Shahad Alsayyad to assume role of student trustee

Greg Gancarz

Staff Writer

Parkland has elected Shahad Alsayyad as its next student trustee, a role that works to represent the student body to the board of trustees.

Alsayyad, who originally hails from Baghdad, Iraq, is a computer engineering major who has attended Parkland for two years. She says she will begin attending meetings “in the middle of April.”

She says her main mission as student trustee is to be “the representative of students at the board meetings and play the linkage part in connecting between the student government and the boards’ thoughts and discussions that concern the students.”

This is a first-of-it’s-kind role for Alsayyad.

Currently, she is still handling her responsibilities as a clerical worker for student government, which she has done for over a year. Her duties include writing the student government meeting minutes. Although Alsayyad notes that she doesn’t know exactly how long she will remain in the position, she says “I will be holding the position as long as I go to Parkland.”

Alsayyad said student government currently consists of the president, a treasurer, two senators, and a student trustee. Unfilled positions are vice president, secretary, and eight other senators.

She says all members of Student Government exhibit the same kind of ability and responsibility when it comes to caring for students at Parkland. Student government responsibilities include identifying student concerns, needs, or problems and finding solutions for these issues, in addition to organizing and sponsoring events and conferences that contribute to enhancing student leadership.

She says her choice to pursue the role, a decision that required her to collect petition signatures requesting her appointment, was mostly influenced by her positive experiences as a clerk and also by the guidance of a staff mentor.

“At first, it was a little bit worrying since there was a deadline for getting everything in,” she says. “But, the process itself was joyful and exiting.”

Alsayyad expressed excitement for her new role, calling the role of student representative an “exciting and honorable” one. She says she is more than happy to be part of the team.

“I have always liked being around the members of student government and I respect each one of them for what they do for the students,” Alsayyad says.

Her first goal as the new student trustee is to familiarize herself with the workings of the board, their role in directing the college, and how this affects students.

“I think that achieving that will help conceptualize how to better serve the students in the most efficient way,” Alsayyad states.

Despite a self-described optimistic outlook on her new role, Alsayyad does admit it won’t all be a walk in a park. In particular, she notes getting into sync with board procedures could pose a challenge.

“I haven’t attended any of the board meetings yet,” Alsayyad says. “Some of the challenges that would probably face me are getting used to that kind of meeting with all its procedures and operating methods.”

Alsayyad says students should get involved in Parkland’s clubs, organizations, and student government. They can get involved by attending the events that Parkland organizes.

“Often, some events will provide the students with the information about the different opportunities of involvement at the college,” Alsayyad says. “In fact, by attending those events, students can support [them] and that, in return, encourages the college to have those events on [a] regular basis.”