SRU student Cierra Mitchell joins the University’s council of trustees


New student trustee being sworn in

From left, Slippery Rock University President William Behre attends a ceremony in Old Main where Cierra Mitchell, a senior political science major, was sworn in as a member of the SRU council of trustees by Shannon Young, administrative assistant in human resources and notary public of the University.

May 23, 2023

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — Cierra Mitchell, a Slippery Rock University senior political science major from Pittsburgh, has been selected as a member of the SRU council of trustees, the highest governing body of the University. Mitchell fills the one seat on the 12-member COT designated for a full-time SRU undergraduate student. This means Mitchell has the same voting privileges as the other trustees.

Mitchell was selected based on a campuswide application and interview process. A selection committee consisting of three employee union representatives and a representative from the Slippery Rock Student Government Association recommended Mitchell to SRU President William Behre. Behre approved the recommendation and forwarded Mitchell's name to the Office of the Chancellor of Pennsylvania's State System of Higher Education. Mitchell's appointment was approved by the state's board of governors at its April 20 meeting, after which she was officially sworn in at a ceremony at SRU last month.

"This is an interesting role that enables me to give back to the University that has given so much to me," said Mitchell, who is also a member of the Black Action Society student organization at SRU. "I'm going to be the voice that represents all students and make sure I remain impartial and unbiased without giving my personal opinions. I don't speak for the trustees as one person but with a general opinion of the students, while also bringing a different perspective that is not represented among the trustees."

The trustees are responsible for reviewing the administrative and academic operations of the University and protecting the interests of both students and the commonwealth. They have quarterly business meetings but also meet as called upon to address ad hoc issues.

Mitchell will attend her first meetings, June 8-9, remotely because she will be working in Washington, D.C. Mitchell is in D.C. as part of her summer internship through The Fund for American Studies, a nonprofit educational organization that provides opportunities for the next generation of leaders in government. She is working 30 hours per week for two months in the office of U.S. Rep. Al Green from Texas.

Mitchell replaces Brooklyn Graham, who served as a trustee for one year before graduating earlier this month. Mitchell's term will also expire upon graduation.

"There's a lot to learn from this experience in terms of leadership skills and engaging with people from different backgrounds," said Mitchell, who plans to attend law school after she graduates from SRU. "It's going to teach me adaptive skills, personal skills, and professional skills that I would not otherwise have without this position."

More information about the COT is available on the council's webpage.

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