Students at Nevada’s public colleges and universities have plenty of opportunities to influence higher education policy. They elect student governments, which participate in the Nevada Student Alliance. They can contact their elected representatives. They can lobby and demonstrate. They can work on behalf of candidates they believe in. And if they’re especially motivated and ambitious, they can run for office.
Assembly Joint Resolution 8 goes further, amending the state constitution to create a voting student seat on the Board of Regents. The resolution would require regents to not only select the student representative, but also determine the qualifications and length of term.
To understand how ridiculous this proposal is, imagine the members of the Clark County Commission, the Las Vegas City Council or the state Senate having the power to seat a voting member on their boards and decide how long that person could remain in office. We’re all for encouraging student involvement in the governing of their institutions, but not if it undermines elections. Who would the student regent be accountable to? Could a voting student regent be recalled?
If regents want to seat a student in a formal, advisory capacity, fine. The State Board of Education has a nonvoting student position. But if college students want a vote on the board, they already have a path: go win an election.