Pick student Regent carefully

Student Association President-elect Huda Scheidelman is scheduled to appoint her staff at Sunday night’s SA meeting. These appointments will include a student Regent, who represents NIU students at meetings of the Board of Regents, NIU’s governing board.

In order for an individual to effectively represent a group of people, their responsibility is to voice the opinion of their constituents, regardless of their personal feelings about that view.

NIU’s current student Regent, Nick Valadez, seemed to be following this line of reasoning last semester when he spoke out against administrative salary increases at a time of money problems for Illinois universities. But when challenged on this issue, he appeared to back down, saying he didn’t want to “embarrass” the Regents.

Brian Hopkins, Illinois State University’s student Regent, was seemingly the only student leader in the Regents to maintain the position Valadez was correct in making, originally.

We reiterate this story to make a point: a strong student Regent is needed for NIU next year.

SA President Paula Radtke is a possible candidate for the position, but she has not shown strong initiative in implementing change. In addition, her support for an NIU governing board separate from the Regents—which is completely justified—might prove too abrasive for her counterparts on the board.

Scheidelman will have to choose a new student Regent who also can work with the other Regents, no matter how ineffective the board may be.