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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Governor appoints new student regent

    Gov. Janet Napolitano named Arizona State University law student Ross Meyer as the new student member of the Arizona Board of Regents on Thursday.

    As a final step, the Arizona State Senate must approve Meyer before he can succeed Mary Venezia when she steps down in July.

    “”I’m just thrilled and excited about my confirmation,”” Meyer said. “”I can’t wait to put my experience to use and start helping students.””

    Meyer graduated with an economics degree from ASU in May before beginning his first semester at the university’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law this week.

    Last year, he served as ASU’s student body president and as the vice chair of the Arizona Students’ Association, which represents student governments of the state’s three universities.

    Meyer was one of three finalists for student regent last year, but Napolitano instead chose UA candidate David Martinez III, currently in a non-voting role.

    Serena Unrein, ASA’s executive director, worked with Meyer throughout the 2007-2008 academic year.

    “”He has a lot of enthusiasm for students and will be a strong voice for everyone attending Arizona’s universities,”” she said. “”He’s approachable and really does care about student needs.””

    If selected as the new regent, Meyer said he wants to focus on the retention and graduation rates across Arizona’s universities.

    The UA’s freshman retention rate reached 80 percent for the first time this fall, according to a report President Robert Shelton submitted to ABOR on Dec. 7.

    “”I wrote my senior honors thesis on the graduation and retention rates, and coming up with ways to improve them is a huge goal for me,”” Meyer said. “”It’s something all the players want.””

    Meyers said also he looks forward to working with students across the state and hearing their concerns.

    As ASU student body president, he visited all of Arizona’s college campuses frequently, and wants to continue getting to know students and officials, he said.

    Venezia had some advice for her likely successor.

    “”Expect everything you don’t expect,”” Venezia said. “”It’s the greatest experience of your life, but nothing can prepare you for sitting at a table with all the other regents and getting that face value.””

    Venezia is the current voting student regent. Voting power rotates among the Arizona universities each year.

    Martinez will have the vote starting next fall, followed by Meyer in the fall of 2009.

    Martinez met Meyer through a Young Democrats function.

    “”He’s a great guy and will do an excellent job as a leader, representing students,”” Martinez said.

    Meyer said he plans to work with both Martinez and Venezia and listen to their advice.

    “”They’re great leaders and a great resource to help me familiarize myself more with the UA and NAU,”” he said.

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