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Deadline: student-regent applications due today

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Student leaders Tim Mensing, Jake Faleschini, Ben Golden and Doug McManaway continue discussions about the new regent applications.

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ASUW president Tim Mensing discusses the new regent applications with GPSS President, Jake Faleschini and executive assistant of GPSS, Doug McManaway in the ASUW office in the HUB.

At every Board of Regents meeting, second-year law student Ben Golden takes a seat next to leaders of corporations such as Microsoft, Costco and REI. As Golden’s one-year term as student regent comes to a close, today is the deadline for students to apply for next year’s seat.

As of yesterday afternoon, one complete application and 11 letters of recommendation for other applicants have been received for the 2010-11 academic year. Doug McManaway, Graduate and Professional Student Senate (GPSS) executive assistant, said there are no concerns about a lack of applications because they are usually submitted close to the 11:59 p.m. deadline. Last year, 13 complete applications were submitted.

The applications will be reviewed by a selection committee made up of student leaders from organizations including the ASUW, the GPSS and the Residence Hall Student Association, among others.

As the UW student regent, Golden brings the student perspective to the table when the board makes decisions for the university.

“My role [as student regent] is to be an independent, critical thinker who happens to have a very distinct experience of being a current student,” Golden said. “My responsibility is the same as the other nine regents’. I just have a very different experience that colors my perspective.”

After application review and an interview round, the committee will select three to five nominees for the position of student regent. The nominees will then be recommended to Governor Chris Gregoire who will make the final appointment decision with the consent of the Senate.

“The [new student regent] has to oversee a $4 billion operation and be able to jump into that pretty cold,” said Jake Faleschini, GPSS president and co-chair of the selection committee.

UW students from any of the three campuses are eligible to apply. The applicant must be currently enrolled in six undergraduate or four graduate credits and must plan to be enrolled during the 2010-11 academic year. Finalists cannot run as candidates in the ASUW, ASUW Bothell, ASUW Tacoma or GPSS elections.

The duties and powers of the student regent are similar to those of the other regents, with two exceptions. First, the student regent holds his or her office for one year, while the other regents each have a six-year term. Second, the student regent is excused from participating or voting on issues regarding the hiring, discipline or tenure of faculty members and personnel.

The student regent’s tuition is waived during the academic year he or she is in office.

This year, the minimum-GPA requirement for student-regent candidates has been increased from 2.5 to 3.0.

The selection-committee members decided to change this requirement because they felt that it better defines the expectations for the student regent, said Tim Mensing, ASUW president and committee co-chair.

“I think there’s a general sentiment that we want the best of the best,” he said. “With a 2.5, you can still be a great person, but having a 3.0 kind of defines what the position is a little bit better and the responsibility needed to do it right.”

However, Faleschini said that if there’s a particular reason as to why a candidate does not meet the GPA requirement, the committee can choose to take his or her extenuating circumstances into consideration and decide to disregard the rule.

Faleschini said he would like to see a good pool of applicants this year, as the position is one that requires significant responsibility.

“The UW is the third-largest enterprise in Washington,” he said. “Sitting as a trustee on an institution of this size is absolutely unheard of in any other organization in the state at this age. … It’s an invaluable lesson.”

The selection committee will recommend the student-regent nominees to the governor by May 1.

Reach reporter Joanna Nolasco at news@dailyuw.com.

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