Student and former student senator Chris Roesel will be on the ballot for Board of Trustees when Johnson County voters enter the polls on November 7.
Roesel, currently in his sixth semester at the college, said he feels he can offer the college and the community it serves something he believes the board is sorely lacking: a student’s perspective.
“The biggest thing that sets me apart, I think, is that I’ve been a student six semesters,” Roesel said. “None of [the board members] have the student perspective and I don’t even think they’ve got the faculty perspective.”
In lieu of advertisements, Roesel said his campaign has been run exclusively through social media.
“I’m primarily using social media and my inspiration for that is the Arab Spring,” Roesel said. “I mean, if in the Arab countries, if they can overthrow governments using social media, surely we can get elected using social media.”
On his social media pages, Roesel details his campaign platforms between intermittent political commentaries. Roesel is running on three main issues.
“[I’m] trying to accomplish three things: one is create more internships for students and work study for students so that they get experience while studying with the workplace.”
In helping students get this workplace experience, Roesel aims to make them more attractive to employers in the local community, which leads into his second platform issue.
“Another is to partner with businesses and civic groups in the community to create those internship opportunities,” Roesel said. “But also to make sure that not only does the college serve the students, but it serves the county and its development possibilities.”
Finally, Roesel hopes to involve the community in college-related decision making.
“The last one is to be inclusive in decision making. I don’t think the just board of trustees should make the decisions for all 17-or-so thousand students,” Roesel said. “The best decisions are when you have lots of perspective. If you only have the perspective of Dr. Sopcich or the board, maybe it’s not the broadest, deepest perception.”
If Roesel is elected to the board and is able to implement these changes, it won’t be the first time he has facilitated a change in college policy. Roesel claims responsibility for the college taking steps to increase voter participation among students, including placing voter registration cards at the Welcome Desk and restructuring the informational email the college sends to all students each semester with voting information.
Even with his success in changing college policies in the past, Roesel recognizes that there is more changes to be made and, if elected, hopes to use his position to make them.
“I think I can do better being on the board than being an outsider to the board,” Roesel said.
Johnson County residents interested in voting for the Board of Trustees may do so on November 7.