Potential Changes to Come With the Board of Regents’ Involvement With SGA
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Potential Changes to Come With the Board of Regents’ Involvement With SGA

  South Dakota’s student leaders are looking to change up how they work with the Board of Regents.

     On March 19, South Dakota’s Student Federation voted unanimously to approve a resolution requesting the student regent of the BOR become an ex-officio member of the Student Federation.

     The Student Federation is a body of student leaders from each of the six public universities in South Dakota. 

     Every month, two representatives from each university and three executive members convene on behalf of South Dakota students to work with the Board of Regents.

     While the Board of Regents consists of 10 members appointed by the governor, one member is designated as student regent. Since he was appointed in 2020 by Governor Noem, USD law student Brock Brown has served as the student regent.

     Making the student regent an ex-officio member means whoever is student regent is automatically a member of the Student Federation, thus adding a sixteenth member to the body.

     The three executive members, Michael Garofalo of South Dakota State University, Kayla Jensen of Northern State University and Josh Styskal of the University of South Dakota, sponsored the resolution. 

     Josh Styskal, Executive Director of the Student Federation hopes the proposed move will improve the working relationship with the BOR.

     “Talking amongst ourselves as a student federation, (we asked) what can we do to improve communication overall between the Federation, the Board of Regents and student government?” Styskal said. 

     While the Student Federation garnered support from other members, there was one key person who didn’t know about the resolution’s passing.

     Student Regent Brock Brown told The Volante he was unaware of the resolution until our request for an interview on the matter.  

     Brown believes the idea has merit but has questions on how it may be implemented.

     “I’m not for sure that’s something that we (the BOR) actually have the power to do,” said Brown.

      Designating the student regent as a member of the Student Federation would require changes to bylaws in both institutions.

     “There’s nothing in the Board of Regents’ policies that talks about Student Federation because we are two separate entities,” Brown said.

     Styskal remains optimistic that the Board of Regents will support their plan.

     “I think they will be up for the idea,” Styskal said. “They didn’t really say anything for or against it when we passed it.”

     Student leaders and the Board of Regents will have the opportunity to further discuss this idea during the BOR’s meetings later this week on campus. 

     Regardless of the outcome, it’s unlikely to affect the current student regent: Brown’s term is up in June, when Noem will appoint another student.

     According to their agenda, the BOR will convene at the Dome Club in the Sanford Coyote Sports Center at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 3 and 9 a.m. and on Thursday, April 4. The Thursday meeting will have a time set aside for public comments.