On Monday, UCLA alumni and second-year UC Irvine law student Cinthia Flores was nominated to the position of student regent for the 2013-14 school year.
A special committee of the UC Board of Regents reviewed 50 initial applicants and considered three finalists before officially nominating Flores to the position of student regent-designate. The board will decide whether to officially elect Flores to the position at their next meeting in July.
Flores has served various responsibilities and positions at UCLA, acting as the first Latina president for the Undergraduate Student Council and serving on the executive board of the Associated Students of UCLA and the UC Student Association. If elected, she will assume voting privileges in July 2013.
According to UCSA Board of Directors Chair Jesse Melgar, Flores’s diverse background makes her a desirable candidate for the position.
“Cinthia really stands out among UC students,” Melgar said. “At her time at UCLA, she served on University of California Student Association, UC Office of the President and Board of Admission and Relations within schools. [The position of] student regent requires someone who can work across many complex issues and Cinthia has shown that she is more than capable.”
Melgar said the Peggy Browning Fellow and Earl Warren Scholar has had firsthand experience with the issues she will be expected to vote on, such as budgetary concerns.
“She is someone who is a first generation college student and someone who is affected by affordability, so when she talks about access to higher education and affordability, it’s something she has lived through,” Melgar said. “This is a valuable experience for someone who is representing UC students.”
Flores said the leadership experience she acquired during her undergraduate years enables her to assume the personal and professional responsibilities of a student regent, adding that she will bring a host of new ideas for a more effective UC funding model if she is elected.
“I believe that this is a unique opportunity to influence public policy at a statewide level and I’m excited to push for the prioritization of public education,” Flores said. “I plan to foster a more collaborative working relationship between the stakeholders of the UC. In particular, I’d like to inspire more public investment in the future of the UC.”
Former Chair of UCLA’s Afrikan Student Union Corey Matthews, who worked closely with Flores during her time at UCLA, said the student regent-designate always offered effective strategies for uniting students.
“Cinthia knew her student body and knew how to make tough relationships, knew how to broker relationships, knew how to speak to different audiences and focus on the issue at hand,” Matthews said.