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The Lookout | September 16, 2019

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Candidates seeking LCC trustee seats

Candidates seeking LCC trustee seats
  • On October 18, 2018

By Ashlee Buhler
Editor in Chief

The race is on to secure one of two spots on the LCC Board of Trustees.

When voters head to the polls on Tuesday, Nov. 6, they will see three names on the ballot. Lawrence Hidalgo, Jr. is seeking re-election, while Shaquila Meyers and Samantha Wilbur are running for the first time.

The Lookout interviewed all three candidates to help keep the LCC community informed. Here is what the candidates had to say:

Lawrence Hidalgo, Jr.  

Occupation: Director of Construction Safety and health Division for the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Inspection (OSHA)

Experience: Elected to LCC Board of Trustees on Nov. 6, 2012. Currently serves as board vice chair.

Why are you running for a trustee spot again?

“The administration, the college and the trustees have been working on a path for student success in all the different aspects, such as using open educational resources to reduce textbooks costs, putting success coaches in to help students, tutoring services, and helping students when they get on a career pathway (to make sure) that they are successful there. I want to make sure that we continue on this path and that’s why I’d like to run again.”

What would changes would you like to see at LCC?

“It’s not that I want to see changes, per se. I want to see what we’re doing to continue forward with student success. So (I want to) continue to engage, with all the employees at the college, to help us keep moving forward with student success.”

Is there anything you would like to add?

“I’ve been involved with the college for 30 years as a student myself, and a faculty member and trustee. Myself included, this current board, we’re all about what can we do to help our students to achieve what they’re trying to get, whether that be a degree or certificate. Their input is valuable, so please let us know if there are things we can help with. (I want them to know) that we’re all behind them, helping them to achieve their dream.”

Shaquila Meyers

Occupation: Legislative director

Experience: Michigan State Senate

Why are you running for a trustee spot?

“I’m running because I think community colleges are important. They’ve done a great job of keeping education affordable compared to universities. I think LCC offers a lot to the Greater Lansing community and I want to be a part of making sure that continues.”

What changes would you like to see at LCC?

“Maybe just more contact, more reach with letting people know what’s available to them. That’s the first thing that I would like to change. … Outside of that, I’d just like to wait and see what improvements need to happen. I’m not big on coming in and shaking things up. The people who are there know what works best and there’s a learning curve for a person like me.”

Is there anything you would like to add? “As a trustee I see it as my job to make sure that LCC is a welcoming and safe place for all students and staff.  I want to be a help to the college community and not a hindrance.”

Samantha Wilbur

Occupation: Community Organizer

Experience: Central Committee of Michigan Democratic Party representative

Why are you running for a trustee spot?

“I think community colleges are vitally important. Education in and of itself is hugely important to how we function as a society. … When we hoard knowledge, which is what we’re doing when we make it inaccessible to everyone, we all suffer. Community colleges create a place where we can all come together, regardless of socioeconomic status, age, race, sexual orientation, lifestyle choices and gender identity, and be a part of our community to improve it.”

What are some things you’d like to see change at LCC?

“My first thing is going to be really small, but it’s really important. I would like to make voter registration a part of student registration so that we can get LCC students easily registered to vote and be more involved as active members of the community. Voting is so vitally important and we’re not seeing a lot of young people vote, so I would like to make it as easy as possible to get people voting. The second thing I would like to do is change the time that the LCC board meets. They meet at the exact same time as Lansing City Council, which means if you want to be civically engaged you can’t participate in both aspects and you should be able to because they impact each other.”

Is there anything you would like to add?

“I would love to see LCC get to a point where they have a fully functioning onsite health center so students, faculty and staff all have access to really good healthcare until we get to a place where we have a single payer healthcare program that is affordable for everybody. Also … create a textbook sharing program where all the community colleges in this state come together and purchase enough textbooks for each of the shared classes. That way there is enough for everybody to be able to borrow textbooks for the entire semester and nobody has to pay outrageous prices for textbooks anymore.”

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