Guest column by Miguel Morales: Creating change at the college


Do you want someone who will challenge JCCC’s rising tuition? Do you want someone who will explain in plain English what JCCC is doing with your money? Do you want to have a say in who will be the college’s next president?

Well, Cavaliers, this week JCCC’s Board of Trustees will name a replacement for a board member who recently resigned. This is our opportunity to create change.

Why should I care? It doesn’t affect me.

Does not having enough classrooms affect you? Does not being able to find a parking space affect you? How about tuition increases? New course offerings? Trustees are the ones who decide these things and they often do it without student input.

What can I do?

Tell the trustees we want one of our own named to the board. We want someone who walks the halls of JCCC every day. We want someone who knows what it means to scrape together money for tuition and books. We want someone we know and, more importantly, who knows us.

My name is Miguel Morales and I want to be your trustee.

When I was 10 years-old, I worked as a migrant farmworker. I never thought I’d graduate high school much less go to college. But since finding JCCC, I have served as a JCCC Diversity Fellow. I work with diverse populations on and off campus. I co-founded the student club, Latinos United Now and Always (LUNA). I served as the vice-president of GLBTSU (now known as Queers and Allies). I served in several positions on The Campus Ledger including Editor-in-Chief. I am the student journalist who broke the story about JCCC President Charles Carlsen’s alleged sexual harassment of a female employee. That investigation led to Carlsen’s abrupt retirement, the hiring of interim and permanent presidents. It also led to the departure of a well-known trustee implicated in the harassment cover-up.

I’ve twice served as a candidate for the Board of Trustees and was endorsed by The Kansas City Star.

“Miguel M. Morales, of Olathe, is a former student who won national awards for his work as a writer and editor for The Ledger, the student newspaper. Morales campaigned for greater transparency from the college’s board and administration. Those values would suit him well as a trustee … As the son of a migrant farm worker, he would be a valuable voice for first-generation and minority students.”

What would you do as trustee?

I will regularly meet with campus clubs and student leaders. I want to make sure your voice is represented on the board. Students, not donors, must remain the focus of the board’s decisions.

I will protect your First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, religion, press, the right to assemble, and to petition.

You deserve a president who will be the first to apologize and the last to take credit. I will push to make sure the board hires a servant leader as your next president.

If you want to affect change at JCCC, please visit

Thank you,

Miguel M. Morales
JCCC student employee


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