Regent Encourages Activism

The Office of the Dean of Student Affairs held its annual leadership luncheon with Student Regent Jodi Anderson on Feb. 2 at the Cross-Cultural Center.
The event, entitled ‘Leadership: It’s a Balancing Act,’ was intended to encourage students to apply to be next year’s student regent. About 30 students were in attendance, both graduates and undergraduates.
Anderson spoke to students about her background, why she applied, application procedures, who the Regents are and what they look for in an applicant.
She encouraged students to apply for the position.
‘It is a position created by a constitutional amendment in the state of California,’ Anderson said. ‘The people of California were asked to vote whether there should be a student regent and if that student regent should have voting powers. And they voted for that.’
Anderson also explained that she applied for the position because of the importance of education for her.
‘I applied because I am interested in the issue of education,’ Anderson said. ‘I am a student in higher education [and] it has played a fundamental role in my life.’
Anderson said that few students apply for the job.
‘Each year between 40 and 70 students apply for the student regent position,’ Anderson said. ‘If you think about the fact that we have close to 200,000 students in the UC system, it’s a pretty small number. I think some students do not know about the opportunity and some students who do know about it are a little bit intimidated. It is intimidating. It should be intimidating because it is a big responsibility.’
All applications are reviewed by regional nominating commissions. Nine applicants are then selected by the commissions and are interviewed in person by the Board of Directors of the University of California Student Association.
The UCSA then selects three finalists whose names are forwarded to the Secretary of the Regents. The finalists are interviewed in May by the Regents’ Special Committee to Select a Student Regent, which recommends appointment by the Board of Regents.
There are certain characteristics that the Regents look for in selecting an applicant.
‘The Regents are looking for a student who is articulate, responsible, committed and somebody who can be a colleague to them,’ Anderson said. ‘[They want] someone who understands the complexity of issues, who can bring a student perspective but not vote on a student party line.’
Added UCSA Board Chair Carlos Feliciano, ‘The bottom line is that if you are interested, passionate, motivated and are willing to learn, than you are just as competitive as the next person.’
Dale Dwelle, a third-year economics and political science double major who attended the event, explained why he wants to apply for the position.
‘I think that more often than not the student voice on the UC campus is underrepresented,’ Dwelle said. ‘I feel that it requires a person who is out there and put student issues forward.’
Other students who attended the event plan to pursue the position next year.
‘With all the state issues that we are facing right now and the budget crunch, it is really important to have a student regent who is knowledgeable and is willing to take on some issues and represent the students on the state level,’ said Desinee Monzoon, a first-year student in the Graduate School of Management.