Columbia Basin College students want to be represented on the school's board of trustees.
Yesenia Lazaro, president of Associated Students of CBC, and Vice President Michael Fuller plan to take their request to the board April 16.
"Having a student on the board would make a difference," Lazaro said. "It would help the board take more into consideration what students do and who they are."
Community college and technical colleges in the state have boards with five trustees. They are selected from the community and appointed by the governor.
A bill signed into law last month allows a board of trustees to add a sixth position, but that new position must go to a full-time student in good academic standing.
The change requires a majority vote of the trustees. The vote can be held as early as June 7, and it would create a position for the 2013-14 school year.
If a board approves the new position, the student government then can elect three to five candidates. The governor will choose one candidate and appoint them for a one-year term.
Rich Cummins, CBC president, told the Herald he could not speak for the Pasco college's board; however, he said he can see both sides of the issue.
"Students are the folks we serve, and they should have a voice," Cummins said. "But they are also the people we serve. To have them governing puts them in an interesting position."
Students already are allowed to speak at board meetings, and they often do, Cummins said, adding that input from students helps the board make changes.
But speaking before the board is not the same as voting as a member of the board, Lazaro said. The current board does a good job meeting the needs of students, but having a student on the board would ensure that the voice of students counts, she said.
Cummins said adding an elected student to the mix could make the board political. The board acts as a stewardship -- members of the community coming together to speak as one voice for the students, he said.
A one-year term also would limit the influence a student could have on the board, Cummins said.
Lazaro said a student trustee could gain leadership experience, and thepresence of one student on the board would encourage other students to participate.
She and the Associated Students of CBC plan to meet today in preparation for their April 16 proposal to the board.
Cummins said the next board of trustees meeting may indicate if the trustees would vote and how they might vote.
"That would be the first point of traction, if it had traction," Cummins said.