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Ben Pelt, Legislative Affairs, Associated Students of the University of Nevada

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- Nevada’s Board of Regents sets policy that affects thousands of college students throughout the state, yet one voice is missing from that governing body: that of an actual student.

Ben Pelt, Associated Students of the University of Nevada, wants to change that.

“A student would bring a perspective that the board members don’t really have in that students are on campus every day, they’re the ones interacting with their peers, and, more importantly, they’re the ones who are affected by the policies that are actually created,” says Pelt.

Nevada is in the minority in not having a student representative – 40 states do. It’s a long process to change the state’s policy, says Pelt, since it requires amending the state constitution

But wouldn’t having a student on the board almost guarantee a knee-jerk vote against tuition increases?

Not so, says Pelt. Seventy percent of student regents say that they would vote to increase tuition if they thought it would benefit their institution or if they think it’s necessary.

OK, but aren’t students too immature to wield that kind of power.

Support comes from

“A lot of people may think that because they’re still in school they might not have the necessary faculties to make those decisions,” says Pelt. “But from my perspective, being on campus here, students are very competent.”