Stamborski departs, Ellis enters

JJC has a new student trustee. The term of Joshua Stamborski, now emeritus student trustee, officially ended on April 15. JJC’s new Student Trustee Iyeisha Ellis officially began her term on April 26 when she was sworn in. Ellis is eager to effect change in this esteemed position, and Stamborski is looking forward to being involved in the college in new ways.
Ellis, a second-year JJC business administration major, was inspired to run for student trustee because of her personal goals and desire to help others.
“I decided to run for student trustee because I thought it would be a great learning experience for me,” Ellis said. “I’m very passionate about showing up for my peers and my community.”
“The student trustee is responsible for bridging the gap between the Board of Trustees and the student body; you’re the voice of the students, so whatever is going on with the student body, you make that vocal in board meetings.”
As student trustee, Ellis plans to advocate for many issues including to ensure “students have advisers who are responsive and well-informed, to provide resources for students with disabilities… and helping to build a better sense of community as well as finding resources for students with food insecurities.”
“Personally, I’ve seen different students have different issues with advising,” Ellis said. “It’s sad, because graduating is a big achievement, but to be told that you are not going to be able to graduate or be pushed back because your adviser did not support you in the best way is not good to see.”
“I’ve also talked to a bunch of students who are confused in the process now and are kind of winging it, and I’ve asked if they have spoken to their advisers, and most of the time they don’t.”
Ellis is also passionate about helping ensure students are aware and can take advantage of accessibility resources.
“I’ve seen and heard a lot about JJC trying to be more inclusive… I want to help with that process, and I want every student to feel that they belong here.”
Additionally, Ellis wants to continue discussions addressing student mental health, many of which were introduced by Stamborski during his term.
“Mental health has been a very big thing, and is something that is very important to me,” Ellis said. “I want to continue the work, and not allow those conversations to die out.”
To help with the transition between student trustees, Stamborski has been working to pass down the experiential knowledge he’s gained in the role to Ellis.
“I have been working very closely with Iyeisha Ellis… to make sure she has all the information [and] documentation to kickstart her… to make sure she is ready to go,” Stamborski said.
“You are a politician-in-training… that’s something I didn’t fully recognize when I got myself into the role,” Stamborski said. “It’s talking to people and networking…. and understanding your constituency, understanding what their wants and needs are and representing them.”
Like Ellis, Stamborski was inspired to run for student trustee because of the growth the position offered.
“Student trustee was a position that’s probably been one of the most formative experiences I’ve had thus far in my life,” Stamborski said.
“It fundamentally changed the way that I thinked about systems and interacted with people. I consider myself a very big introvert… and this took me way out of my comfort zone to understand how to talk to people.”
During his term, Stamborski helped start the conversation on developing mental health care spaces at JJC, and conducted a mental health survey to learn more about the needs of the student body. The survey was conducted from May to October, and afterwards Stamborski engaged in conversations with other administrators and Board of Trustee members once the survey was complete.
Another major accomplishment Stamborski made was advocating for future JJC student trustees and making the position more accessible by helping ensure that the student trustee receives compensation for the term they served.
“It’s an equity issue,” Stamborski said. “You can’t really have a part-time job and be student trustee at the same time.”
“To open up this position for more people, I was able to get it passed through so the student trustee has tuition waived… for up to 14 credits [per semester], and they get a stipend.” This will allow a broader population of the student body to consider taking on this role.”
Although Stamborski is leaving the role of student trustee, he plans to continue to be involved on campus in student government and the Debate and Rhetoric Society, as well as expanding his horizons.
Both Ellis and Stamborski believe in the power of the student body to make change. Additionally, they encourage students to be involved on campus and take leadership in their own ways.
“Actionable change is a lot closer than you think it is,” Stamborski said. “It’s not something far off and distant, it’s something near and close to you that you can accomplish on a small scale; don’t be afraid to take that step into the unknown.”
Similarly, Ellis expressed her desire to represent the students, while acknowledging the power they have.
“I’m here for [students]. I know only one person can serve in this position, but it’s not about me, it’s genuinely about the student body,” Ellis said. . “Never be afraid to share and show up for your peers.”