Former Undergraduate Student Association Council Internal Vice President and third-year economics major at UCLA Avi Oved recently received the nomination to be the 41st University of California Student Regent for the 2015-2016 school year.
Student Regents serve two year terms on the Board of Regents, one year as the non-voting Student Regent-designate and another year as a voting member of the Board. Oved will replace the current Regent-designate, UC Berkeley fourth-year social welfare major Sadia Saifuddin, when she takes over as Student Regent for outgoing student Regent and UC Irvine law student Cinthia Flores in July. Oved’s three main goals during his term are to increase student representation, revise the California Master Plan and increase Regent presence on campuses.
Oved was one of 38 students from nine UC campuses who applied for the position. Despite being one of the few undergraduate Regents appointed in recent years, Oved said his experience as IVP prepared him well for the position of Student Regent.
“Within the capacities as IVP, I’ve established relationships with graduate students, as well as undergraduates,” Oved said. “I have developed the skillset that is necessary to deal with the issues that are important to both. For example, decreasing class sizes is not just a graduate student issue, but also an undergraduate issue, so it’s important to be collaborative.”
Oved said when he takes over as Student Regent he will advocate for greater student presence on the Board in an attempt to increase student engagement.
“I will advocate for an undergraduate and graduate position on the Board. We need more student representation on the board,” Oved said. “Making students involved with issues will tackle the apathy students have with getting involved with student government.”
Saifuddin said she is looking forward to working with Oved and she appreciated that he honored the value of undergraduates to the UC.
“He has a proven track record for getting work done at UCLA and I hope that he will bring the same work ethic to his new role as the Student Regent-designate,” Saifuddin said in an email. “The majority of the makeup of the UC is of undergraduates, and I believe that undergrads bring a very different perspective than has been represented on the Board in a long time.”
According to Associated Students External Vice President of Statewide Affairs and third-year political science and film and media double major Melvin Singh, it is important Oved and the Regents focus on addressing issues of “infrastructure and self-governance” for Isla Vista, building on the work done by former EVPSA Alex Choate on the California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960.
Singh also said he hopes Oved and the Regents will work on finding a dedicated, “stable”
source of revenue for public higher education in California.
According to Oved, the UC system has significantly moved away from the mission stated in the California Master Plan, which he said does not account for changes in education that have occurred since 1960.
“Revisiting the California Master Plan is really important. We have really drifted away from the founding document,” Oved said. “There are a lot of factors we didn’t consider in 1960, especially with online education and the diversifying student body.”
During his term, Oved said he will visit two UC campuses per month to discuss possible improvement strategies with campus leaders.
“Being physically present and visiting two UC campuses per month is important,” Oved said. “I think it’s important to establish personal relationships with all the stakeholders so that they know I’m working with them and for them.”
According to Oved, educating students about information on sexual assault is as important as building relationships with sexual assault prevention organizations.
“Centralizing all the key information to ensure that students are better equipped to stay safe on and off campus [is also important],” Oved said. “We need to tackle the underreported culture we have on UC campuses.”
This story is a Daily Nexus online exclusive.