Within university’s most powerful organization, student seat opens

One of the most powerful organizations at the University of Vermont, the board of trustees, has an open seat for a student member. The board is required to have two student members at all times, and one of those members, Adam Roof, is graduating in the spring, leaving a vacancy on the board, Vice Chairman of the Selection Committee and senior Daniel Filstein said. A student selection committee comprised of student leaders from different organizations around campus, including Inter Residence Association (IRA), Student Government Association (SGA) and Greek Life will elect a new member, Filstein said. Student terms last for two years. With the new term beginning March 1, 2011, applicants commit to being a student with UVM until March 1, 2013. This position is highly regarded because of its scarcity and stature. “The board of trustees has full legal responsibility and authority for the University of Vermont, including entire management and control of property and affairs of the University,” according to the board of trustees website. “The board is charged with steering the University in a strategic fashion. That is, to have a long-term perspective on all things UVM,” current board member Adam Roof said. A position of such prestige is not easy to attain. Interested students are required to attend three information sessions where they learn more about the board and its duties, Filstein said. Following the information sessions, interested students will submit an application to the selection committee, David Maciewicz, vice president of SGA and member of the selection committee, said. The selection committee will be conducting interviews with some of the students who submit applications. “Vermont law states that we can only interview 10 applicants,” Filstein said. “The committee that selects the trustee is created by Vermont state law. It is technically a group independent of the University,” Maciewicz said. Once the candidate pool is narrowed down, the selection committee will ultimately take a vote. Any student is eligible to apply, but the committee is looking for a particular type of individual to fill this important role. “We want someone who cares about the school, and is interested in what is happening right now with higher education,” Filstein said. The student trustee position is unique, partly because its focus is not directed at strictly student concerns — trustee members must adopt a much broader perspective. “It is a different kind of leadership role,” Maciewicz said. “The board has the responsibility to best serve all members of the university community, which extends from the faculty, staff, students, alumni, the community and so on,” Roof said. Students with an interest in the long-term future of the University are encouraged to apply. “This position is important; the board of trustees has power greater than the president of the University,” Maciewicz said. Roof explained that the position is valuable to both the University and the student. “The opportunity to serve on the board of trustees as a student is one that I never could have imagined before coming to UVM,” Roof said. “Now, on the eve of my graduation, I can only be grateful to have learned and served on the board for two years. I encourage anyone who cares about this university to apply for the position. No matter where you go you should try to leave that place a little better than when you showed up.”