The UC Board of Regents will vote on the creation of a student adviser position at its January meeting, according to Student Regent Avi Oved.
Oved’s proposal for the student adviser position aims to enhance student representation on the board, the governing body of the University of California. The powers and duties of the student adviser are designed to supplement those of the student regent and student regent-designate. The board will meet from Jan. 20-21, during which it will vote on whether to recommend the creation of a pilot program for the adviser position.
“It’s really been a critical issue — each year having a lack of student representation and involvement, not getting our share of governing the UC,” Oved said, adding that the securement of a vote represents the culmination of an entire year of work. “It’s been a problem in my term and with former student regents.”
The student adviser, if approved, would not be an official member of the board or retain voting powers. Oved’s goal for the position is to provide a more diverse perspective to the single student regent vote.
The student appointed as adviser would hail from a “complementary educational program” to that of the incumbent student regent, meaning that if the incumbent student regent is an undergraduate, the adviser appointed would be from a professional or graduate program.
The lack of diverse student perspectives in the regents’ discussions was a “particularly acute” problem last year while Oved served as student regent-designate with then-student regent Sadia Saifuddin, according to Oved. Both Oved and Saifuddin were undergraduate students at the time; thus, Oved said, much of the dialogue was focused on in-state undergraduates.
“That’s when we understood the lack of holistic conversation,” Oved said.
The formal agenda for the the meeting has not yet been released, but Oved hopes notice of the vote will help “provide a sense of awareness” and put pressure on the board to approve the item.
He said the proposal has garnered “unprecedented” support from various tiers of leadership, including the UC Student Association, individual student associations and deans from across the UC system. He plans to conduct more outreach in the upcoming days and weeks before the meeting, including by spearheading a social media campaign.
“I’m ecstatic. Our goal was to leave behind an infrastructure … and make the Board of Regents more centered (on students),” Oved said. “I think this will help in achieving that.”