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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    New UA regent poised to take the reins

    The UA’s new student regent will spend the rest of the summer and the upcoming school year preparing to represent university students across the state.

    Associated Students of the University of Arizona selected David Martinez III as one of three candidates for the position on the Arizona Board of Regents before officially appointing him July 1, along with Mary Venezia, a voting student regent from Northern Arizona University.

    Because only two students are allowed to serve on the board at one time, the student position rotates among Arizona’s three universities. The student regent’s two-year term starts off with a year in which he or she does not vote, but listens in on policy issues that affect each university.

    This year, Martinez expects to learn exactly how the board functions while he familiarizes himself with its policy procedures.

    “”I consider this year as on-the-job training and plan on soaking up as much information as I can,”” he said.

    Since his appointment, Martinez said he’s been talking with employees and students at the UA as well as at ASU and NAU, getting to know their campuses, faculty and student governments. He’s also been working closely with the Arizona Students’ Association, regarding its priorities for the upcoming school year, which could include a statewide tuition proposal.

    Martinez said he expects to attend each regent meeting and participate in important decisions.

    “”You’re a regent treated like all others, expected to take the lead and work,”” Venezia said.

    It’s important for students to realize that the student regent position is out there and that they shouldn’t be afraid to call or e-mail their regents with their concerns, she added.

    “”It’s funny because the second students find out about your position, a million problems on campus come up, from food in the dining halls to air conditioning to tuition,”” she said. “”It’s cool to find out about these things, and having the ability to help is really cool.””

    Martinez said he’s excited to take part in the discussion. He will rely on his support system, often Venezia, whom Martinez said he calls constantly to talk about the position.

    “”It’s gonna be the best experience of his life,”” Venezia said. “”The things you get to do, the places you get to go, the people you get to meet, are something I never imagined.””

    Ernesto CalderÇün, ABOR vice president, said he thinks funding should be one of the biggest issues this year, because the board is still playing catch up financially and needs to create a greater interest in the university community.

    CalderÇün said he believes Martinez will positively represent students and voice their concerns at the meetings.

    Martinez said that although he said he feels pressure representing 120,000 students, he’s confident in his ability to lead and help make a difference.

    “”This position is such an honor, something I take very seriously, because we do consider a lot of important issues that directly affect students and employees,”” he said. “”But I’m just going to have fun with it and enjoy the learning process.””

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