ABOR's search for a new student regent is on
The Arizona Board of Regents, the governing body for Arizona’s three public universities, is on the search for a new student regent.
The next student regent will come from the University of Arizona, replacing Arizona State University's student regent Aundrea DeGravina, and will serve a two-year term on the board.
The Associated Students of the University of Arizona and the Graduate and Professional Student Council are leading the regent selection process. They have an application available on ASUA’s website.
Natalynn Masters, ASUA president and chair of the UA Student Regent Search Committee, encourages all interested UA students to apply.
“We hope to receive a number of good applications to review, so we can find a student who not only represents UA but also has the skills to communicate and represent all our public universities well,” Masters said.
What is the role of the Student Regent?
The first student regent, Andrew Federhar, is now an Arizona lawyer and was selected in 1978 from UA after students lobbied for direct representation among the regents. Every year since, the student regent has rotated between Arizona’s three public universities.
“Student regents actively work with the Board of Regents to set university policies on everything from tuition and fees to capital planning, as well as talk with the Arizona legislature on their behalf,” Masters said.
According to the board, the student regents also provide a critical student perspective on issues and proposals coming in front of the board and are key to accomplishing the regents' goal of improving higher education in Arizona.
It was not until 1989 that the student regent was given the right to vote on the board. Since 2000, when the Arizona legislature increased the number of student regents to two, each student regent serves a two-year term and only has the right to vote during their second year.
UA’s most recent student regent was Vianney Careaga, a political science and philosophy major who graduated in 2018.
Before taking office two years ago, Careaga talked to the Daily Wildcat about the role of the student regent.
“The student regent gets to have a hand in really shaping the future of higher education policy for the state of Arizona,” Careaga said.
During his last official meeting in April 2018, Careaga thanked the regents for welcoming him to the board and said it was an honor to represent Arizona’s 180,000 public university students during his term.
How can I apply to be the next student regent?
Students interested in applying for the student regent position are required to be Arizona residents and maintain a GPA above 2.0, if they are undergraduates, or 3.0 if they are graduate students.
Applications for the position, which include three letters of recommendations and four essays, are due to ASUA by Oct. 21.
“We are looking for students who are engaged on campus, as well as students who are willing to ask questions, raise awareness on key issues and connect students with the Board of Regents,” Masters said.
Masters also is looking for applicants who have an understanding of their potential role within the regents and have a strong desire to represent their fellow students.
For GPSC President Marie Teemant, this means being a true advocate for university students on issues that affect their education.
“I would love to see a UA student regent who really advocates for students, especially on issues such as tuition and fee setting,” Teemant said.
The UA Student Regent Search Committee will review all applications and select a number of candidates for an interview forum with ASUA, GPSC and a number of other organizations on campus.
Afterwards, the ASUA and GPSC Senate will vote on three finalists to be sent to the Arizona Governor’s Office, who will select the official nominee, who in turn will begin their term July 2019 after being confirmed by the Arizona Senate.
Students interested in learning more about the student regent position can attend one of three information sessions hosted by the UA Student Regent Search Committee on Sept. 20 in the Santa Cruz Room at 5:30 pm, on Oct. 1 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Student Center at 12:00 pm or on Oct. 9 in the Agave Room at 5:30 pm.
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