Search begins for new student trustees

Each year the board of trustees student selection committee is responsible for choosing a student trustee.

The new student trustee will be selected by Feb. 28 or before the February board of trustees meeting, Pat Brown, director of Student Life and the Davis Center said. However, the student will not start their term until March 1.

A student trustee is a full voting member on the board of trustees and serves a two-year term, according to the position profile of a student trustee.

The student trustee will use their experience as a student to make decisions with the board, but will also have to think about the entire university, according to the position profile.bwstudentrustees_2

Once the applications are submitted, the selection committee must narrow it down to 10 applicants, and then conduct interviews.

“We’re only allowed to have 10 interviews at most and then we have to make our selection,” SGA President Jason Maulucci said.

The student trustee advocates for the University and does not represent the student body specifically.

“Above any of your constituencies or above any of your own personal interests, you are acting in a manner that will help promote the best interest of the institution which you represent,” Brandt said.

Brown held the first informational session Nov. 4. Over 30 students attended, and Maulucci said he received 15 emails from students who were interested but could not attend.

“There were less than 10 applications last year. So our goal this year was to get at least 10 applications, more than that, maybe 20 to 30,” Maulucci said.

Sophomore Melanie Johnson said she thinks she would prefer a position that better represents the student population.

“As a student myself, I would rather support the study body rather than the institution as a whole, because the study body composes a lot of which the institution is built upon,” Johnson said.

The board of trustees consists of 25 members: nine legislative, nine self-perpetuating, three gubernatorial, two students, the governor and the president of UVM, according to the board of trustees website.

Self perpetuating trustees vote to elect new trustees if any current board members leave due to health issues, resignation, or any other reason, according to the UVM board of trustees’ website.

Each member serves a six- year term with the exception of students whose terms are two years. The current student trustees are junior David Brandt and senior Samantha Lucas.

The application is available on the SGA website and must be completed by Jan. 15. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, still be a fulltime student for two years following their initiation and not an employee of UVM, Brown said.

In addition to completing the application, interested students must attend three informational sessions.

“By law we have to hold three informational sessions after Nov. 1 and before the end of the semester, just to let people know what a trustee is and how they work,” Maulucci said.

Interested students who cannot attend the sessions are able to email him and at a later time watch a video recording of the session, so that they are not eliminated from the pool of applicants, he said.

Brandt said his interest was sparked at the first informational session.

“Getting some of that historical background got me really excited, at another session Samantha Lucas, who is the other current student trustee, was talking about her experience and from that moment on I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of,” he said.