Chancellor Linda Katehi is opening her doors a little wider by calling for a new board of students to advise her on the issues important to them.
The Chancellor’s Undergraduate and Graduate Student Advisory Boards will be comprised of 12 to 14 students each, who will meet with her four times every quarter to present concerns and ideas pertinent to the student population.
“We’re hoping we can really get our voices in the administration’s ear,” said Allison Zike, an undergraduate student assistant to the chancellor. “This [board] is a way for a wide variety of students to have an incredible opportunity to change the campus.”
Formerly, four student assistants advised the chancellor on matters pertaining to students. Now, the student assistants will be the vice-chairs of the board, facilitating and organizing the priorities of their peers with the rest of the board.
Katehi discussed the possibility of meeting with a board of student advisers in August, and has recently met with the four student assistants to establish a more concrete plan for the function of the board. She helped to organize a similar committee as provost at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
“It’s important for students to be able to share their concerns with me, and for me to be able to bring issues to students for their perspective,” Katehi said in an e-mail interview. “These advisory committees will be a ready opportunity for that kind of dialogue. These kinds of student committees were immensely helpful to me at other universities, and I anticipate they’ll be of great benefit here, as well.”
Assistants hope that having a diverse group of students will help their respective boards to address a wide variety of topics.
“The discussions we have will encompass a lot of different perspectives from a lot of different students,” said Nina Massoumi, an undergraduate student assistant to the chancellor.
Massoumi, a senior international relations major, added that students are not required to be particularly involved with the university, but should be able to offer unique outlooks on campus life so the board can represent the unique values of the school.
The assistants also anticipate that a diverse board of students will help them to better advise on matters regarding budget cuts and fee increases.
“These issues affect everyone differently,” said Zike, a senior community and regional development major. “That’s why I’m glad we’re going to have such a range of people. We’ll be able to acknowledge a broader range of concerns surrounding these cuts.”
Among other issues the undergraduate board hopes to discuss are how to better include lower income and underrepresented students in a financial aid plan that will allow them to continue to attend UCD.
The deadline to apply for the graduate board is Friday, and for the undergraduate board is Nov. 6. Applications are available online at sac.ucdavis.edu and can be submitted via e-mail or in person to 476 Mrak Hall by 5 p.m.
The undergraduate board will be announced by the end of November; the graduate board by the middle of November.
LAUREN STEUSSY can be reached at email@example.com.