Currently, the process used to select the students representing Mira Costa on the Board of Trustees does not suffice because it does not allow for the most accurate representation of the diverse Costa student body. ASB and the administration should seek alternative methods in order to choose those who will represent students’ academic and extracurricular interests.
The two Mira Costa positions on the MBUSD Board of Trustees are essentially the voice of Mira Costa in the community. They are responsible for conveying the students’ opinions at the semi-monthly Board meetings. Currently and in the past, these representatives have been effective in influencing the Board’s decisions; the students who have filled these positions in the past have represented Costa in a respectable way. However, the current process still limits a vast number of capable students.
One of the representatives is the ASB vice president who is selected through a school-wide election. However, only those who have previously served at least two years on ASB are eligible to run for the vice president position. The School Board representative is an interviewed position. The position is open to all rising juniors and seniors, but the panel selecting this student is not. It consists of Principal Dr. Ben Dale, Activities Director Lisa Claypoole, the current and newly elected ASB president and vice president, as well as the current Board of Trustees representative.
We are reminded daily that Mira Costa is a vibrant community, containing students with diverse extracurricular interests, but the selection process does not represent this. More organizations on campus should have input on the selection of both Board representatives, and the positions should be open to a broader number of students. This change would benefit the entire student body and give those representing Mira Costa on the board a greater incentive to vocalize the interests of students.
Two specific steps should be taken in order to accomplish the goal of more accurate representation of the student body. First, the elected position should be open to any upperclassman on campus who has served on ASB for at least one previous year. This will keep the position open to students who understand how ASB is run while also allowing a broader base of committed students to be eligible for the election.
For the appointed position, the committee interviewing potential Board representatives should allow multiple campus leaders to have input. Fortunately, this mechanism already exists in the Student Leadership Council. Rather than having only ASB students and administration members select the Board representative, utilizing the SLC will allow input from a more accurate cross-section of the student body. While the organization has problems, this responsibility would give it a greater presence on the Mira Costa campus.
Some may protest these changes, claiming that they will broaden the candidate base too greatly and result in candidates who may not be dedicated to the job. However, it should be the decision of all students, not simply faculty or students from one extracurricular, who decide what type of student will dedicate the amount of time needed to this important position.
These reforms will allow for a process promoting more accurate representation in the positions representing the entire Mira Costa student body.