Board of Trustee Student Members Represent Student Body

By Amanda Joerndt

Two students hold the position of a board of trustees member at Youngstown State University to represent the student body on opinions and viewpoints about university-related topics.

The administrative trustees have different viewpoints on how certain issues should be handled.

Having the student members on the board provides a balance between the students’ opinions and administrative objectives.

The student positions on the board of trustees are selected by Gov. John Kasich and will go through a lengthy process to be appointed as a student member.

Lexi Rager, a senior psychology and mathematics major, was appointed as a student member in 2017.

She is involved in the YSU Honors College as president of the Honors College Trustees.

Rager said the process took several months and required multiple steps to become a member.

“There is a written application that you turn in to YSU. Then a recommendation process, essay and series of background checks,” Rager said. “There is also a phone interview and then the governor formally appoints you.”

The student members are active on campus to make sure the student body is heard and voices their opinions in an appropriate manner.

Rager said being a student member allows her to be the divide between students and administration to keep the university on the right track.

“The administration doesn’t always get to work with students on a daily basis so from their perspective, they want to keep the university open,” Rager said. “It’s beneficial to get the student perspective and ask questions because at the end of the day, the whole point of a university is to be student centered.”

One way the student members got involved in student-administrative discussion was the recent energy curtailment issue that escalated on campus.

Rager was able to see both sides of the issue and address the student body with a different perspective on the benefits of the curtailment.

Being a student member provides many different opportunities and allows them to meet prominent people in the community.

Rager said being a student member has helped her grow as a person by working with higher-up individuals.

“It’s an amazing networking opportunity because the board members themselves are really prominent figures in the community from doctors, to lawyers and CEOs,” Rager said. “We work with a lot of donors so you’re meeting people who have donated millions of dollars here at YSU.”

The second board of trustees student member did research and studied the responsibilities of being a board member to prepare for the position.

Rocco Core, a junior nursing major, is involved in different organizations on campus such as the YSU Academic Senate and Student Nursing Association.

Core said being a board of trustees student member has helped him be more involved with other students and hear what their opinions are about issues on campus.

“I do my best to go around to different student organizations [and ask] what they think is good and what they think is not so good going on at YSU,” Core said.

As a board of trustees student member, Rager and Core have some perks, like attending the state of the university address.

Core said being a student member can help shape your mindset on campus topics.

“It’s interesting going out of your comfort zone and seeing what is going on in the university and how you’re looking to shape YSU in the future.”