Q&A with new student trustee Graham Bowling
Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 17, 2013 01:09
Q: Give some background information about yourself.
A: My name is Graham Bowling. I am a junior interdisciplinary business management major with a focus in entrepreneurship, which is in Farmer School of Business. I work for the entrepreneurship department as a student aide, the Wells Project and the Business Student Advisory Council (B.S.A.C). I am very involved with Campus Crusade, known as “Cru”, a campus Christian ministry. I also volunteer with Big Brothers and Sisters, which is national mentorship program with local affiliates. As I am on a social entrepreneurship tract, I am really into volunteering and doing things for others.
Q: What is Miami University’s Board of Trustees?
A: The Board of Trustees is essentially the highest governing body of the university. President David Hodge sits with the Board along with nine board members from Ohio and five national members. The five national members must be alumni from the university and they are voted in by the nine Ohio residents. Five times a year on Thursdays and Fridays, the Board meets in Oxford and we will have all day meetings. The first meeting of the year was on Thursday, Sept. 19.
Q: What does the Student Trustee role entail?
A: I am not a voting member, because I am still a student. My two-year-long role and the role of the senior student trustee, Arianne Wilt, is the student voice, because some members of the board live elsewhere and don’t know what is going on from the student perspective in a way that they could. Other aspects of the role include keeping up-to-date with the Student Senate, and being another entity of the student government on campus.
Q: Why did you decide to apply for the Board of Trustees?
A: I am very into politics and government, so the Board of Trustees is right up my alley, as far as forming policies, voicing public opinions and acting as the student role goes. I saw a flier for the position and I thought, “This sounds like something I would be interested in for the government and politics route.”
Q: Describe the application process for becoming a student trustee.
A: That was an interesting endeavor. It took about seven months. I applied, and the Associated Student Government (ASG) interviewed 25 of the applicants. The interview was among peers: the Student Body President, the Chief of Staff and members of the Student Senate. It was pretty intimidating, as you can imagine. But I think that is the right way to do it, because this is a student position, for the students, by the students. So then they chose five names out of those that interviewed to be sent to Ohio Governor John Kasich’s office and his office reviewed our applications, résumés and references. I got a phone call from Governor Kasich’s office in July to announce I had been given the position and to congratulate me. I was really excited and grateful.
Q: What are your goals as Student Trustee?
A: Essentially, what I have gathered about the position is that I can make of it what I want. I can do as little or as much as I want. But I am not interested in this being just another buffer on my résumé. I want to be immersed in the thick of things, feel prepared to improve the lives of students and do what I can to enhance the university. We have a huge diversity on campus. Everyone has their own opinions and view points. What I want to do is get the issues that will for certain be discussed at the upcoming board meeting and present them to the students: whether it is lunch with the head of an organization or meeting with the leaders of the Greek community on campus or going to events. That is where I am going to garner the opinion. No one is interested in just Graham’s opinion, because I am just one guy on campus. I would be failing to do the job if I just relied on myself and my close group of friends.
Q: What are you looking forward to the most?
A: The Board of Trustees is a close-knit group. I am excited to meet the Board members. These are people that have strong-vested interest in the university, they truly care. They have a strong network with administrators and businesses. They do things like set tuition and enact general policies in all aspects of the university.
Q: When can students apply for next year’s position?
A: It is a quick turn around. We will be looking for a new student trustee to replace Arianne in December. The qualifications are that you have to be a permanent resident of Ohio, an undergraduate student and you must be available for the two years. This means you cannot study abroad during those two years.