Two UAA students, Sherry Thompson and Kim Perry, are running for the opportunity to serve on the University of Alaska Board of Regents. The position of student representative on the Board of Regents gives the student the ability to participate in a forum that decides major issues involving universities in Alaska.
UAA has not had a student serve on the board in about 10 years. This year's candidates would like to change that. Gov. Tony Knowles determines who receives the position.
There are two candidates from every major university campus in Alaska: UA Anchorage, UA Fairbanks and UA Southeast. Whoever receives the position represents all three and gives input on policies discussed and also gets to vote in the event of a tie.
Thompson said, "Academic standing and community involvement are what the governor looks at when making his decision."
Thompson has been involved with the Union of Students, is the representative for the Club Council and is chair of the Media Board.
"I have always believed that, as a student, it is my job to bother `the suits,'" Thompson said.
Perry is also involved with the Union of Students and feels that there are a lot of things going on that should be addressed. Like Thompson, Perry believes that being on the Board of Regents would be a great opportunity to represent students and assist them with their concerns.
The university is trying to get its hands on a $16.9 million-dollar increase in funding for the school as a whole. Perry hopes that some of that money could be used to advance the UA scholars program, the only merit-based scholarship program at the university. UAA could make other changes to become more competitive.
One of the issues that both candidates are in support of would be a freeze on undergraduate tuition. "We have trouble with competing with other schools due to money issues," Perry said. "A freeze on undergraduate tuition would make us more appealing."
The candidates also voiced feelings about student issues. "I would like to see more students working together on the LetsVote campaign, or something similar, to keep the public informed and fired up about voting," Thompson said. She also showed interest in seeing a recycling program put back into effect at the school.
One of the issues brought up by Perry was the accountability of the school in regard to student fees. She would like to see a breakdown of the fees posted online, "so students know where their money is going," she said.
Joshua B. Horst of Juneau was appointed in 1999 by Gov. Knowles as student regent. Regent Horst, a business administration major at the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau campus, served as the UAS student government president from 1998 to 1999. He was actively involved in candidate forums and assisted in the development of mentoring, recruitment, and recreational programs at UAS. Horst also attended the College of the Sequoias in Visalia, Calif.�