University looking for more student regents

Students looking for a bigger say in University affairs have come to the right place.

With a history of students serving on the Board of Regents as ‘Student Regents,’ Sam Houston State is looking to send more representatives.

The application deadline for a Student Regent seat on the Public University Board of Regents is Friday, Dec. 7. They are available in the Office of the Vice President, located in LSC suite 303.

“Maggie [Manzano, the current Student Regent]’s term is going to be finished by May 2008, so they’re looking to replace her with a student regent,” assistant to the vice president for student services Debbie Nichols said.

“They take applications from all the institutions, so we want to get the word out to the student body.”

Applicants must meet a set of criteria to be considered for the Student Regent seat. Candidates must be enrolled and have good standing as a university member, a minimum 2.5 GPA and must maintain the minimum GPA during the year.

Each student serves for one year, from the first of June until the 31 of May the following year.

The Board of Regents for the State of Texas oversees different aspects of the operations in all public universities. They deal with campus development, tuition, admissions, financial aid, as well as finances of the universities, investments, and major personnel.

Sam Houston’s regents are Ron Blatchley, Trisha S. Pollard, and Charlie Amato.

The Student Regent program was instituted in 2005 and implemented during the 2006-2007 school year, the Public University Board of Regents has been selecting one student each year to hold the seat. The provision of the education code, sections 51.355, 51. 356 state that “each public university board of regents shall include one student member appointed by the governor.” The second Student Regent, currently serving, is Sam Houston’s own Magdalena Manzano.

“Receiving the appointment of Student Regent for the TSUS by Governor Perry has been an incredible experience,” Manzano said. “Since becoming the Student Regent, it has been my privilege to participate in the Legislative session in which I testified for a bill. I have also attended every board meeting the system has held and from this I have gained a new perspective on what it takes to run a university and the system behind it.”

Student Regents are included in many of the Board of Regents proceedings. According to the Texas State University System, “a student regent does have the same powers and duties as the members of the board of regents, with the exception of voting, making or seconding motions, and being counted to determine a quorum.”

Multiple offices on campus are involved with selecting Sam Houston’s candidates. Applications are collected in the Office of the Vice President, then sent to the Student Government Association for review. They make recommendations to the Office of the President, who then forwards the recommendations to the Chancellor’s office. The Chancellor then narrows the pool down to two or more applicants, which he then forwards to the Governor for approval. The second Student Regent, Magdalena Manzano, was selected from the applicant pool from Sam Houston.

She was selected to serve from applicants from all the universities in the Texas State University System, including Lamar University, Sam Houston, Sul Ross State University, Sul Ross State University- Rio Grande College, Texas State University, Lamar Institute of Technology, Lamar State College- Orange, and Lamar State College- Port Arthur.

“It was great to have Maggie on the board this year,” Debbie Nichols said. “It was a great opportunity.”

The Student Regent position is a major opportunity for students to see first-hand how the legislature and the university system works.

“This position is the biggest honor I have received in my entire life,” Manzano said. “It will definitely be one of my biggest accomplishments.”

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