Position change proves positive for students

Due to the downsizing of the Board of Regents, the committee on which the student representative served was eliminated last February. The steps taken to rectify this situation have positive effects for the student representative, Heidi Frederickson.
Until the Sept. 10 meeting, Frederickson was allowed to sit with the board at official regent meetings. Then the regents learned that this was a “violation of the regents’ legal obligation and role,” because the student representative was not elected by the state Legislature. This means that the University no longer has an official student representative on the Board of Regents.
Before the committee was eliminated, the student representative would sit in the back of the board room during official meetings. The committee meeting was the only opportunity for the student representative to sit with the board during official meetings.
With the changes that are being made, the student representative will have a seat reserved in the front row with the vice presidents during official meetings. In this location, she has more of a chance to be recognized by the chairwoman to discuss valid issues relating to the University.
In addition to sitting in the front row, the representative will prepare a statement on one policy issue per meeting and will also have the opportunity to ask the regents chairwoman for additional opportunities to address the board. This is a positive change for students, but the state Legislature should consider giving the student representative more power.