The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

7 questions with the Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees President Trisha Murakawa smiles reflecting on the past month of events during the Board of Trustees Report section during their monthly public meeting on Oct. 16. The Board of Trustees voted on dozens of action items, including the approval of new construction projects and a contract between the El Camino College District and The Federation of Teachers, (Khoury Williams | The Union)

The El Camino College Board of Trustees is an elected body that governs on behalf of the citizens of the El Camino Community College District.

El Camino College is governed by the five members of the El Camino Community College District Board of Trustees. Each is elected for a four-year term. A non-voting student member is elected annually by the student body, with a term of office for one year commencing June 1.

Trisha Murakawa is a member of the Board of Trustees. Murakawa spoke with The Union to better understand the board’s role on campus.

Q: What is your primary role on the Board of Trustees?

A: “Acting president of the Board of Trustees.”

Murakawa is currently both the vice president of the board and the acting president following the death of former board president Kenneth Brown. Murakawa has a very integral role.

Q: What is the primary role of the Board on campus?

A: “We’re the governing body for El Camino Community College.”

Further research reveals the Board of Trustees debates and establishes policies to suit the development of El Camino. The board also approves or denies contracts for the college.

Q: Can you describe in more simplified terms, for the average reader, what the Board does on campus?

A: “We have meetings once a month, we hire and evaluate the superintendent.”

Murakawa and the board also help maintain the major goals of fiscal stability and student enrollment.

Q: Who are the important members of the Board?

A: “There’s the officers, president, vice president, and secretary”

With only five members, the Board of Trustees is smaller than one may expect. Board meetings are also attended by members of the El Camino administration: the president and vice presidents of academic affairs, administrative services, human resources and student services.

Q: How can students and the community engage with the organization?

A: “We have meetings once a month, with public input, required by the law.”

Much like a city council, the public can enter these meetings and provide input. While no appointments are needed to attend a meeting those who wish to provide public comment must fill out a board meeting speaker card found in the agenda of each meeting. Agendas are published online a few days before the meeting.

Murakawa made it clear harshness and disrespect are unwelcome.

Q: Where are the meetings held?

A: “Meetings are held on campus, in the Administration Building.”

The schedule for the following year of Board meetings is typically determined in December and can be found online.

Q: What are the upcoming priorities for the Board?

A: “Priorities are fiscal stability since the state is funding the Board based on enrollment numbers until 2025.”

Because of this, the priorities of fiscal stability and student enrollment go hand in hand. If more students enroll, the board will have the necessary funds.

This semester The Union’s News Desk will feature a Question and Answer series highlighting various on-campus organizations. The “7 questions” series will interview representatives of various El Camino groups to better understand and explain their functions and what they offer to the campus community.

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