For the first time since June, the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents held a meeting on Oct. 1 at 1:30 p.m. in Welch Hall.
The Board of Regents was relieved by the arrest of Duane Lee, 25, as he is suspected to have committed three armed robberies in Ypsilanti, one of them against an EMU faculty member. Lee is now in police custody in Ann Arbor.
After discussing the arrest, local radio listener and EMU alumnus Dale Leslie took the microphone and gave a short speech about WEMU.
“People say to me, ‘Dale, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,’” Leslie said. “But I say, there are very few things in life that can’t be improved upon.”
He then expounded on his point, saying that WEMU could do a better job being more school-specific through broadcasts such as frequent parking alerts, live music performed in station studios by EMU music majors, class registration reminders, interviews with an alumnus of the week and several other ideas.
Leslie ended by stating that WEMU is a great radio station, but he simply wants it to be tweaked to achieve a customary EMU feel.
Two speeches were made regarding the issue of whether or not EMU should extend in-state tuition prices to undocumented immigrants.
“I grew up on the same street as undocumented families,” said one speaker, EMU student Arturo Rodriguez Jr. “I went to school with them. I went to church with them. Just because they don’t have that nine-digit number doesn’t mean they are any less important than we are. I wish they could be up here speaking to you right now. I wish they had a voice and higher education. They need it just as much as we do.”
EMU’s Board of Regents is still considering whether they should or should not extend in-state tuition prices to undocumented immigrants.
Student Body President Desmond Miller took the platform roughly five minutes later to give a summary of current student affairs. His two main concerns were student parking and the implementation of bus passes, two subjects that he believes are intertwined.
As Miller explained it, if EMU aligned itself with the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) as University of Michigan has, more students would take buses, which would free up commuter parking lots around campus. At the same time, it would also be more convenient for students to get around the Ann Arbor area if they did not have to drive themselves everywhere.
Miller suggests that for 2014, EMU should make a contract with AATA and attach a 93 cent fee to each credit hour a student takes and then use that to cover bus passes for all students. The result would be a bus pass that costs about $15 a semester for the average full-time student.
The Board of Regents voted on a number of issues, such as adding new programs to EMU. The end result was a new M.A. program in philosophy and a public health undergraduate major.
EMU President Susan Martin then took the microphone to draw attention once more to the record-shattering increase in students enrolled at EMU. The average American college is suffering a decrease in enrollment, while EMU’s freshman enrollments have increased by nearly 1,000 people in the past two years. Aside from having more people, the incoming freshman class also features students with higher high school GPAs and ACT scores than freshmen in previous years.
This year’s presidential scholars, students who receive a four-year full-ride scholarship at EMU, were present at the Board of Regents meeting and participated in the closing of it.
Once all other business had been settled, the associate director of the Honors College, John Feldkamp, and President Martin individually called each presidential scholar to the front of the room, introduced him or her by name and identified the student’s intended field of study and future goals.
Each scholar was then awarded a certificate and a group photo was taken at the end.
Kelsey Zuk, a freshman biology major, says “This year’s group of presidential scholars is practically like family. It’s a great feeling knowing that we all have each other’s back, whatever it might be.”
Zuk was excited to be invited to attend the board meeting.
“At the meetings, you have the ability to watch the process of decision making take place right before you,” Zuk said. “I think it’s an interesting process and exciting to be able to watch and listen to different policies be decided on.”
The next Board of Regents meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
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