By Casey Ticsay
The new year brought history-making leadership to the San Francisco City College Board of Trustees as President Brigitte Davila pounded the gavel for the final time and passed responsibility to unanimously elected Vice President Alex Randolph and Trustee Tom Temprano on Jan. 24.
“We’ve been on quite a wild ride but I think we’re coming out on the other end. We are going to great places so thank you, everyone,” Trustee Davila said.
Before presiding over his first board of trustees meeting, President Randolph presented Davilia with a commemorative gavel to recognize her service as board president during the 2018-19 school year. Davila was the first Latina in the District’s history to serve as president.
History continued with President Randolph and Vice President Temprano becoming not only the first millennial trustees to serve in their respective positions, but are also the first openly gay members to sit at the helm of City College’s governing board.
“I have to say it’s a very exciting moment for me,” said Randolph. “For a lot of us on the board, education and community college in particular saved our lives.”
Raised in Germany, Randolph moved to the United States at 16. He attended Grossmont Community College in San Diego, studied political science at UC Berkeley, and earned a master’s degree in public administration from San Francisco State University.
As a product of the community college system, Randolph hopes City College remains to be the lifeline, protection and opportunity for students like him. “It is a community college so I will rely on the community that you provide to help us and to help me through this tough year,” he said.
Randolph, who was appointed to the board of trustees by late mayor Ed Lee and subsequently elected in 2015, will work alongside Chancellor Rocha and serve as a liaison between administrators and board members.
Following discussions regarding action items on the agenda, members of the board nominated former president Davila as a candidate for the California Community College Trustees Board, a policymaking body that consists of 21 members elected statewide by 72 district governing boards. Elections will take place this spring.
Davila and incumbent trustees John Rizzo and Thea Selby, who joined the board in 2007 and 2014, were also sworn-in prior to the meeting having been re-elected on November 6, 2018 for a four year term.
“There’s always room for improvement with anything even when it’s headed in the right direction,” Trustee Selby said.
Moving forward, Selby hopes to increase enrollment and work more with students in the upcoming years to promote City College’s food pantry program and potentially work on the establishment of student transit passes.
“It’s important for us to keep our students in the forefront,” said Selby. “I think all the trustees really take to heart that students are first.