|Board of Governors a fulfilling student position|
|Written by William Wilson|
|Thursday, 08 December 2011|
Current Board of Governors and soon-to-be graduate thankful for opportunity
I have known Eric Agyemang since the current school year began and in this short span of time, I have come to appreciate his strong work ethic and commitment to the student body. When I contacted him about an end-of-term article for the Algonquin Times, he was quick to reply with his trademark positive enthusiasm. In fact, he had already thought about a potential story and (as always) came better prepared for the interview than me. The man is an undeniable professional.
Our conversation spanned several topics and Eric addressed each one with openness and confidence.
He explained that the Board of Governors was still in the process of finalizing the Vision 2020 report, but that we could expect a final draft by mid-December. The simple fact that the report was near complete, however, did not stop him from getting more feedback from students.
Toward the end of our interview, for instance, a group of students from the police foundations program asked if we were almost done so that they could use our table. Eric being Eric, he did not hesitate to turn this unexpected encounter into a casual opportunity to reconnect with his constituents.
“The college is trying to move into more technology-driven courses,” he explained to the students as they slowly gathered around our table. “We will be going with more online education. Is a big part of your program based online? Would it give you more flexibility or do you prefer the more traditional approach to education?”
Brandon Gilliand, one of the students addressed by Eric, was quick to reply.
“Probably the more traditional approach because we tend to forget. Like for discussion boards and stuff, I usually do it the day before or something. If you don’t really have a deadline, you put all that stuff off.”
Eric nodded thoughtfully as Brandon spoke and offered his thanks afterwards. From this brief conversation alone, it is clear that Eric takes his responsibilities as the student representative very seriously. I even got the impression that Eric wanted to run off right away and update the report to reflect Brandon’s opinion.
Another topic that Eric moved seamlessly into was the selection of a new president for the college. In all honesty, I expected Eric to avoid this topic notwithstanding his easygoing personality. I figured this was one of those issues that board members wanted to keep low key. As usual, I was wrong.
Eric explained that the board was still in the process of establishing criteria to guide the selection process and that an outside firm had been hired to assist the board in this regard. Having said this, Eric was quick to note that any final decisions on selection criteria and whoever is ultimately chosen to serve as Algonquin’s new president would be made by the board. In addition, he made it clear that the new president will be expected to represent all members of the Algonquin community equally.
“I can assure you that we are working hard to make sure that in the end we select the best person who represents the best interests of students, faculty members, administrative staff and support staff,” Eric assured me in his typical nonchalant way.
At some point during our conversation, we began discussing the end of Eric’s time as the student representative. He will be graduating in the spring so a return trip to the polls is not in his cards.
He is very thankful for the opportunity given to him by the students. In turn, I know they are thankful for all his hard work. One thing that truly distinguishes Eric is his never ending commitment to the job.
As Eric explained, he wants to meet with the next student representative sometime before the new academic year begins so that he can share his experiences. He never received this level of support, and he wants to ensure that the same mistake does not reoccur.
“We can always learn something from each other. It really doesn’t hurt to share our thoughts and ideas with each other.”
I know half a semester remains in his tenure, but the thought of him leaving strikes me as wrong. At some point, however, I have to accept the fact that he cannot serve as our student representative forever.
Fortunately, I can always call him a friend.