Strickland appoints new student trustee

Jackie Valley

Graduate student Gina Spencer is about to see what President Lester Lefton calls the “inner life of the university” as the new student trustee on Kent State’s Board of Trustees.

Gov. Ted Strickland appointed Spencer, a Kent State graduate student pursuing her doctoral degree in special education, to the board last week.

Charlene Reed, secretary for the Board of Trustees, said state law requires the university to have two student members on its board, each serving two-year terms.

At Kent State, Reed said there is always one undergraduate student trustee and one graduate student trustee. Aimee Huter is the returning undergraduate student trustee.

Although student trustees are non-voting members, Reed said it is “really helpful to have student trustees” because they represent the student viewpoint during board discussions.

Spencer said she is “looking forward to the opportunity” to work with the board and act as the student voice.

“I think it’s important to have student input on important decisions that affect the student body,” she said.

In addition, Reed said the position is a great opportunity for students to learn about the inner workings of the university.

“The purpose of the trustee is an educational experience for students to help them have a better insight as to how the university is run,” she said.

Lefton, who meets with the student trustees, said the position also helps maintain the integrity of the university.

“We try to have a very open and transparent administration,” he said, adding the Board of Trustees works on the biggest decisions involving broad policy issues at the university.

Spencer began her college career at Kent State as a freshman in 2000, and in May she received her master’s degree in education. She currently works as a graduate assistant at the Student Multicultural Center.

Spencer, who has participated and held positions in a variety of campus organizations, said the opportunity to participate as the student trustee gives her the chance to be “involved in a different level” at Kent State.

Since her appointment, Spencer said she has been trying to make herself more visible in student organizations in preparation to act as the student voice.

“It’s different than when I first came as a freshman,” she said, citing the new needs of students nowadays.

Contact administration reporter Jackie Valley at [email protected].