Penn State board to consider permanent student trustee seat

mdawson@centredaily.comMarch 6, 2014 

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A snow covered Penn State Nittany Lion Shrine, Tuesday, December 17, 2013, in University Park, Pa.

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Penn State’s board of trustees is set to consider on Thursday advancing a proposal to add a permanent student seat to the university’s governing body.

The board’s committees will have meetings Thursday in Hershey, and the full board will meet Friday on the campus of the Hershey Medical Center.

The governance and long-range planning committee will take up the discussion about the addition of a student trustee, according to the agenda posted online.

Student body leaders pitched the idea to board leadership, arguing that the largest stakeholder group at the university should have a voice in the decision-making.

The proposal would first need approval by the governance and long-range planning committee, and then it would head to the full board for a vote in May to change the university’s bylaws and charter.

Though the proposal hasn’t been OK’d yet, the university is seeking applications from students interested in the seat. Applications are available online at http://bit.ly/1fIIu7B.

The board has another proposed change to the university’s bylaws and charter to take up Thursday.

The governance and long-range planning committee will vote on changing the alumni trustee election process so that all alumni who have an email address on file with the university automatically will be sent an electronic ballot. The procedure in place says that alumni active over the past two years automatically get a ballot, but all others have to make a request for one.

The committee is also proposing that students who completed a certificate program are not eligible to vote.

The alumni trustee election starts April 10 and will continue through May 8. There are 32 candidates on the ballot.

Mike Dawson is at 231-4616. Follow him on Twitter @MikeDawsonCDT.

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