student life.” Slaimen also has experience with political work after working as a legislative assistant in the Statehouse to Senator William Doyle and Senator Richard Westman, which has helped her to understand how the policies that effect students are made.

Slaimen encourages other Johnson students to contact her if they have any suggestions or issues for her to bring up at Trustee meetings, “I am open to any suggestions, so students should feel free to talk to me, email me, or call me. I would love to listen to ideas and talk about possible solutions.”

Slaimen is majoring in Political Science, and is minoring in Global Studies. She plans to attend law school for International Law. She also has worked as a Park Ranger for three years in State Parks throughout Vermont. In 2013 she was a part of the International Human Right to Clean Water Alternative Break and traveled to Nicaragua. She hopes to move to Nicaragua in the future so she can continue her work on human rights.