Corrections, Oct. 29: Due to a reporting error, a previous version of this article incorrectly stated that the ASUO Executive interviewed five candidates; the Executive interviewed all candidates who submitted applications. In the same version of the article, the reporter incorrectly stated that Paustian could not hold both the presidency and the student board representative position. There is no such restriction. The Emerald regrets this error.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown’s office revealed Oct. 26 that William Paustian will replace Helena Schlegel as the student member on the University of Oregon Board of Trustees.
Since ASUO President Helena Schlegel’s premature resignation on Sept. 25, Brown’s executive appointee staff immediately began accepting applications to recommend a student to fill Schlegel’s shoes as the representative.
Paustian will take over for Schlegel after her final day on Nov. 15, once the Oregon State Senate confirms him.
The ASUO Executive, Schlegel included, was given exactly two weeks to make a recommendation to the governor regarding who best fill the role. The Executive reviewed applications and invited all the candidates for an interview.
Paustian will vote on decisions regarding tuition, construction projects and the student conduct code. He will also work with other board members in committees to shape policy on matters affecting all members of the campus community.
ASUO Executive leadership is hopeful that Paustian will not only vote as a member of the highest governing board at the University of Oregon, but will work closely with the board as an advocate for the needs of students.
“The ASUO Executive will be in consistent communication with the student trustee to ensure they are aware of the work the ASUO is doing for students on campus, and how that coincides with what the Board is working on,” Schlegel said.
Last year, prior to when Schlegel was elected ASUO President and only worked as the student member of the Board of Trustees, she rallied with student leaders against the board’s decision to increase tuition by 3.8 percent and advocated for students to increase their involvement in the tuition-setting process. Her resolve has led to a “Tuition and Fees Open Forum,” which took place on Oct. 26. The forum gave students the opportunity to learn about the process by which it is decided and to voice opinions regarding tuition.
Since the introduction of the student BOT member position in the summer of 2014, all three representatives who held the role also served as ASUO President.
The ASUO Senate hopes that the student member could provide a source of information on what is going on in the highest levels.
“I would want us to meet with the new member, and find out how we could, as a small piece of the university that is the ASUO, could fit in with the university, and get the university to reflect on student desire and student input,” ASUO senator Zachary Rentschler said.