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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

New regent disrespects Arizona’s students

Last month Gov. Jan Brewer set another “”oh no she didn’t”” precedent by appointing Arizona State University student Tyler Bowyer to the Arizona Board of Regents. Bowyer is the current president of the College Republicans at ASU and this semester went on an all-out power grab, running for student body president and going after the student regent position. Bowyer disregarded the traditional application process for the student regent position and just submitted an application to the governor’s office directly.

Traditionally, the Arizona Students’ Association (ASA) accepts applications from the university that is next in the rotation of the three Arizona universities to have a student regent. After application reviews and interviews, three candidates are recommended to the governor for appointment. Bowyer skipped the whole approved and accepted application process through ASA and just went to the governor’s office himself.  

In the end, Brewer appointed Bowyer and the two gave the figurative middle finger to ASA and students across the state. In a recent interview with the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Bowyer said, “”It just so happens that I was aligned and it was recommended to me to apply for the student regent position.”” Bowyer insisted his actions were in no way intended to be disrespectful and were only as a way to better serve the state.

Whether disrespect was intended or not, it was certainly felt. How could one expect otherwise? Perhaps what Bowyer doesn’t seem to comprehend is that ASA is the recognized student body representative across the state. They’re the ones who bring students to the Capitol when state education funding cuts are being proposed, and they’re the ones who bring students to regent meetings to illuminate their stories of financial struggle.

According to former ASU Student Regent Ed Hermes, this year an estimated 20 to 25 applications were received. So Bowyer not only undermined ASA, but managed to directly disrespect fellow students by ignoring their applications.

Nonetheless, Bowyer maintains that he is the more qualified and just in his actions, According to The State Press at ASU. In his interview with the Arizona Daily Wildcat, Bowyer stated that, “”If you’re not in the crowd, as far as ASA goes; it’s hard to actually go through that traditional process.””  

Now, as a former member of ASA and having spent time within student government, I can shed a small amount of agreement with Bowyer in this regard. Neither Bowyer nor I will be the first, or last, to say that ASA or really any student government function can tend to think inward. They know their people and they want to help their people. That does not, however, justify cutting them out entirely and forging your own illegitimate path, especially when your own path smells like a handout from the governor’s office.

Other than his embarrassing defeat in student government elections at ASU, where the winner got 74.46 percent of the vote, and his status as College Republican President at ASU, little is known about Bowyer’s qualifications. In fact his largest qualification seems to be that he’s a “”native Arizonian,”” as he has been sure to mention in multiple interviews. Outside of using good buzz words and citing his ambiguous “”real-life experience,”” and caring about the issues, it’s unclear what exactly makes him a good regent.  

Some might say that he must be qualified if Brewer looked at his application and thought he was a good candidate. However, I tend to think that if Brewer even looked at the application and resume of Bowyer, she stared blankly at it, didn’t say anything, giggled and then hired him. Yeah, that sounds about right.  

Bowyer not only disrespected ASA, he disrespected the whole student body of each university when he ignored the agreed-upon process. While you can talk all you want about ASA possibly playing favorites, I doubt the president of the Young Democrats at ASU would have stood a shot at getting the regent spot had he or she submitted an application directly to the Governor. So let’s not talk about playing favorites, please.  

Disregarding politics, what Bowyer did was inexcusable showing his ignorance of the issue and disrespect for his fellow students. Welcome, new Regent Bowyer.

 

— Storm Byrd is a political science sophomore. He can be reached at letters wildcat.arizona.edu.

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