Alumni gets board seat

Walker-Roberts appointed

Gary+Walker-Roberts+was+sworn+in+July+2015+as+the+student+trustee+by+the+late+John+Nejedly.

Cathie Lawrence

Gary Walker-Roberts was sworn in July 2015 as the student trustee by the late John Nejedly.

Tyler Mortimore, tmortimore@lmcexperience.com

Former Los Medanos student body president and district student trustee Gary Walker-Roberts has been selected as the replacement for recently deceased district trustee John Nejedly.
Walker-Roberts was one of five applicants for the role and was approved with a unanimous vote by the board’s four members during a special meeting Nov. 29. He will be the first openly LGBTQ person to serve on the board.
“His service as the student trustee for one year means that he knows what the board does. The other four applicants have not been on our board,” said trustee Greg Enholm. “Given what’s happening with our new chancellor arriving, I think the board feels more comfortable adding someone who knows what happens at the board.”
Along with Dr. Fred Wood, the incoming replacement for outgoing chancellor Helen Benjamin, Walker-Roberts is a district success story, having received two associates degrees from Los Medanos College before earning a BA in Ethnic Studies: Gender & Sexuality from Cal State East Bay and a Masters in English from Arizona State. He served as the LMC student body president during the 2014-2015 academic year and as the district’s student trustee during the 2015-2016 academic year.
During his time as student body president, Walker-Roberts worked with the college administration to bring the veterans center and gender-neutral bathrooms to LMC. He hopes to continue his advocacy for these and other underrepresented groups during his term.
“It’s important that we focus on our students who are utilizing HB 540 and Dreamers so they feel at ease at our community colleges,” he said. “Partnering with Latino students so they continue to feel safe and can continue their education is very important to me.”
Walker-Roberts is filling the vacancy left by the death of John Nejedly, the longest-serving trustee on the board.
“There was a talented pool of people who applied, and I feel privileged to be selected. It comes with a huge responsibility of filling the large shoes left by John,” he said. “During my time as a student trustee, he helped me navigate through the bond oversight process. He emphasized budget adherence, being good stewards of taxpayer money.”
In addition to his advocacy for marginalized groups, Walker-Roberts said he wants to focus on campus safety, citing the repeated requests for security cameras on campuses and more preparation for active shooter scenarios.
Because the seat was filled by the board and not by popular election, a 30-day provisional period must pass before it becomes official. If a petition is filed with enough signatures in that time, the position will be put to a vote.