Former Undergraduate Student Government (USG) President Tiera Moore was listed on today’s election ballot as a school board member for the city of Kent.
Moore said her experience with USG gave her the confidence she needed to pursue this role as a board member.
“It really showed me there is power in my voice, and what I have to say matters,” she said. “I offer a perspective that other people might not have, which is important as a younger person, as a woman and as a person of color.”
Moore is not your traditional candidate. She is a 23-year-old political science 2021 Kent State graduate with experience in student politics.
Although she is running unopposed, Moore has used this time to reflect on her new role and what she envisions for the future.
Before the election, she served two years in USG and later became the president of the student body her senior year.
During her 2020-21 term, Moore described her role as “different” compared to those who came before her.
Most of her time in office took place during the pandemic, so her experience wasn’t anything less than unique.
She worked with the administration to create interim policies around pass/fail grade options and issues surrounding campus rock, freedom of speech and hate speech prevention on campus.
The Pass/Fail policy was implemented by the university in March of 2020. The policy was created to support students participating in remote instruction at the time. Students could request a pass/fail grade for several courses.
The university introduced the Paint the Rock policy on Jan. 11, 2021, which was created after a series of racial slurs aimed at black students invoking campus-wide protests.
While Moore was president of Kent State’s student body, she developed an interest in educational policies along with understanding the importance of a school board.
She spent time researching educational policies, and she took time to speak to parents in the community about concerns in diversity, technology and social media.
“I am from a small town [Salem, Ohio] myself that didn't have a ton of diversity,” she said. “So I understand how important it is that we value diversity in local schools. And [to] make sure the students of color growing up really value themselves and feel like they are a part of the community.”
Right now, Moore is pursuing a master's degree in geography at Kent State and she also works as an instructor as a part of her assistantship. She said her teaching experiences have given her new insight and appreciation for education.
“Being in the classroom is exciting, but I like looking at things that impact the entire school or everybody,” she said. “In the classroom, you can only impact the students in front of you, but if you work in the policy you can impact every student at that school.”
She said this newfound knowledge led her to run for a board member position, and she hopes to bring something new to the table.
“I definitely want to empower student voices and make sure that students, no matter how older they are, feel like they can speak up,” she said. “And listen to students to help solve the issues they find in their own communities, hallways and classrooms.”
Alexus Rayzer is a reporter. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.