Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Leadership lived: Shaina Humphrey gives students a voice as their elected representative on the U of I Board of Trustees

Shaina Humphrey never planned to run for elected office, until a mentor suggested she should seek the role of student representative to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. Humphrey was elected to that office by her fellow students in April 2018.

As a senior political science and legal studies major at the University of Illinois Springfield, Humphrey is active on campus as the president of the Black Student Union and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. She is also co-president of the Student Advocacy Coalition.

However, it’s her role on the U of I Board of Trustees that takes up most of her time outside of the classroom. Humphrey regularly travels to UIS’ sister universities in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago for meetings, holds office hours where she listens to UIS students’ concerns and attends other functions representing the Springfield campus.

“As student-trustee, my job is mainly to stay informed about everything that goes on within the University of Illinois Springfield and through the University of Illinois System,” she said.

Humphrey also holds the added responsibility of being selected as the only student trustee from the three universities with the power to cast an official vote on the Board of Trustees. The power rotates annually between the student trustees of the three universities.

“Because I have the vote, it’s a really big deal,” she said. “It’s really important for me to stay informed not just about my campus, but about all of the campuses because I have the vote between all three student trustees.”

On campus, Humphrey works for the UIS Office of Electronic Media helping with video productions and for UIS Campus Recreation as an intramural official and facility lead. In that role, she oversees at the front desk at The Recreation and Athletic Center (TRAC).

“Working for Campus Recreation has improved my people skills,” she said. “I have people coming in and asking for all types of things and like requesting things, so sometimes I don’t know the answer, but it’s always like a challenge for me.”

Humphrey, who is from Waukegan, Illinois, says she chose UIS because of the right-sized campus.

“I decided to come to UIS because, for me, I wanted like a smaller to medium type school and this school just happened to fit what I wanted in Illinois,” she said.

Following graduation from UIS, she plans to attend law school and become a lawyer.

“I feel like my experience (at UIS) is definitely life changing for me,” she said. “It’s presented me with many opportunities and allowed me to see and learn so many things I don’t think I would have ever had the opportunity to learn somewhere else or even at home.”

No comments: