Plan for 2nd UC student regent strives for undergraduate, graduate representation

Tracy Lam/Staff

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The UC Student Association adopted a plan Sunday to increase both student representation on the UC Board of Regents and discussion of student issues at regents’ meetings.

With the support of Student Regent Avi Oved, the UCSA adopted a proposal at its two-day meeting to create the position of student adviser to the regents. The adviser position would be replaced by a second student regent if the state Legislature and California voters approve the necessary constitutional amendment, said acting UCSA President Kevin Sabo.

The UCSA, an organization of student leaders across the University of California, met Saturday and Sunday for its July meeting.

Sabo said that because only one student regent position exists, students are forced to choose between an undergraduate student and a graduate student to represent them, despite the two educational levels facing dissimilar experiences. If a second student regent is approved, Sabo said, then one student regent would be an undergraduate student and the other would be a graduate student.

Oved originally proposed a shared governance plan at the June UCSA meeting, but that plan did not include a path toward a second student regent.

“The proposal you’re seeing today is what we had planned all along but wasn’t what was presented in June,” Oved said. “We wanted to get feedback on what the proposal should look like. … It needed work.”

The approved plan would establish a student adviser to the regents by the 2016-17 school year while simultaneously beginning a campaign to pass legislation that could establish a second student regent position through a constitutional amendment. That legislation would put the position on the 2016 ballot, where it would need a simple majority vote to pass. If the amendment is adopted, the student adviser position would be phased out, Sabo said.

In the same proposal, the UCSA also adopted a timeline for the restoration of the regents’ Student Life and Alumni Affairs Committee. The committee, which would discuss matters from mental health to sexual assault, existed from 2008-11 but was allowed to expire.

“We wanted the regents to have conversations about students,” Sabo said. “There’s a committee on lab oversight, facilities and audits, but there’s nothing that specifically talks about students.”

Additionally, the UCSA amended its bylaws to create seven adviser positions in the organization, ranging from labor relations officer to nontraditional student officer. Applications for the positions are due by Aug. 31.

Oved said he doesn’t expect the student adviser and student regent plan to be fully realized during his term.

“Every year, as momentum builds, it dies because new student leadership comes in,” Oved said. “We’ve got to have the conversations and build the infrastructure so that we can achieve this.”

Contact Austin Weinstein at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @aweinstein5.

A previous version of this article may have implied that Oved thought none of the UCSA actions and measures would be achieved during his term. In fact, Oved doesn’t think the student adviser and student regent plan will be fully realized during his term.