OSU student trustees gain vote that UA’s still lack

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OSU student trustees gain vote that UA’s still lack

Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 14, 2015.

Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 14, 2015.

Kristina Aiad-Toss

Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 14, 2015.

Kristina Aiad-Toss

Kristina Aiad-Toss

Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 14, 2015.

By Samantha Hickey, News Editor

For years, student trustees of Ohio universities have not had the privilege to vote on their respective Boards of Trustees.

Then on June 30, 2015, the Ohio General Assembly approved that The Ohio State University Board of Trustees may grant full voting privileges to their student trustees.

Other schools like Ohio University have looked into those same privileges for their student trustees.

Ohio Governor Kasich assigns two student trustees to all of the state’s public institutions of higher education, after those students complete a lengthy interview process.

Darnell Davis is one of UA’s student trustees, who initially was beat out for the position by the other UA student trustee, Matthew Hull.

Ohio House Representative Michael Stinziano of Columbus is now attempting, for the third time, to grant student trustee voting rights for schools across the entire state of Ohio.

“I think that it is important for the students to have a vote,” Davis said. “It’s one thing to have your voice be heard, it’s a whole other thing to have your opinion count.”

Two UA Board of Trustees resolutions, one from 2012 and the other from 2014, expressed support for the “spirit” of Ohio House Bills 377 and 111, which gave Ohio public universities and the Northeast Ohio Medical University the option to grant student trustees voting privileges and the authority to attend executive sessions.

Yet both of the bills never made it further than the Ohio House of Representatives.

“The administration has been very student-affiliated in this whole process,” Davis added. “As of right now, students are not allowed to vote on the Board of Trustees and do not have to be allowed in executive session by law, but John Pavlov, the chair of the Board of Trustees, has been doing an excellent job being transparent with the students and allowing their passes to the meetings.”

Even though the UA student trustees cannot vote at this time, they are still looking in a positive direction.

“At the end of the day, even though the student doesn’t have a vote, we still have a responsibility to have faith in our school and really use our position to drive for the better of the school,” Davis said.

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