By Leah Veldhuisen ’19
Each year, the CC Student Government Association sponsors the election of a new student trustee and this year, the student body elected Ben Kieklak ’18 to serve as student trustee for the 2017-18 academic year.
To officially run as a student trustee candidate, student must complete a comprehensive process even before his or her name is put on the ballot: Kieklak had to submit 50 signatures of support, complete a CCSGA application, and be interviewed. As the student trustee, Kieklak will be a member of the CC Board of Trustees. Since many of the trustees do not live near campus, Kieklak’s main role will be to bridge the gap between trustees and students by keeping trustees informed on student interests and goals. Kieklak says he will also “communicate and explain the decisions of the board, reporting back to the student body.”
Kieklak says many things inspired him to run for the position of student trustee, the first of which was his glowing experience at CC as a first-year student. He says that CC has given him so many opportunities, and this is an opportunity to give back to the school.
When he was a sophomore, Kieklak learned that not all students have had the same positive experience at CC. As a resident advisor for the Enclave, a Living Learning Community with many students of color, he discovered many of his residents felt left out of aspects of the CC community. Kieklak says his experience working with these students as an RA helped formulate his goals as student trustee, one of which is “not merely to help individual students, but also to help affect long-lasting, institutional changes that will have a positive impact on the college many years down the road.” These changes, Kieklak says, will enable the college to grow and thrive as a whole. To achieve his goals, Keiklak plans to “specifically focus on the areas of financial aid, diverse hiring and admission, and the granting of tenure for professors.”
In June, current student trustee Mayss Al Amani ’17 will pass the baton to Kieklak at one of the biannual Board of Trustees meetings. He will start his position in the fall.