The UC Board of Regents may eliminate the Student Advisor role, a position that provides the Board with student input on university issues including sexual assault policy, tuition and basic needs, at its next meeting in January.
The Student Advisor position was established in January 2016 as a two-year pilot program to provide student input to the Board. The Student Advisor is selected by students, UC administrators and regents, and holds a one-year term as a non-voting advisor to the Regents.
“Eliminating the Student Advisor position strips away essential student representation at the highest level of UC governance and rejects years of hard-fought work to bring the student voice into university governance,” current Student Advisor and UC Berkeley undergraduate student Edward Huang said in an email.
There are currently three student positions on the Board, according to Huang: the Student Regent, the Student Regent-designate and the Student Advisor. Huang added that if the Board follows through on Regent Richard Sherman’s recommendation to remove the Student Advisor position, there will be no undergraduate representation on the Board, given that Student Regent Devon Graves and Student-Regent designate Hayley Weddle are both graduate students.
In a letter to the Board, Sherman said that based on discussions with student leadership and Board members including Graves, Chair George Kieffer and Vice Chair John Peréz, he recommended that the pilot program not be extended at the end of Huang’s term.
Sherman added in his letter that aside from the Student Advisor, there are 14 other students that play formal roles at Board meetings, including the Student Regent, Student Regent-designate, Student Advocates to the Regents, Student Observers to Standing Committees and presidents of both the UC Student Association and the UC Graduate-Professional Coalition.
“Based on … an analysis of the goals and outcomes of the program, we recommend that the Student Advisor program be allowed to sunset,” Sherman said in his letter.
The Board will decide whether or not to terminate the Student Advisor position at its meeting next month at UC San Francisco Mission Bay.
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