Representing the student body proves to be a rewarding experience

Shelby Davis

Shelby Davis
Shelby Davis

I have never experienced anything more intimidating than sitting at a boardroom table with lawyers, public accountants and university administrators to discuss the future of the university.

The first time I spoke up in a Board of Regents meeting I felt like my heart was going to beat through my chest. My hands were sweaty and my voice was shaking until I said exactly how I felt about the subject we were discussing. This is one of many moments I will never forget about serving as the student regent.

Others special moments included meeting Gov. Rick Perry, discussing issues of higher education with university presidents and administrators from across the state, and most importantly every meeting where I get to represent the student body.

Although I was  nervous at the first couple of Board meetings I attended, I quickly relaxed after discovering a reassuring fact: The members of the Board of Regents truly care for the students and want to hear their opinion.

Regardless of what I am saying, Board members are always quick to listen and to take my opinion into consideration. Hardly ever are decisions made without the chair asking the administrators to take the topic, such as fixed tuition or campus master planning, to the students.  This shows me that our Board is not only considering my opinion, but they care enough to go the extra mile and to seek council from collective groups of students.

The student regent position has not been in existence for many years, but it is valuable to students and administrators. Having a student take part in Board meetings allows students an avenue to connect with the administrators at the highest levels. This benefits Board members because they are getting immediate feedback from a representative who has a life on the campus that their decisions affect.

Being the voice of the student body through my one-year term as the student regent was  rewarding. I have had, and continue to have, many valuable experiences, while truly making a difference on campus.

I would encourage anyone who has pride in the university and is looking for a leadership or networking experience to consider this as a potential future option. I would encourage whoever fills the position as student regent next year to not waste time, to be completely honest and to be as open as soon as possible with the Board members. Your opinion does matter to them and to the future of MSU.

Davis is a senior in mass communication.