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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Governor appoints new student regent

Governor+appoints+new+student+regent

Arizona State University student Tyler Bowyer was appointed as the newest student regent on the Arizona Board of Regents by Gov. Jan Brewer last month. A new student regent is selected every year, rotating between the three state universities. Though regents are typically selected from recommendations made by a selection committee at the university, Bowyer applied directly through Gov. Brewer’s office. He will replace Northern Arizona University Student Regent Jennifer Ginther and serve a two-year term starting in July.

Daily Wildcat: What was your reaction to the Board of Regents meeting last week when they were tackling issues such as tuition?

Tyler Bowyer: I thought, first of all, it was commendable that the regents cared enough to where there were proposals brought forward that were in students’ interests, proposals that were brought forward by student regents to limit tuition increases and limit fee increases. On the opposite end, there were individuals who wanted to make sure services weren’t cut. It’s definitely a delicate situation of trying to find that good balance. At times it was an intense discussion, but with what the board was given, they did a phenomenal job of reaching out to students. What I hope for is to move forward throughout the next year and find even better ways to make sure the education students are getting is affordable, accessible and as high of a quality as possible.

Why did you decide to apply for the position directly through Gov. Brewer rather than through the university selection process?

I didn’t actually decide myself, per se. I offered to serve in any capacity to the governor by applying for a number of positions at the Office of Boards and Commissions and it just so happens that I was aligned and it was recommended to me to apply for the student regent position. My name was brought forward and I applied that route rather than the traditional ASA (Arizona Students’ Association) route for a number of reasons. If you’re not in the crowd, as far as ASA goes, it’s hard to actually go through that traditional process. I wasn’t really looking to offend them in any way but more so to serve our state.

What role do you think a student regent serves on the board?

One of the things a university president mentioned to me is that many of the regents don’t have a complete understanding of the university system because they don’t go there. They may have kids that go there or have visited it here and there, but we’re actually here every day. Being able to see how the university functions, and how it works for me personally as a student is different from any other regent. Jennifer (Ginther), Billy (UA Student Regent William Holmes) and I all come from extremely different backgrounds and challenges, whether it be coming up with the funds to live, or working the second or third job in college to get by or rubbing shoulders with fellow students … that’s something unique that other regents are not able to do. It’s definitely a huge benefit to the entire student population to have that on the Board of Regents.

Is there a unique voice or perspective that you think you bring to the Board of Regents?

I’m a native Arizonan. I’ve been through every step of the educational process here. I was born and raised in Gilbert and currently reside in Gilbert. I understand and am able to connect with the general population and see the real issues that affect students today … I look to utilize my experience as an Arizona native, as a student of our large university to be able to not only communicate with the student population, but use not only my ideas but their ideas to bring forward a system that works better.

How do you plan on incorporating the input of students in your decisions? Do you think students are aware of all the issues at hand?

As a student regent, it’s important to be able to efficiently communicate with the student body and the leaders of the student body so the message is clear of where we’re able to negotiate. In some ways it’s been difficult in the past because there’s been a disconnect between the students and the Regents or the Legislature. I hope to bridge that by educating.

One thing that I was really surprised about was not seeing enough students at that meeting last week. I think a lot of people were expecting a lot larger student presence at that meeting. That goes to show that we definitely want to be able to communicate. A lot of students might not fully understand all of the issues.

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