Student rep. Helena Schlegel resigns from Board of Trustees
Helena Schlegel has resigned from her post as the only student member of the University of Oregon Board of Trustees.
Her official statement came in an email sent to the university secretary, Angela Wilhelms, Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s Director of Executive Appointments, Mary Rae Moller, and the Emerald’s Editor in Chief, Dahlia Bazzaz.
Schlegel is also the president of the Associated Students of the University Oregon, which serves as the student government of the university.
Schlegel attributed her resignation to feelings of frustration toward what she felt to be a lack of consideration of her opinions and proposals by other members of the board.
“I feel that as the student trustee, I wasn’t regarded as equal to the other trustees, and that my thoughts and concerns that I shared with the board were not always regarded as seriously as I wish they were,” she said in a statement to the Emerald.
Schlegel mentioned her desire to focus more on her role as student body president, which she feels would be more effective in advocating on the behalf of students.
Chair of the University of Oregon Board of Trustees Chuck Lillis responded to the news of Schlegel’s resignation. He thanked Helena for her 10 month service as the student trustee.
“Helena has been a delight to work with, and I appreciate her thoughtful approach to tackling tough issues,” he wrote in an email to the Emerald. “She has been a strong member of the board, offering many terrific suggestions and improvements to operations and policy.”
Contrary to Schlegel’s feeling that her views were not seriously regarded. Lillis mentioned that “the perspective and insights of our student trustee are important and valued.”
In the most recent board meeting, convened on Sept. 11, Schlegel criticized amendments made to the board’s “Statement of Governance and Trustee Responsibilities,” which called for trustee members to be mindful of their duty to the board when publicly stating “personal opinions on university matters.” Despite voting down the proposed resolution, it was passed 12-2.
During the BOT meeting in June, Schlegel also criticized changes to the Student Conduct Code which removed panel hearings which were overseen by ten student, four faculty, and four administration members over student conduct cases. She had felt that students were not involved in the proposal which had called for its removal.
Schlegel was also a firm critic of the board’s approval to increase tuition by 3.8 percent for residents and 3.7 for nonresidents during a meeting which took place in March.
The ASUO will hold an application and interview process prior to recommending a candidate to Governor Kate Brown. The governor is responsible for appointing a new student representative to the UO Board of Trustees. Applications will be available on the ASUO website and are due by Oct. 4.
“We look forward to the appointment process and to welcoming a new student to the Board as soon as possible,” Lillis said.
Meanwhile, Schlegel will continue her duties as the student representative of the Board of Trustees until Nov. 18, 2015.
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