Student Trustee Candidate Yvonne Thompson

Yvonne Thompson

Major:Culinary Arts/Liberal Arts Studies
G.P.A.: 3.124
Slogan: Stay Connected

What is the role of a Student Trustee? What does a Student Trustee do?
I am currently embarking on the goal of re-election to a third term to finish what we started two years ago when I was first given custody of the office of Student Trustee for the PCCD. The first two years were quite a challenge and I believe that I have the ability, and have honed my skills to help and improve the direction of the district to better serve the needs of students. I want to bring "community” and “connectedness” back to the district, create a "healthy place, infuse our campuses with a new sense of pride and excitement.

Why are you running for Student Trustee?
I believe the role of the student trustee is two-fold; first, as a voice for the students an advocate ready to step and move issues beyond the campuses to the district. As a member of the governing board, providing a student perspective to the issues, which affect the lives and ability for students to succeed in their vision and goals, with commitment, transparency, and ethical behavior. I have worked for and believed in an open transparent representation, allowing students to know and understand what is occurring and to hold accountable the people who seek to serve. STAY CONNECTED!

What experience do you have that qualifies you to serve as a Student Trustee?
I have exceptional organizational skills and the ability to move agendas abandoned by previous leaders. I recognize the issues and know how to navigate the system to create or change policy.

I organized the monumental project of taking 18 students to the Legislative Black Caucus in Washington DC in 2009. This project required planning, organizing, fundraising, and lobbying of representatives to make this event successful. Even with the infrastructure afforded Administration, no one has ever managed to accomplish what I did to make this project the success that it was.

Students are always first and I never forget this. I have set the bar very high with attendance/ participation at every level. I have served on the District Policy Review committee, Audit and Finance, Standards and Management committee and Student Services and Equity. I have mentored student leadership at all four of the campuses during my two years in office.

What are your top three (3) priorities if elected?

  1. To institutionalize the policy to recall and replace a Student Trustees.
  2. To successfully see the completion of the District Wide Student Coalition to ensure a more open line of communication and stronger advocacy component for students throughout the district.
  3. To establish student leadership training as a regular component in student government and a mentoring program.

The Peralta Colleges are considered to be very diverse campuses. How will you go about representing students of so many different backgrounds?
I have always been very involved, and reached out to the students of the district. I attend activities, have been members of clubs and other organizations throughout the district. When we plan trips or conferences, I make sure that the district is well represented by culture of our campuses.

Are there any particular issues or policies that you intend to address that affect Black or African students?
The dropout rate in higher education for African Americans, specifically with males is an issue that is very important to me. We need to address it, I believe our student leaders on our campuses should become involved.

The staggering healthcare issues in the African American community such as
The prevalence of diabetes among African Americans is about 70% higher
Infant mortality rates are twice as high for African Americans.

The 5-year survival rate for cancer among African Americans diagnosed for 1986-1992 was about 44%, my husband passed within two years after he was diagnosed, education and intervention is necessary.

Should Student Trustee term limits be extended? Why or why not?
Yes, I do believe student trustee term limits should be extended. I believe that the first year is a learning experience, there is a distinct difference in the responsibilities of student government versus the board. Next, the second year is when you really find your niche, however when by the time the "flow" starts it is time to go. A third year will give you the ability to finish the projects that were started and give you the quality time and opportunity to mentor and train someone else.

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