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Markwell, Fenne take contested race for College of DuPage board

Dan Markwell and Christine Fenne will join the College of DuPage Board of Trustees after winning a contested race for two open seats.

Unofficial voting records for DuPage and Cook counties show that Taso Triantafillos fell short at the polls. Leaving the board will be Dianne McGuire and Erin Birt.

Throughout suburban Cook County, turnout was 17 percent and DuPage County recorded a 16 percent turnout, according to preliminary vote totals.

“It’s a little bit surreal,” Markwell said. “I didn’t expect to win, but it was a good campaign. I’m very proud of it. It’s still kind of sinking in.”

Markwell, 23, of Lombard, held no previous political experience. But he gained some attention during election season among his peers at the College of DuPage, having to campaign to get people out to vote.

“I do think being young and being a COD student gives me a unique perspective,” Markwell said. “I think that brought young people out to the polls.”

On the campaign trail, Markwell emphasized the importance of making personal contact with the people.

“It was a lot of making phone calls, knocking on doors, engaging one-on-one,” he said. “We struck a chord with people making sure they were heard. They respond to the face-to-face approach.”

Markwell wants to accomplish one particular feat.

“My top priority as a trustee is working to make sure the Higher Learning Commission gives COD a full accreditation in November,” he said. “A lot goes into that—board policy, transparency issues need to be addressed. I’m not privy to certain matters. I’m not given access to information the board is given.”

Markwell wants to ensure that a solid plan is put in place to help remove COD from probation, which also serves as an issue the institution has faced since the ousting of its fifth president Robert Breuder in 2015.

Fenne could not be reached for comment.

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