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New trustee wants to ‘speak for students’

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Anjali Patel now has the ability to have her voice heard.

“I have the unique opportunity to speak for students and let the university know what they truly want out of their college experience,” the new student trustee said.

Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb appointed Patel, a junior biology and economics major, to the university Board of Trustees, effective July 1.

A student trustee is one of nine voting members on the USI Board of Trustees, bringing a student voice to the decision-making process of the university.

The university established the student position in 1985.

Patel said she would like to see greater recruitment for the university outside of Evansville and outside the surrounding areas.

“I want to see greater diversity on campus,” Patel said. “I want to see the university make a conscious effort to seek students from northern Indiana and even outside the United States.”

Patel is involved in the Honors Program, is a member of the Pre-Professional Health Club, Timmy Global Health and maintains a 3.5 cumulative GPA.

She worked as a resident assistant for Housing and Residence Life and previously worked as an AMIGO. Patel is involved in Student Ambassadors, Southern Indiana Dance Marathon, the Student Alumni Association and Volunteer USI.

Patel’s student trustee term lasts for two years.

Kristina Walker, directing of advising for the Romain College of Business, has known Patel since she did business advising as an Amigo.

“Right away I could tell she cared about students,” Walker said. “She worked diligently during orientations to make the day less stressful for freshman.”

Walker said Patel will make a good student trustee because of conscientiousness.

“(Patel) is very thoughtful in what she does,” Walker said. “She is never impulsive and always fully thinks about how her actions will impact every kind of student. As a student trustee, she will be making decisions that will have a large impact on those around her.”

Walker said it has been “wonderful to see” Patel take on more progressive leadership positions.

“(Patel) is not a pushy leader,” Walker said. “She is always listening to others. As the student trustee, she will do well at listening to the voices of students and taking those opinions into account.”

Patel said she doesn’t know if she will ever be fully prepared for the position.

“I think I am as prepared as I can be,” she said. “Working in various campus positions such as Amigos and Housing has really prepared me and made me aware of what people want out of the university.”

Patel said one of the areas she feels freshman are discontent is the limited amount of Resident Hall space.

“Freshman want to live in the Resident Halls,” Patel said. “I am hoping that the University will be able to add more of this type of housing so we can build a community more than we already do.”

Patel said she is excited for this edition in her leadership journey.

“I hope I show people I am approachable and personable,” Patel said. “I want people to know they can come to me with their concerns and what they would like to see the university improve upon. That’s the whole point of my position.”

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University of Southern Indiana's student publication
New trustee wants to ‘speak for students’