Let University students decide

The Board of Regents should not create new requirements for student representatives.

University of Minnesota Board of Regents policy requires that eight students — four from the Twin Cities campus and one from each of the four other campuses — represent the student voice to the board and assist in deliberations. At the Twin Cities campus, the Minnesota Student Association and the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly elect student representatives.

The board voted late last month to revise its policy, limiting potential representatives to only full-time students with a GPA of 2.5 or higher, the Minnesota Daily reported.

The board unanimously approved the changes, but some student leaders are concerned that the board may have encroached on what should be a matter left to students.

Matt Forstie, chairman of the Minnesota Student Legislative Coalition, told the Daily that the board’s changes infringe “on the decision-making rights that the students have.”

Joelle Stangler, MSA’s ranking representative to the board, told the Daily she felt the additional requirement was passed with little discussion. She also worries that the requirement reduces the application pool and could bar capable students from the position.

We agree with Forstie and Stangler that the requirement is unnecessary and the issue is better left up to students.

Though a 2.5 GPA is a modest requirement, grades do not tell the whole story regarding a student’s ability to lead. The board originally proposed a 3.0 GPA minimum. Both requirements seem arbitrary.

Additionally, if the board genuinely respects and seeks the voice of students, it should refrain from overstepping its bounds and creating requirements for the position. Instead, it should leave it up to the students themselves to decide how to select representatives.