McDavis Not In Favor Of Student Trustee Voting Rights

By
Katie Doup
Bethany Venable

Dateline
Updated Fri, May 25, 2012 8:37 am

A bill headed to the Ohio Senate allows state universities to give their student trustees voting power on school issues.

Until now, the two student trustees at each state institution in Ohio, including Ohio University, have not had the power to vote.
 
OU President Roderick McDavis says he believes students should have a voice in decision making, but is against the bill. 
 
"Well, I'm not really in favor of it. And the reason has nothing to do with whether I think the students should have a voice in the decision making process of a University, because I clearly think they should," said McDavis. "What I'm concerned about is the pressure we put on students when we put the vote in their hands. The best example I can give you is if the students had had the vote when we voted on an increase in tuition, if they had voted yes, what kind of pressure would they have been put under two minutes after that meeting ended and into the weekend and well into the week?"
 
McDavis says the OU student trustees already have a great deal of input on the board, some this year's student trustees have indicated.
 
In January, OU student trustees Dani Parker and Allison Arnold, both juniors, said it was not necessary to have the voting priveledges outline in House Bill 377. Parker said she felt her opinions were sought and considered by the board.
 
"Already on our board, our student trustees have a great deal of input in the decision making process," said McDavis. "I would rather them have the voice, but not necessarily the vote, because the vote creates a very negative situation we could put students in." 
 
According to the OU student trustee application and information packet, the role of the student trustee is to "bring a unique student's perspective to the board, but they are also expected to represent the university as a whole - not just a student's vantage point."
 
McDavis was a guest on WOUB-TV's Newswatch program Thursday night.
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