New BOV student member Lily Roberts hopes to represent all student voices – The Cavalier Daily
Approved at last month’s meeting of the Visitors CouncilThird-year architecture student Lily Roberts hopes to use her experience to represent a range of student perspectives and encourage better student integration across the University during her tenure.
Composed of 17 voting members appointed by the Governor, the Council meets four times a year and is responsible for the long-term planning of the University. The outgoing student member, Sarita Mehta, a fourth year student at the College, will be leaving his office after graduation – a tenure that was marked by increased transparency and outreach to underrepresented students.
Roberts said she views being a student member as a way to help the board successfully execute its plans and contribute to the University.
“They are essentially planners in that they are responsible for balancing the current needs of the institution and looking for long-term goals and objectives,” Roberts said. “So I think I really saw this position as a way to put some of that theoretical knowledge into practice in a way that was meaningful to the academic and service-oriented community.”
The student member serves as a non-voting member whose role is to actively assess, predict, and communicate overall student responses to council decisions.
Be eligible for the position, applicants must be full-time students within one year of completing their undergraduate or graduate studies while meeting a minimum GPA requirement of 2.5. Candidates complete a written application followed by a series of invitational interviews, during which the candidate answers questions from board members and student leaders on the board selection committee.
Roberts said her education and student leadership experience influenced her approach to the new position. Currently pursuing a major in urban and environmental planning and a minor in dance and design, Roberts said the academic and peer support she received at the School of Architecture is something she wishes every student would enjoy. can experiment.
“I operate in a very small sphere within a larger institution – I find we have a very tight-knit community,” Roberts said. “Having so many resources…and a very supportive system that truly drives every student’s success has really shaped my experience here.”
Roberts will be the first architecture student to hold the position of student member – Mazzen Shalaby, student member from 2020 to 2021, was a graduate student from Batten and Mehta is in College.
Outside of the classroom, Roberts is also a senior resident for Housing and Residence Life, a peer counselor in the Office of African American Affairs, and serves on the School of Architecture Dean’s Committee on Inclusion. and fairness. Roberts also works closely with the School of Architecture’s Undergraduate Admissions Office to welcome and arrange tours for prospective architecture students, as well as participate in discussions about the student experience and recruitment.
Roberts noted that she knew about the position from her freshman year in 2019, after hearing about the board adopt the 2030 Strategic Plan – an overarching plan that outlines a roadmap for the next decade for the University to become the best public university – and has since taken an interest in facilitating the plan’s implementation. Roberts hopes to help implement the plan using what she has learned both as a student and through her extracurricular activities.
“I’m very excited about how to apply the skills I’ve learned through my educational experience, but also my background in many of my efforts to help present the student perspective in this setting. work [of the 2030 Strategic Plan]“, Roberts said.
Throughout his tenure, Roberts wants to represent the voices of students who have traditionally gone unheard – like transfer students and graduate students, who as of 2021 reconcile 2.9 and 33.5% of the university’s total student population, respectively. She said she hoped to bring those specific voices into the boardroom to see more of their engagement in the community.
Roberts said she hopes to do this not only for students at the university’s main campus, but also for students at all council-supervised sites, such as University’s College at Wise. She hopes to promote integration between all University campuses and student experiences through increased community engagement and interaction.
“This job is to represent the student body – both here in Charlottesville and also at U.Va. Wise and also any other educational satellite sites of the University,” says Roberts. “We benefit greatly from being at a world-renowned institution in different locations under the same school name and title, so I think we have a lot to learn from each other in that regard.”
Roberts said she also hopes to learn from the work done on engagement strategies and provide a meaningful college experience for Mehta and maintain community involvement. Roberts said Mehta’s performance in the role and overcoming the challenges of dealing with uncertainty – particularly around issues brought on by the pandemic, including changing masking and vaccination requirements and the tuition fee freeze – was inspiring.
“[Mehta] is very intelligent, and the way she approaches this role really shows her love for the University,” Roberts said. “She’s worked in a unique environment where she’s been in limbo between the pandemic and getting back to normal – I know there’s been a lot of stuff that’s happened and because of that I think she did a phenomenal job.”
Awaiting her own term, Roberts said she expects challenges in student advocacy, especially given the uncertainty of what to expect during her term, but anticipates overcome them with a focused strategy and a cautious approach.
“I think staying with a willingness to tackle the tough things that can come up and coming with an engagement-focused mindset is the forefront of my strategy,” Roberts said. “My biggest goal is to make sure that students’ views are shared with the board as we make tough decisions in uncertain times – that’s the most important thing to me.”