The University of California Board of Regents opened up its application process this month for the next Student Regent, a full voting position that attends all meetings of the Board and its various committees and represents “the voice of the students” to the 26-member Board.
Current Student Regent Hayley Weddle co-hosted a UC Student Regent Town Hall alongside Student Regent-designate Jamaal Muwwakkil and Associated Students of UC San Diego at the Price Center Governance Chambers around noon on Friday, Jan. 31. The discussed topics included the application process and the duties of a Student Regent.
Weddle, a UCSD doctoral student, spoke at the forum about how success in her role has been a result of her interests in advocacy for her fellow students.
“I think [the role] is more about an understanding of the UC, or an interest in understanding,” Weddle said. “I feel really good about what I’ve put in and some of that [is based on] my values about collaboration and being honest.”
Weddle recently opposed two plans proposed by the UC Board of Regents to increase tuition due to student affordability concerns. She also argued that the Regents need to prioritize student input.
Muwwakkil has focused on improving outreach programs and facilitating greater community involvement. He also has pledged to be an advocate for the university system’s diverse student body.
The Student Regent holds the position for a two-year term that overlaps with their predecessor to ensure that the student body is always represented. In the first year, the appointed student observes the current voting student regent in a non-voting capacity. The second year is spent as a full voting member.
The Board as a whole establishes university policy in areas ranging from financial management to long range planning. The Regents also appoints the UC President, all 10 campus chancellors, and the Officers of the Regents.
In order to be considered for the position, Student Regent applicants must be an undergraduate, graduate, or professional student in good standing at a UC campus. If appointed to the position, the student regent is disbarred from serving in elected student government or on the Board of Directors of the UC Student Association for the duration of their term.
Conflict between students and UC officials in the 1960’s led the California State Legislature to propose a referendum, Proposition 4, that would amend the state constitution to allow the appointment of a student and a faculty member to the Board. Its passage with 55 percent of the vote created the Student Regent position and UC Santa Barbara student Carol Mock was the first to serve in the position from 1975-1976.
Associated Students Muir Senator Ian McKeever spoke to the UCSD Guardian about his hopes for the next Student Regent.
“It is essential that the Student Regent be someone who can not only understand the needs of their constituents but effectively communicate them to the Board,” McKeever said. “This entails a Student Regent who can reflect the changing demographics of our campuses and advocates for those whose voices need to be heard.”
Students are encouraged to reach out to the current Student Regents if they have any further questions about applying. Questions regarding application logistics can be directed to UCSD Student Regent Coordinator Christian Walker.