Gov. Rick Perry appointed Joleesia Berry of Texas Woman’s University and Rudy Reynoso Jr. of the University of North Texas to serve as student representatives on their respective university Board of Regents.
Both Berry and Reynoso begin year-long terms with the boards June 1 and will represent student interests as nonvoting members. As student regents, they will attend Board of Regents meetings and be able to serve on task forces, committees and special commissions.
For Berry, the position allows her a glimpse into her future. After she graduates from TWU with a degree in business administration in 2015, she plans to earn a master’s degree in higher education or student affairs and eventually work for a college or university.
“I’m taking it more as an internship and learning experience because I’m getting to see the other side of things,” she said. “This is something I want to do in my career. … I’m going to love it, I know I am.”
Earning the student regent position was a huge accomplishment for Berry, who said she began college unsure what she wanted to do. Now on her third and final major, she said the administration and staff at TWU have helped her realize her goals.
Berry said she hopes to learn more about how decisions are made and how the Board of Regents works, as well as make sure the regents understand the student perspective.
“Really, my goals are just to keep them well informed about the student body. I want them to know how we’re feeling,” she said. “So one of my goals is to keep honesty but to stay attentive with the student body and listen to what their needs and concerns are.”
Both students will join the respective boards after serving as presidents of their student government associations. Reynoso said he was excited to continue serving his fellow students in a different capacity after concluding his term as student body president.
“It’s another role to better serve people,” he said.
While on the board, Reynoso wants to address three key issues: campus growth, technology and transportation. By addressing specific items within these topics, like WiFi on campus and student retention, he hopes to start conversations among regents to make lasting changes for UNT.
Reynoso said he aims to keep not just the Board of Regents connected to the students, but to educate his fellow students about the board.
“I’m looking to gain more student interest and student awareness of what is going on,” he said. “A lot of students don’t know what the Board of Regents is or how decisions are made, and I want them to be in the know.”
JENNA DUNCAN can be reached at 940-566-6889 and via Twitter at @JennaFDuncan.