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A non-profit publication of the Office of the University Relations of Virginia Tech,
including The Conductor, a special section of the Spectrum printed 4 times a year

TO THE EDITOR

Spectrum Volume 19 Issue 20 - February 13, 1997

Increased tuition, parking problems, the number of graduate teaching assistants, on-campus and off-campus housing, salaries, comprehensive fees, the elimination and addition of certain programs....Have any of these issues crossed your mind, and made you ask "who actually decides these things and do the students have a voice?" The answer is the Board of Visitors (BOV), and yes, there are two student representatives (undergraduate and graduate) present at each meeting to voice the concerns and ideas of the student body.

The BOV, appointed by the governor, is the governing authority of the university and meets four times a year to make decisions on many issues. These include the establishment of fees and tuition, approval of appointments and fixed salaries of the faculty and other personnel, and the review and approval of policies pertaining to student life and discipline.

During the past semester I have had the opportunity to serve as the graduate-student representative and met with many organizations and individuals to determine important issues. Some of the issues addressed are the future of on-campus graduate housing, the possibility of making the athletic fee within the comprehensive fee optional for graduate students, parking, financial assistance, and the future role of graduate students. These are only a handful of the many issues that face our university as we prepare for the twenty-first century.

For the BOV to remain a well-informed group, the students' voices must continue to be heard. The selection of next year's representatives is swiftly approaching. If you have a vision for Tech's future and would like to make a difference, you should consider applying for the graduate-student representative position to the Board of Visitors.

As the BOV representative you will be the liaison between the BOV and the general graduate-student body. You will have the opportunity to interact with some of Virginia Tech's most successful graduates, chief administrators, and student leaders. Throughout the year you will work with student organizations, university governance committees, and individual students to inform them of the board's decisions, and in turn learn about the issues facing our community. Lastly, you will be invited to attend many university functions including Commonwealth Day, Commencement, and Founder's Day.

If you would like to serve your fellow students, have a sensitivity to student community's diversity, demonstrated leadership experience, and would like to be directly involved with some of Tech's most important decisions to date, then you may be the next graduate-student representative to Virginia Tech's Board of Visitors.

Applications are now available in the LSOP office, 319 Squires; the Graduate Student Assembly Office (graduate applications only), 309 Squires; and in the Vice President for Student Affairs Office, 326 Burruss. For more information, check the GSA homepage (http://www.vt.edu:10021/org/grads/ gsa_home.html). Applications are due February 21 at 5 p.m.

Chris Bunin, graduate assistant, geography