Apps open for student reps to Board of Regents

Eight students will be chosen to serve a one-year term.

Alexi Gusso

Eight University of Minnesota students will get the chance to serve as student representatives to the University of Minnesota’s governing body.

The Minnesota Student Association and Graduate and Professional Student Association will choose four students from the Twin Cities as student liaison to the Board of Regents.

In addition, one student will be selected from each of the University’s satellite campuses by the corresponding student government.

Although student representatives don’t cast votes on official measures, the position allows for a student perspective in matters of University governance.

A joint committee of GAPSA and MSA officers will interview and select one or two graduate or professional students and two or three undergraduate students as the Twin Cities representatives.

GAPSA president Brittany Edwards said any student can apply for the position, but the strongest applicants are those who “have experience with the governing structure of the University.”

She said applicants don’t necessarily need to be involved in MSA or GAPSA. Humphrey School of Public Affairs and Law School students often apply, as well as students who want to get more involved in the community.

Regents policy states that of the Twin Cities representatives, no more than two students can be members of GAPSA and no more than three can be on MSA, according to the regents website.

Student representatives attend each full board meeting and sit on at least one board committee. Representatives can ask questions and provide information in and outside of committee meetings, according to the application website.

The group of student representatives is also tasked with writing one 10-page report per semester on student concerns and issues for the regents.

Kyle Kroll, a senior and a current student representative to the regents, sits on the Academic and Student Affairs Committee, which he calls the “super committee” because it handles issues that directly affect students.

Through his involvement, Kroll has lent his voice to important committee discussions on topics ranging from tuition to the student conduct code.

Kroll, who called his experience “rewarding and fun,” said he makes a point to ask pressing questions in committee meetings.

“I know that there are ways that the University can improve, and I want to bring those points to the attention of the administrators and the regents themselves,” he said, noting that students’ questions can have a “strong impact.”

For example, Kroll once brought up strengthening the University Honors Program at a committee hearing. After discussing the topic, the committee resolved to speak with administrators and explore ways to improve the program.

“That really made me feel good because it showed that my voice can have an impact on the direction of the discussion going on at that high of level,” Kroll said.

Cody Mikl, current chair of the student representatives, said his experience has resulted in a “tremendous respect” for the board.

“Decisions around here are not made lightly, and I’m pleasantly surprised about what I see go on at those meetings,” he said.

Mikl said the regents have been “hugely receptive” to his comments and questions during committee meetings.

Students interested in becoming board representatives should be dedicated to putting in the work necessary — it’s a time commitment, and prioritizing meetings can take up “large blocks of your schedule,” Mikl said.

Despite the heavy time commitment, Mikl, who’s on the selection committee, said being a student voice to the board is an important job.

“Students know very well what it’s like to be in the classrooms and what it’s like to be educated in the institutions, so that’s a valuable perspective,” he said.

Kroll said applications are due April 12, and the committee will announce its final decisions at the end of the month.