Student Regent Retires
The application process for the Student Regent position on the NMT Board of Regents was initiated after Regent Emily Silva announced the end of her term as Student Regent at the first SGA Senate meeting of the semester. Silva plans to graduate in May 2019 and therefore will not pursue another term as regent.
The student regent is a member of the Board of Regents and works on behalf of the best interest of the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology by facilitating and communicating the interests of the student association. To put it simply, the Student Regent acts as an advocate for the student body to the school administration and to state government officials. As a member of the board, the Student Regent also participates in discussions concerning short-range and long-term planning, tuition increases, changes to the vision and mission of the institution, and the employment and supervision of the institution’s chief executive, among other duties.
The application process for Student Regent is unique in its approach. New applicants for the position are screened by committee interviews conducted by NMT school administration officials, through which an extensive list of applicants is narrowed down to a few exceptional individuals. A recommendation for the position is forwarded to the New Mexico Governor’s desk. Should the Governor choose to appoint the recommended applicant, the applicant must be represented in and approved by the state legislature.
Reflecting on her term as Student Regent, Silva is proud of what the Board of Regents has been able to accomplish. “My greatest accomplishments probably pair very closely with my greatest challenges,” said Silva. Her passion for the position encouraged her to express concerns with the direction of certain Board decisions, or at times to take unpopular positions on key issues. “Knowing that I couldn't possibly represent or voice every single student opinion, I'd like to think that I did take many varying sides into account when making very difficult decisions,” Silva said, concerning things like 49ers memorabilia, tuition increases, degree requirements, among other things.
Among her greatest accomplishments, Silva was able to represent a certain demographic of the student population that otherwise would have gone unrepresented. “I think the part of the job I've been happiest about was being able to voice concerns (monetary, cultural, etc.) … that administrators may not have otherwise considered,” said Silva. Silva recounted worked with Regent David Gonzales, who is a Tech alum, on numerous occasions, citing him as being “instrumental in helping to shift a lot of these conversations, having experienced Tech himself.”
Silva confessed that taking dissenting positions on key issues was the hardest thing she had to do as Student Regent, but confessed that the experiences she’s had has made her a stronger person overall. “I will assuredly miss [the position],” Silva said, “but know that whoever takes my place will do an excellent job.”