A UC San Diego graduate student was confirmed on July 18 as the 2018-2019 student regent-designate and the 2019-2020 student regent.
Hayley Weddle, a doctoral student in education studies, said her experiences as an undergraduate studenstudet, staff member and now graduate student at the University of California have prepared her for the role of advising the regents on student perspectives.
The student regent is the only student member of the board with full privileges, including voting. Therefore, they are expected to speak on behalf of the UC’s collective student body.
“For the past 10 years, I’ve spent almost every day of my life on a UC campus,” Weddle said. “Some regents have gone to a UC, but not many. A lot of the regents don’t have a strong connection to the lived experiences of students.”
She added that her experience as adviser and daily operations manager of Associated Students of UCSD, which includes the university’s undergraduate student government, judicial board and student employees, helped her learn how to navigate bureaucracies and school administrations.
“I have worked across the campuses to make baseline support services,” she said. “It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach – I recognize there’s a lot of nuance and multiple strategies are needed, but it is important to bring people together to create a baseline. For example, basic food relief was a commitment all campuses were able to make.”
Weddle said she aims to visit all 10 UC campuses before she officially becomes the student regent in July 2019.
“I want to meet with student groups, not solely student governments,” she said. “I would meet with organizations such as LGBT resource centers, Black Student Unions and groups with specific challenges.”
Weddle said she would like to focus on addressing food and housing insecurity, and disparities in sexual violence and harassment policies during her two-year term. She added one of her top priorities is ensuring the systemwide sexual violence and sexual harrassment policy is inclusive of all students regardless of background, year or identity.
“I am keenly aware that graduate students are at higher risk of experiencing SVSH issues involving faculty and staff, and thus prevention efforts must extend beyond student-student interactions,” she said. “My prior experiences addressing both SVSH and basic needs insecurity are rooted in a belief that we are collectively responsible for ensuring the university promotes students’ well-being.”
Weddle said that she became passionate about higher education after becoming aware of the mental health, housing and academic challenges students face.
“I pursued a master’s in student affairs in hopes of addressing inequities within higher education, and was very grateful to be hired at UCSD working with undergraduate student leaders to improve campus life,” she said. “I see my position on the Board of Regents as a new opportunity to continue advocating for policies and initiatives that best support students.”
She added that she is looking forward to giving the regents valuable input from students.
“I am most excited to learn about opportunities to strengthen connections between students and the regents,” she said. “My hope is that I can help ensure decisions of the board are informed by and reflective of students’ experiences.”