College of the Redwoods


Cal Poly Humboldt

College Matters | Student leaders are essential

This article was originally posted in the College Matters column of the Times-Standard.

Friday, November 3, 2023 - 5:48am

When describing the role of college governance, I sometimes ask people to visualize the leadership of the institution as a four-legged stool. Students, faculty, staff and community members usually see administrators, the governing board, and the academic senate as three legs of the stool and stop there. We forget that our student government and Student Trustee provide us with the student perspective and voice, and, as the fourth leg of the stool, stabilize the College.

I want this College Matters article to highlight the immensely important role our student leaders have in the governance of College of the Redwoods.

The effects of student government actions on our district are felt throughout the institution. They oversee and provide support to student clubs and organizations, allocate funds for events and professional development opportunities, organize events that foster a sense of community on campus, and they advocate for student rights and interests. Without a student government, many of the aspects of college life that our students enjoy would not exist. They led the charge for new, state of the art computers in our libraries, provided funds to upgrade our Veterans Resource Center, replaced security cameras used in the residence halls, and through their support of our many student-led clubs, funded various other activities and celebrations.

We are fortunate that College of the Redwoods has student leaders who work as a representative body through which students can voice their concerns and interests to the Administration, Board of Trustees, and Academic Senate. They are students advocating for students. I sincerely believe that they make a
difference one conversation, one meeting, and one vote at a time.

Recently, I was approached by some students who wanted to tell me how CR can make their learning environment better. I am delighted when students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts on how the College can support them. I advised them that one of the best ways to be sure the College hears them is to get involved in student government. The elected student leaders of the Associated Students of College of the Redwoods (ASCR) work with the Administration to address issues like campus safety and academic policies and participate on our Academic Senate, Board of Trustees, and institutional governance and planning committees.

Without this advocacy work, the student perspective could be overlooked, and institutional accountability diminished. The Administration and Board of Trustees believe that creating and maintaining healthy channels of political influence for students creates a stronger learning environment that is better able to adapt to student concerns and keep the College laser focused on student achievement and success.

Based on my experience with CR’s student leaders, I know that our student government also encourages superior standards in academics, leadership, honesty and mutual respect – and they keep the Administration focused on our Mission – to “put the success of each student at the forefront of every strategic effort.”

I want to thank our student leaders for committing their time and energy to making the College a better institution:

  • President: Katherine Zeigler
  • Executive Vice President: Abigail Duran
  • Vice President of Finance: Danny Jimenez
  • Vice President of Communications: Melinda Wallace-Ochoa
  • Vice President of Records: Gabriel Brooks
  • Student Trustee: Sybil Godfrey
  • Executive Organizational Senator: Caitlin Wheetley


  • Stephanie Byrd (EKA)
  • Stephanie McKindle (KT)
  • Mia Anong (KT)

I am proud to partner with our student government leaders to make College of the Redwoods a better institution for future generations of students.