2021-2022 Student Regent search begins

Student regent applications are now open. Student government association president, Shelbi Stogdill, political science, history and global studies senior, announced this through Postmaster Wednesday, Nov. 4.

“The student regent, sit[s] on the board of regents, and they’re a non-voting member. They essentially give input on whatever the board of regents is discussing from a student’s perspective. They are there to be the voice of the students on the board and kind of give them student input when they’re making their decisions,” Stogdill said.

Student regents serve as a representative for the students within the board of regents., voicing their opinion on decisions that would affect the students.

“I think it’s important that regents, when making decisions that impact the university, understand the student perspective, because [the students are] the reason we’re here. The students are the reason this institution exists; it’s the reason we get up and come to work every day,” Keith Lamb, vice president of student affairs and enrollment management, said.“We have to understand how decisions impact students and…[a student regent] allows a voice within the regents to articulate how different things impact students. I think [having a student regent is] incredibly important. Texas has not always had student regents…and I think it has really brought an important voice to those meetings.” 

The application process itself goes through various phases which involve SGA executives, president Shipley and the governor. 

“The student regent applications are currently open, and they’re due to the office of student affairs by December 4th at 5 p.m. [The applications] get sent to the SGA [executives who] look at the applications and narrow them down to five applications,” Stogdill said. “Then [the five applications] get sent to President Shipley; she…looks at the applications and…you’ll have a meeting with someone in her office in an interview type of setting. Then two or three [of the applicants chosen] are sent to…the governor, and from there you do a meeting from the governor’s office. The governor makes his appointment and then one student is appointed.”

While searching for the new student regent there are a few specific characteristics that are looked for. According to Stogdill, the preferred candidate is someone that is involved in MSU, because it is important for them to be knowledgeable about student life.

“I think the student regent needs to…be mature certainly because they are representing the entire student body, not just themselves, so they need to have a broad perspective to what’s important to students as a whole and not just any individual,” Lamb said. “They need to be confident in articulating what is important to students because they will be asked by [the] regents ‘What do students think about this?’ or ‘What is important to students?’. They need to be confident in sharing the student experience. I think it’s important that they are open to feedback and they are open to different views that they can represent to the governing board.”

Lastly, Stogdill says the most important quality that the student regent has is being able to represent the students.

“I think the biggest importance is they just get to provide input on decisions that are gonna affect the university in the future, because the board of regents discusses really high-value important issues, and it’s gonna affect the university and the students as well, so having a student input I think is a really good thing,” Stogdill said.

It was announced in Spring 2020 that MSU might become part of the Texas Tech system. MSU joining the Texas Tech system would come with changes, including changes to the student regent.

“With the Texas Tech merger that’s possibly to take place next year, we could be merged with Texas Tech. In that situation there wouldn’t be a student regent at MSU because we would use Texas Tech student regent since we would be under Tech,” Stogdill said. “How it works, if once we get to Tech, it would rotate. Tech would have a student regent, San Angelo student would be one and then MSU would have one, but next year there’s a possibility that the student regent that represents MSU is not an MSU student. We’d be going to Tech’s board of regents, not MSU [so MSU] wouldn’t have one.”

MSU not having a student regent has brought some concern among Mustangs but Lamb assures that it is nothing to worry about.

“I think that we’ll be fine, because the way the Tech system runs is [the] student government presidents attend the board meetings and so there will still be a student Midwestern voice attending those meetings. Every so many years there will be a student from Midwestern that is the student regent to the Texas Tech system board of regents if we indeed join the system.”