Maryland Commission announces Civil Rights Leadership Program

By Maegan White

Elm Staff Writer

An email sent to the campus on Monday, Jan. 30 invited students to attend the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights Leadership Program from March 2 through 5 to learn more about positive public engagement.

The event is promoted by the Maryland Higher Education Commission (MHEC). According to the state of Maryland’s website, the commission is the regulatory board for all of the state’s higher education institutions. It is in charge of establishing policies for public and private colleges on the state level. 

The comission also works with a student advisory board to help guide their decisions. 

Student Government Association Secretary of Service and Community Relations sophomore Stephen Hook serves as Washington College’s student representative for the MHEC Student Advisory Council. He was appointed as the Vice Chairperson of the committee, taking on additional responsibilities in planning, executing, and moderating meetings. 

According to Hook, the Student Advisory Council is a panel composed of students from each higher education institute in Maryland charged with advising the commission from the student perspective.

“[Members have] strong influence over what issues are covered and how the Maryland Higher Education Committee represents our wants and needs on a state level,” Hook said. “Our fundamental purpose is to advise MHEC on the concerns, perspectives, and experiences of students attending Maryland institutions.”

Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students Sarah Feyerherm said that a student representative from the College has a sat on the committee for at least 12 to 15 years.

“It is a way for us to showcase our outstanding students to other higher education leaders and students in Maryland,” Feyerherm said. “We really value our place in the larger higher education community and to have a student represent WC, bringing the thoughts and concerns of our students to those who are in decision-making roles on the state level, is really valuable all the way around.”

The email sent by Hook described the free four-day program’s purpose, which is to train emerging leaders through a supportive education environment. Participants in the program will interact with Civil Rights leaders and scholars to learn more about ptonetial career paths in the field. 

The program is a once in a lifetime experience and a unique program led by renowned civil rights leaders. This is a great opportunity for students to get involved. 

“For students interested in civil rights leadership and its incorporation in their future careers, there will likely not be another opportunity to participate in a program as in-depth and immersive as this one,” Hook said. “We, at WC, have proven our commitment to civil rights and the advancement of equity and equality and I hope any student who participates will gain a deeper understanding of how to incorporate these practices and teachings at our institution.”

The deadline to apply has passed but numerous WC students, including Hook, will be attending the event led by civil rights leaders in the state. 

“I am most looking forward to growing my leadership skills through growing my understanding of civil rights leadership and how I can, as a student leader, walk away from the program as a better representative of the entire student body at WC.”

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Photo Caption: The headquarters for MHEC operations are stationed in Baltimore, Md.

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