Alternate Student Trustee candidates. Kyle Perez (left), Kevin McCarthy (middle) and Julia Gibbins (right). -Staff writer/Alexander Heller

Current SGA Commissioner of Community Standards Kyle Perez was elected to the position of alternate student trustee following a “Meet the Candidates” open forum event last week.

The forum was held in the Owl’s Nest Wednesday night, and featured three experienced candidates for the position.

The alternate student trustee is a position that’s held for two years and is mostly a stand-in position for the student trustee. While the student trustee has a position on the board of trustees of Rowan University, both positions are in place so that students at Rowan have a voice on the board, as well as addressing changes and resolutions in SGA for the undergraduate population.

As the night began, the three candidates introduced themselves and explained why they were the best individual for the position. These included the following: sophomore history and law double major, and current admissions ambassador, Julia Gibbins; current assistant vice president for student governmental relations, Kevin McCarthy; and Perez.

All three agreed that both student trustees should be willing to meet and address the student body as often as they can, be completely transparent to the student body and address concerns that students have with Rowan to the Board of Trustees.

However, exactly what they’d address and how they’d go about it to the board was different for each candidate.

Gibbins advocated for transparency toward the student body, but suggested that Rowan should focus on commuter students just as much as students that live on campus.

“Being a commuter student during my freshman year at Rowan was very difficult,” Gibbins said. “I was missing out on so many opportunities during my freshman year and since I’ve made the jump to living on campus, it’s been way better over all. I want to make sure that commuters are able to enjoy all the opportunities that are before them at Rowan, and if given the chance, I want to address the concerns that commuter students have with the board.”  

McCarthy agreed with Gibbins, but explained possible ways how he would address students directly.

“If elected to the position, I would make a near constant effort to meet with students directly,” McCarthy said. “I want to make sure that every student is heard. Given my experience at SGA, I would create open forums for students, create meeting times for them, as well as report back to them what the board of trustees thinks about certain initiatives.”

Perez expressed a desire to make sure that the students of color at Rowan are treated fairly and represented accordingly.

“Rowan is becoming incredibly diverse every year, but our school is predominantly white,” Perez said. “That’s not saying anything bad about Rowan, but as our school quickly develops we have to make sure that everyone’s heard and make sure to address some of the difficulties our students of color experience.”

Polls closed on March 1, the same day Perez was announced as winner.

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