UCSB Student Nominated by Committee for UC Student Regent Seat

UCSB Doctoral Student Nominated for Seat on UC Board of Regents for 2009-10 School Year

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UC Santa Barbara graduate student Jesse Bernal was recommended to serve as the student regent on the UC Board of Regents for the 2009-10 school year, university officials announced yesterday.

Bernal, a third-year doctoral student at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education, said he is extremely pleased to be nominated by the regents' selection committee for the student's seat.

"I'm really excited (and) looking forward to continuing work (with) the UC Students Association," he said.

If he assumes the position of student regent, Bernal said he would like to work on UC diversity efforts, partnerships between the university and K-12 education and UC affordability.

"Everybody understands there needs to be balance between quality education ... and balancing that with student affordability," Bernal said. "My vision is seeing (a) balance between academic affairs and student affairs."

The student regent position is currently filled by recent Boalt Hall School of Law graduate Benjamin Allen, with UCLA graduate student D'Artagnan Scorza serving as student regent-designate. Scorza will rise to the student regent seat for the 2008-09 school year, with Bernal as the student regent-designate.

Allen, who sat on the regental committee to select the student regent, said Bernal was the best fit for the role due to his leadership experiences within the UC system.

"It was his experience, his leadership experience and demonstrated commitment to the University of California combined with an amicable personality and a set of strong interpersonal and negotiation skills," Allen said.

After earning his undergraduate degree at Westmont College, Bernal moved onto his graduate work in education at UC Santa Barbara. He became external vice president for the campus' Graduate Students Association and the university affairs committee chair for the UC Students Association.

Bernal said both his leadership work and personal experience as a first-generation college student have prepared him for the student regent's role.

"Having struggled with being the first in my family to go to college, I've really had to navigate the system," he said.

In approaching the role of the student regent, Allen said Bernal will need to be proactive and innovative, as he said the position is integral to the university.

"Oftentimes, the student regent is the best informed on the board because the student regent goes back to campus every day," Allen said. "It provides a reality check of sorts to the board, a grounding that I think is really valuable."


Contact Tamara Bartlett at [email protected]

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