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Student trustees reflect on experience; look to future of the position

<p>Student Trustee Will Kulis is graduating, and his position on Miami University&#x27;s Board of Trustees is ready to be filled by an underclassman. </p>

Student Trustee Will Kulis is graduating, and his position on Miami University's Board of Trustees is ready to be filled by an underclassman.

As one of Miami University’s two student trustees serving on the Board of Trustees (BoT) prepares to graduate this spring, the university is looking to fill the vacancy for the next two years.

Will Kulis will graduate in May, leaving his position open to an interested first-year or sophomore student. The new student trustee will work with current student trustee Amitoj Kaur, acting as a liaison between the student body and the BoT.

Kaur, a sophomore political science and emerging technology in business + design double major, said the position adds the student perspective to the BoT.

“What our role is, is to tell the trustee members what’s going on at Miami, what students are needing, but also being advocates actively throughout the year, staying in touch with the student body and making sure that we are giving accurate representation and just knowledge to the board,” Kaur said. “[We are] the eyes and the ears.” 

Kaur’s main goals in her first year of the position included creating a relationship with Associated Student Government (ASG), as well as getting to know other trustees and creating connections outside of the meeting environment.

“Prior to my term, we didn’t have a relationship with the student government at all,” Kaur said. “I wanted to make this happen and explain how it’s going to benefit both of us.”

Kulis, a marketing and entrepreneurship double major, explained the process of applying for the position.

“My experience completing the process was pretty straightforward,” Kulis said. “I met with one of the student trustees, and then I completed the application. After that, we had the interview with the Associated Student Government. Then it was a pretty long waiting process before I heard from the governor, but after an interview, I was approved in March.”

Kaur also remembers the long waiting process from the governor, one that was made more stressful because of the impact of COVID-19.

“On my time, COVID hit, so my interview was over the phone,” Kaur said. “I think being in a virtual room with them was just immediately nerve-wracking. I remember leaving my interview thinking I bombed it.” 

Kulis said one of the most important skills needed for this position is the ability to draw from a large portion of Miami’s student body.

“I think it’s important for the next person to have a wide range and network on campus so that they are able to talk to and gather information from more than just the same group of people,” Kulis said. “A lot of the role is knowing what to look for that isn’t right in terms of the student body and talking to people to understand their experiences so that you can communicate it to the board.”

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Kaur added that she thinks the BoT is looking for an applicant who is prepared.

“We’re looking for a student trustee who’s ready,” Kaur said. “Ready to roll up their sleeves and put in the work. Someone who’s passionate not only about Miami, but about higher education, and really just ready to get stuff done.”

Interested students can access the Student Trustee Application on ASG’s website.