Student Regents on Campaign

Phuc Pham | New University

University of California student representatives voice their stand on important issues surounding the coming election. 

UC Student Regent Jonathan Stein and Student Regent-Designate Cinthia Flores discussed the impact of the upcoming election on student life, UC fees and the role of the student regents during a town hall meeting on Thursday, Oct. 4 in the Cross-Cultural Center.

Stein, a law and graduate student at UC Berkeley, currently serves as a voting member on the UC Board of Regents until his term ends in July 2013. UC Irvine law student Flores will become the next student regent for the 2013-14 academic year once Stein’s term is complete.

The role of the UC Student Regent is to serve as a liaison between members of the board and students. The Student Regent and Regent-Designate listen to comments and concerns from students, and report on these issues to the Regents in order to influence their decision-making.

The Student Regent and Regent-Designate also work to inform students on issues surrounding the UC system. Stein and Flores fulfilled this duty on Thursday night by explaining different aspects of Proposition 30 and how it will affect students.

Both encouraged students to vote throughout the meeting, emphasizing that if Proposition 30 does not pass, UC student fees will increase by 20.4 percent in January, and the system will face $250 million in trigger cuts. However, the student regents did not endorse voting for one proposition or the other — they simply stated the facts and told everyone to register to vote by Oct. 22.

With one of the main priorities of the student regents being quality, affordability and accessibility, focusing on Proposition 30 fits right into their plan of action. However, even after  the election is over, their work to improve student life continues. The student regents have several other goals for the rest of the year.

“I will lead an effort to assess holistic admission, its implementation and its success across the UC system,” Flores said. “I know I will be heavily, heavily involved in the financial aid conversation, providing critical commentary on where financial aid is now, what potential changes can mean for the future and what that means for students. I will also be working on academic preparation programs, attempting to secure both the state funds and the system funds.”

Until the election is over, the regents will be working up until voting day to educate students and ensure that they are registered to voice their opinion.

“My hope is that students will realize that their education is at stake at the polling booths this November,” Stein said.

Flores and Stein hope that students will use them as a resource to make sure educational needs are met.

“This is your university and you have a lot at stake. You’ve invested time, energy and money into a world-renowned education,” Flores said.

“I’d like for the campus community to see me as a resource, but most importantly, as an ally. This is an open invitation to find me on campus and tell me about what would be the best ways to reach you, what issues you care about and how I can be the most effective student regent for your issues.”