BOSTON, MA – Longmeadow’s Haley Woods, a sophomore at Holyoke Community College (HCC) studying biology, recently took a trip to Boston to be inducted as a Student Trustee at HCC for the 2018-19 school year.
Woods, who graduated from Longmeadow High School in 2017, has conducted an independent research project on antibiotics that she presented at the UMass Undergraduate Research Conference, created her own research website where she breaks down and discusses how certain diseases work, and has worked on various committees and student advisory panels.
“I decided that I wanted to run for Student Trustee in early spring, after a Student Senate meeting discussing per credit fee increases,” Woods said. “I immediately had an idea about a different way to address the fees based on students that were part time versus full time, and I drafted a proposal of my idea. I then campaigned for the position, spoke to students, and put posters up all over campus. I also attended a few of the monthly Trustee meetings before I was elected.”
As the new student trustee, Woods said it is “very important” for her to be aware of HCC’s new strategic plan and objectives.
Luckily, she says, she was the student representative on the Long Range Strategic Planning Committee throughout the 2017-18 school year.
“As such, I was very involved in the planning, and my ideas were implemented into the new mission statement and objectives,” Woods said. “The advisory group even selected one of my proposed objectives to use.”
Woods noted that the Student Trustee plays a vital role on the Board of Trustees because they speak and vote on behalf of the students.
“One of the most important things I will do as trustee in the coming year is relay information discussed at board meetings to the Student Senate,” said Woods. “The Student Senate is comprised of around 20 student senators who volunteer, inform students of decisions being made around the college campus, and run activities. After I discuss the information at the weekly Student Senate meetings, I will meet with various people around the college, such as the vice presidents and deans, to address topics of question or concern to the student body.”
Woods said another important part of being the Student Trustee is her role in the Student Advisory Council. The Student Advisory Council, or SAC, is a legislatively mandated advisory group made up of the student trustee and student body president of every community college, UMass, and public state university. SAC informs the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education about issues and opinions affecting students enrolled in public higher education in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Monthly meetings and retreats are held across various college campuses.
Recently, Matt Noyes, the Director of Trustee and Government Relations, organized two events that Woods attended. The first was the swearing in as student trustee, where around 20 other students and Woods were inducted as the Student Trustees for their campus. The event took place in the governor’s office in the State House, where Woods also received official citations from the Massachusetts State Senate and the Massachusetts House of Representatives acknowledging her election into the position. After this, the Student Trustees went to the MA Department of Higher Education to discuss the past objectives of the Student Advisory Council.