Q&A with Helena Schlegel on the last meeting of the UO Board of Trustees

Helena Schlegel is a junior at the University of Oregon and the newest member of the Board of Trustees. Schlegel was confirmed to the board during finals week and attended her first meeting as a voting member of the UO Board of Trustees.

Here’s what Schlegel had to say about her first meeting as the only student on the Board of Trustees:

How was your first meeting as an official board member?

As a student, there are not many opportunities to meet with so many senior administrators (and trustees of course). So now that I am a trustee, I have that opportunity, and because of that, I did not know exactly what to expect. But as the meeting progressed, I learned ways to improve transparency and about student outreach in general.

How have you learned to improve transparency and student outreach?

I would like to see more communication between students, faculty and administration when it comes to our governing body, as I feel that often students are not informed, and thus not aware when important decisions are being made at Board of Ttusteees meetings.

Personally, I would like to initiate some of these conversations. Initially, I want to ensure students are aware of the Winter Board of trustees meeting, so they can provide a student perspective and/or opinion on the matters being discussed.

What student issues did the Board of Trustees discuss at the meeting?

At the meeting, we passed a resolution approving a new academic program, the masters of science in sports product management, which is set to begin September 2015.

We also approved a resolution regarding this year’s tuition and fees processes, which is underway this winter term.

What is the tuition resolution?

The Tuition and Fees Processes Resolution lays out the process and timeline for the adoption of next year’s tuition and fees. The process will have an advisory group (with two students) that will make recommendations to the president, and there will also be a student forum winter term to discuss tuition and fee decisions, which will be a great opportunity for students’ voices to be heard.

In your opinion, what was the most important issue discussed at the last Board Of Trustees meeting?

It is hard to pick the most important, since every issue effects students in some way, but an issue that I was personally passionate about was a resolution relating to required disclosure by the UO ombudsperson. Now, the UO ombudsperson will no longer be a required reporter (with a few exceptions), so students can approach them regarding issues of discrimination and sexual violence confidentially.

What should students know about the Board of Trustees and how can students keep up with the Board of Trustees?

There is a Board Of Trustees website where you can read about the trustees, upcoming meetings and read past meeting minutes. Also, students can of course reach out to me with any questions and concerns they may have about the Board Of Trustees, and I will help in any way that I can.

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Alexandra Wallachy

Alexandra Wallachy

Alex is a head correspondent at the Emerald focusing on higher education and student government. She is also a producer for the Emerald Podcast Network and a huge fan of the Daily Show.