AIHEC Student Congress Plans 20th Anniversary

Aug 15th, 2005 | By | Category: 17-1: Telling Our Stories, Tribal College News

AIHEC STUDENT CONGRESS OFFICERS. Elected at the April 2005 AIHEC conference, the new officers are (top row): Landon Lafromboise, Sara Marie Ortiz, and Warren Eagle; (middle row): Brenda Wounded Arrow, Zannita Fast Horse, and Tristan Ahtone; (bottom row): Aaire Madplume, Kimberly Killer, Michele Vecenti-Spencer (co-advisor), Jeff Quintana, and Julian Many Hides. Not pictured is the other co-advisor, Juan Perez.

The new officers of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) Student Congress met May 24-25 in Rapid City, SD, and began planning their 20th anniversary celebration for spring 2006. Established in 1986, the student congress represents tribal college and university students.

At the AIHEC Conference in April 2005, the students elected Zannita Fast Horse as their new president. Fast Horse is a student at Oglala Lakota College (OLC, Kyle, SD). In other election results, Tristan Ahtone of the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA, Santa Fe, NM) will serve as vice president; Warren Eagle of OLC will serve as secretary; Kimberly Killer of OLC is treasurer; Brenda Wounded Arrow of OLC is sergeant at arms; and Jeff Quintana of OLC is historian.

For the first time, the students elected regional representatives. The four regional reps are designed to improve communications by serving as liaisons between the colleges in their regions and the national student organization.

Landon Lafromboise of Sisseton Wahpeton College (SWC, Sisseton, SD) serves as the Midwest regional representative, Sara Marie Ortiz of the Institute of American Indian Arts as the Southwest regional representative, and Aaire Madplume of Blackfeet Community College (BCC, Browning, MT) as the Mountain/Pacific regional representative.

Since no one was elected from the Great Lakes region, Julian Many Hides of Salish Kootenai College (SKC, Pablo, MT) has volunteered to serve as the liaison in an interim capacity.

At their meeting in Rapid City, the student officers set some ambitious goals for themselves, including standardizing the rules for student competitions at the annual conference, setting up a film festival, filming a documentary on the student congress, setting up a website and a newsletter, working on the constitution and bylaws and archives, and including Mr. and Ms. AIHEC in student congress activities.

The co-advisors of the student congress are Michele Vecenti-Spencer of Diné College (Tsaile, AZ) and Juan Perez of Salish Kootenai College.

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