On Feb. 8th and 9th, Andrew McConnell stood 30 feet away from booths that shouted “Vote for student regent & commissioner.” Student governments representatives became quite familiar with McConnell on election days, as they repeatedly reminded him of the rule that all campaigning must take place 30 feet away from voting booths.
Andrew McConnell is a freshman from Palmer High, and if the rules of probability succeed, will most likely be one of the two nominees UAA receives for student commissioner.
Though only a freshman, McConnell has shown great initiative in his second semester at UAA. He hung around voting booths with his laptop open, asking random UAA students to vote, then convincing them why they should vote for him.
McConnell is planning to major in Business. He currently works as a graphic design assistant for UAA’s publicity office. His Facebook profile says that Andrew is a Pasafarian with political leanings toward Vojvodina, which is an independent province in Serbia. George Orwell is his favorite author.
If nominated for UAA, McConnell will still have to be chosen by Governor Sean Parnell. The governor has plenty of people to choose from: each university in the UA system can send two nominees.
If selected from this group, McConnell would work with the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education. Jennifer Chambers is the current student commissioner. Chambers is a chemistry major from UAF; her terms expires May 2013.
Student commissioner and regent are the highest positions offered to students. Referring to student regent, Josh Luther, the assistant for the Coalition of Student Leaders Publications, said, “It’s the most powerful student in the state, essentially.”
According the job description, the Student Regent “Is a full member of the board. This includes participation in all meetings and voting in all matters. Some of the items the Board of Regents consider include setting tuition and fees for attendance at institution, approving capital and operating budgets; issuing bonds….”
When asked why he ran for the position, McConnell said, “I thought it sounded very interesting.”