SGA and ETSU students are doing everything in their power to make sure the student representative on the new ETSU Board of Trustees has the ability to vote.

ETSU is breaking away from the Tennessee Board of Regents on March 24, and will form its own Board of Trustees.

This new board will help make important decisions for the university, such as selecting/employing chief executive officers, prescribing curricula and requirements of diplomas and degrees, approving operating budgets and establishing policies and regulations regarding campus life.

Currently, there will be a student representative on the board, but that representative won’t have a vote.

SB-276 and HB-343 are bills up for discussion with the Tennessee General Assembly that will give the student representative the right to vote.

SGA President Pooja Shah was lobbying with student government leaders from 15-20 other universities this past Tuesday to help push the bills through.

“We met with legislators all day and spoke about the importance of giving the student trustee a vote … Our strong presence made an impact, indicated by positive responses and increased support from legislators. Our student representatives are continuing and sustaining the efforts to gain more support in Nashville,” Shah said. “The bill will be heard in the Senate Education Committee on Wednesday March 23. If the bill passes through these committees, they will proceed to the House and Senate floors. “

Shah urges students of ETSU to help with the process, as there has been some pushback on the bill from the Governor’s office.

“It is absolutely necessary that students call/email their legislators and ask for support… They can also contact me with any questions or if they need assistance,” she said.

Shah added that the verdict of whether the bills pass or not should be known by the adjournment of this year’s General Assembly in April.

Students who want to help get the student representative on the new ETSU Board of Trustees can find out who their legislators are and their contact information at