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Gov. Greg Abbott appoints new student regent

Gov. Greg Abbott appoints new student regent

Gov. Greg Abbott appoints new student regent
June 23
13:00 2022

Engineering junior Andy McDowall was recently appointed as the university student regent by Gov. Greg Abbott for a term that began June 1 and will end in May 2023.

The student regent position is held by a student who represents the interests of the university’s students on all campuses and is
appointed by the governor every year. The “selective application process” begins with submitting a packet to the Student Government Association, which then picks five students to recommend to the university chancellor. The chancellor then selects two or more applicants to recommend to the governor, who makes the final decision.

“I had an interview with the governor’s office and not knowing a lot of how the inner workings functioned, somehow I was selected,” McDowall said. “I’d like to think it was because of my charm and my experience in [student] government, but I don’t know.”

As the student regent, McDowall plans to act as an intermediary. “[I have] the ability to give information from board meetings and unobscure it for students,” McDowall said. “That’s what’s really important to me, as well as inspiring students to act on the
things they want to act on.”

McDowall also recognizes how his role in SGA has helped him prepare for this new endeavor. “I think it’s given me insight into how administration at UNT works […] that kind of thing isn’t for everyone,” McDowall said. “There’s a reason why you’ll see more
political science and psychology and College of Liberal Arts and Social Science students [in SGA] more than business or engineering. SGA gave me, a non-liberal arts student, a way to interact with administration in a way that made me feel comfortable, a way I could meet them on my terms.”

Though he plans to advocate for all students, McDowall’s biggest goal is to advocate for students studying majors he deems are
underrepresented in student government and by the Board of Regents.

“I want to talk to the engineers, the business students and the [college of visual arts and design] students,” McDowall said. “Those are the students who are going to have the hardest time understanding how the school administers them. If you’re a student that doesn’t get involved in how your school operates, I’m talking to you. There’s a political process at UNT and everyone deserves to be involved.”

As an accounting student, sophomore Jesica Dominguez said the student regent should help communicate to others not
normally a part of the political culture of the university.

“I appreciate that there is someone in our corner because yes, there are different communications and opportunities offered to a CLASS student than a student like me,” Dominguez said. “It’s good to know that someone is representing us to [make us] feel
more comfortable in this big part of our future, someone to help us understand the decisions being made.”

Mechanical engineering junior Juan Oviedo says having McDowall as the student regent is a step closer to more representation.

“I feel like it’s great to have a student regent who positively represents STEM students in student government,” Oviedo said. “It’s nice to have some sort of representation so that we know we have a voice. After all, we are all students and deserve to have a say in the school we attend.”

McDowall encourages communication from students and availability on his end during his term.

“I want to hear what [students] have to say and if I can get them more involved,” McDowall said.

Featured Image: Andy McDowall attends a Student Government Association event on April 26, 2022. Photo by John Anderson

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Lauryn Barron

Lauryn Barron

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