Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


ASM looks to increase representation on Board of Regents

The Associated Students of Madison Legislative Affairs Committee wants to increase student representation in the UW System Board of Regents.

Current law provides for one governor-appointed student member on the Board of Regents, which makes crucial decisions affecting students of UW schools across the state concerning admissions policies, tuition increases and more.

The Legislative Affairs Committee is fighting to add a second student regent to the 17-member board.

Faith Kurtyka, chair of the Legislative Affairs committee, voiced her disdain for current law, claiming it is important that students have say in the policy decided by the board.

“Every single decision the Board of Regents makes effects students,” Kurtyka said. “It is sad that we are represented by only one appointed student.”

Members of the Legislative Affairs Committee met with legislators Wednesday to lobby them to pass legislation that would add a second regent. Under proposed Senate Bill 175 and Assembly Bill 371, a second, nontraditional student would be appointed. This student would need to be at least 24 years old and would represent students who are employed or who are parents.

This, said Legislative Affairs Committee member Daniel Donaghue, is more acceptable than previous moves to add another, less specified student.

“What is different is the added representation of non-traditional views,” Donoghue said. “Not only is there a traditional student regent, but also someone to represent the views of students who work or are parents, as well as other students.”

If passed, the bills would also make the first student appointment an elected position.

“Adding a student regent not only doubles student representation on the board, but it would also include one regent who is selected based on student recommendations,” Kurtyka said. “This student would likely be elected by student-government leaders.”

Under the current system, the governor nominates the student representative.

Right now, the student representative on the Board of Regents is UW-Whitewater student Tommie Jones, Jr.

Jones was reluctant to speak about the proposed bills, but did indicate that the additional student would be beneficial for students.

“Another student regent would bring more student awareness to the Board of Regents,” Jones said. “It would be great to have another student’s views at the table.”

Senate Bill 175 was narrowly passed Wednesday morning 4-3.

Legislative Affairs Committee member Austin Evans said the addition of a non-traditional student was supported, but the part of the bill that would call for one student representative was not as easily agreed upon by Republicans.

“They disagreed with the bill because they didn’t want the governor to be limited as far as his appointing powers,” Evans said.

The Legislative Affairs Committee will also be presenting a resolution to the ASM Student Council Thursday asking for their support in pushing for these bills to be passed.

According to Kurtyka, the committee wants ASM to follow along with their lead “to show [state legislators] that we as a council support this bill.”

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