Search starts for trustees

  The Board of Trustees is undergoing some changes.   The board, which is comprised of 25 members including legislators and self-perpetuating trustees, also includes two students that make most of the decisions concerning the University.  Recently, a search has begun for a new student board of trustees member.   “In 1977, students proposed to have two positions [on the Board of Trustees] for students to provide student perspective to the highest governing body,” said Jude Paul Dizon, a member of the committee conducting the search for the new student trustee.   Responsibilities of the Board of Trustees can range from simple everyday tasks to electing a new University president.   Though some members on the Board of Trustees are educated in making decisions in finances, business and even legalities, the student trustees represent what the other individuals cannot: the student voice.   “Students are one of the main constituents of UVM,” said Dizon. “An issue like raising tuition makes sense, but the trustees aren’t UVM students.”   From living on campus, attending classes and having the overall UVM experience, the student trustees can speak to student interests, which is something board members value in making decisions for the University.   “During trustee meetings, the other board members would directly ask us as students for our opinion,” former Student Trustee Brian Sozansky said. “We also chatted with students around campus to combine our opinion with the ones of our peers.”   The search for the graduating trustees’ replacement is a process of applications, references, meetings and sometimes interviews.   Even though the application process is lengthy and being a member of the board of trustees entails a heavy work load, Brian Sozansky said he looks back on his time as a student trustee fondly.   “It was one of the greatest experiences I’ve ever had,” he said. “I learned so much about what happens behind the scenes at UVM and the decisions that need to be made just to keep the University running smoothly day to day.”   The application for the Board of Trustees position can be found on UVM’s website.   The selection process has yet to begin, since applications are accepted until January. In the meantime, applicants are required to attend three meetings. These include an introduction meeting and meetings with the University administration and Board of Trustees.    “The new trustee must be willing to learn and not afraid to ask questions,” Sozansky said. “They must be passionate about UVM.”