“My goal is to make it so you don’t have to ask that question. I think everyone should know [what] the role of student trustee entails,” Student Trustee candidate Liam Sullivan said.
The goal of the student trustee is to represent the undergraduate and graduate student bodies to the University System of New Hampshire Board of Trustees. While Sullivan, the Student Senate’s current external affairs chair, wants to achieve this goal, it’s not the only one he’s focused on.
“I want to advocate to change the parameters to ensure diverse representation in the faculty, lower the cost of attendance at the university and raise more revenue for scholarships,” he said.
Sullivan, a sophomore business administration major with an option in finance, joined the Student Senate at the beginning of first year at UNH, where he served as the senior financial advisor to the student trustee and was entrusted with meeting the mandatory fee director at UNH. This past semester, Sullivan was promoted to the External Affairs Council as its chairperson, representing students in Durham, the Alumni Association and throughout the Granite State.
During his first year, Sullivan worked with his committee and the athletics director and the student trustee to highlight student concerns over large amounts of money paid by students towards the athletics fee. In part of his work with the committee and the student trustee at the time, the athletics fee did not increase for that year.
Sullivan believes that UNH should practice greater transparency and place more focus on improving day-to-day student lives and ensuring that students feel included in the university community.
This year alone, Sullivan made major strides in attempting to lower the cost of attendance and the mandatory fees at UNH. In a group effort, he and UNH student senate leadership gathered a broad coalition of student government leaders from all four state universities and wrote a letter to Concord encouraging them to accept and fulfill the USNH budget request.
“Let’s put our thoughts into words and our words into action and let’s sign this big letter [to] New Hampshire that we are all in solidarity in this request, bringing people together with a common goal,” Sullivan says passionately about his accomplishments earlier this year.
Sullivan’s biggest issue he wishes to work on the cost of attendance, including mandatory fees, and improving what he called the “customer experience.”
“…this university and in this university system we as students are essentially the customers. So, it is imperative that we, as student leaders, work together with the Board of Trustees to improve on that experience in terms of affordability, accessibility, inclusion and transparency,” Sullivan says.
His experience being a business major, having been a part of the Student Senate for a year and a half and working very closely with the previous student trustee makes Sullivan a strong candidate for the job.
“What I want students to know about me and about the role and how they correlate is that the responsibilities that are laid out in the roll of the student trustee, like the mandatory fee process, working with the system and their strategic goals is something I deal with in my major,” Sullivan says. “And I rather find a role in which my interests, and my passions and my knowledge can intersect, and I think in this role I can be the best advocate for students and having a better university experience than in any other roll. I think students should vote for me because in the end of the day, representation is about who do you trust to go to these important meeting and going to those stake holders and representatives to represent you and your interests and I think when it comes down to it, I have the experience, I have the institutional knowledge and not only that but I think I have the drive and the passion to really go out there and represent students.”
The election for student trustee will be live on WildcatLink March 25 through March 28.