L’Ecuyer: The next Student Regent, and voice of change
The Daily Wildcat conducted a phone interview with Lauren L’Ecuyer and talked about her life and hopes for the future, as well as her appointment as next student regent. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Daily Wildcat: How would you like to introduce yourself to people today?
Lauren L’Ecuyer: I am a Lumberjack. I am the student body president at NAU, I am graduating in May and continuing my education in the state of Arizona. I have a long history of student governance work, which means I have been able to see the board working on behalf of the students in the universities to try to create the best policies and practices they can. The process of interviewing and attempting to determine the student regents has really been an incredible experience. So being a part in saying what the board does, just made me even more excited to do it. I’m currently the voice of our campus, which is over 20,000 students, and I’m looking forward to being the voice of a 180,000 plus students across the state of Arizona.
DW: Why did you decide to run for the student regent?
LL: I have really enjoyed the past four years of the work that I’ve been doing with the student government and being the voice of over 20,000 students. I’ve always enjoyed working in the public sector and working for the constituent, and I knew I wanted to continue that work. I didn’t quite realize that this position would be so perfect for me. I was raised in Arizona since I was a week old, so I consider Arizona to be my home state. I absolutely love the people here and the public university system. And specifically, I am passionate about combining my passion for public service with my passion for the state of Arizona and the three universities. It is going to be a dynamic combination, and it’s something that really filled me to want the position. I also think I will continue for the next few years to do the very best I can for the state and people that I really do love so much.
DW: How are you preparing for this position now, given it will be a two-year commitment? How do you go about the arrangements and preparations to tackle all responsibilities ahead of you?
LL: To be confirmed by the [Arizona] Senate and the education committee… I am working to meet with some of those representatives. I will be really learning and trying to educate myself as much as I possibly can in the next few months. I think it will be a big learning experience. I will meet as many people as I possibly can, and really get my hands around what is it that our universities need most right now from their student regent. So that’s what I’m focusing on right now, and for the next two months. Regent [Vianney] Careaga, who will be turning off, has been an incredible role model to us for two years and I had the pleasure to work with him. I know he is leaving the position in a good place. Regent [Aundrea] DeGravina, the current student regent, has as well.
DW: What are your priorities for the position and how do you plan to accomplish them?
LL: My number one priority is to make sure I understand fully the needs, the concerns and the issues of all three of the universities, their campuses and students. I want to create a submission tab on each of the student government’s website, to make sure they are easily able to get in contact with me to voice any issues, comments or concerns they might have on their campus. My email would be on the board of regents’ website, but the submission tab, all that kind of new technology will be an easier way for students to get in contact with me in a fast-paced way. Second, I am going to make it a priority to visit each one of campuses and to make sure I can meet with constituents from each one, know what their issues are and be able to gauge each of these campuses and what they need most from their student regent.
DW: How do you see yourself as different from former student regents?
LL: I’m looking forward to taking it to the next level and working closely with former regents to make sure I can do the best for my entire public university system. I would say there is not anything in particular I want to change. I’m looking forward to finding those areas and improvements and making sure I can tackle each one of those for our campuses.
DW: Who inspires and supports you?
LL: My family. I come from a really long line of public servants, and so I look at them for support and guidance on how to handle issues. I do come from a line of Sun Devils, Wildcats and Lumberjacks, so it’s an interesting perspective that I have. They are my greatest support system, and the people I lean on for any sort of task in my life.
DW: How do you describe a day in your life outside all these responsibilities?
LL: I am a [Bachelor of Science] student enjoying my studies. I love to cycle and just started road cycling last year, and I did Tour of Tucson last November. I love reading anything about leadership or management.
DW: Who is your role model?
LL: Winston Churchill. I think there are many reasons to admire Churchill, but more than anything was his perseverance and leadership during times when people needed it the most. And one of my favorite quotes is by him and it says: “Success is going failure to failure, without loss of enthusiasm.” And that’s something I feel I lived my life by.
DW: How do you do it?
LL: A lot of practice. I have been extremely involved since I was young. I enjoy being busy and more than anything, I am busy with things I am passionate about, so it encourages me to do more. And if I love it and I want to do it, I find it is not difficult. That’s how I operate.
DW: What’s your message? What do you wish people take from this interview?
LL: I am passionate about the role I am in, and opportunities the student regent will have. Without the students, and without the universities operating, this role isn’t necessary. I absolutely recognize that, and I want people to walk away knowing that I am here for them, that I am interested in their daily life and what’s happening at the universities. I’m here to advance the public university system as far as I possibly can in this role.
DW: You mentioned governance work. Do you think we will see you running for presidency at some point in the future?
LL: I am not going to rule anything out, but I’m happy to be student regent for now.
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