Intercollegiate Delegates Chosen

The 16 delegates and three staff members representing the University of Utah in the statewide student legislature have been chosen.

The Utah Intercollegiate Assembly is the legislative branch of the Utah Student Association, a lobbying group representing the 120,000 students in the state’s higher education system. It consists of delegates from all universities and colleges within the state and meets for three days in the spring.

Each school brings three resolutions to this assembly, presenting the issues and problems they see in their colleges and universities that they would like solved. After this assembly passes those resolutions, they go to the Utah Council of Student Body Presidents which decides how best to address the issue. The Tuition Disclosure Law, better known as the truth in tuition initiative, began in the assembly last year.

The group responsible for selecting the delegates received 38 applications.

According to Kelly Ann Booth, the delegate chairwoman this year, she selected the delegates based on their experience, background and talents. Booth did not consider the work and educational experience of the applicants.

“We were fairly subjective, we didn’t quantify any of it,” Booth said. “We wanted to look at the uniqueness of the experience and the desirability to be involved.”

Booth said she also considered how the students could benefit from participating in this delegation.

Booth and her board did not interview the applicants as they had previously planned. The information provided through the application, which asked questions about what the applicant can contribute, other activities or associations, other time commitments and hobbies of each applicant provided enough information, according to Booth.

“We decided that based on the information we had in front of us, we wouldn’t need to interview anybody,” Booth said.

In past years, the delegation has consisted mostly of those already involved with student government. This year, only eight out of the 22 total students in the delegation are specifically involved with the U’s student government.

“It was great that there were a lot of names that I didn’t know, which is kind of hard,” Booth said. “It was great to see new names and new faces.”

Beside the 16 delegates, Booth chose five alternates who will serve as staff members if all delegates choose to participate. The staff will research resolutions and act as a liaison between the two bodies of the assembly.

“I applied for it because I’m interested in the government, and I really want to help with the problems that I see here,” said Richard Pehrson, an undeclared freshman who is a part of the delegation. “I think it’s really nice for [the state Legislature] to be able to have student views and see what students are thinking about those issues. I like to try to get involved in the government-related stuff.”

Pehrson is thrilled to be a member of the delegation, although he does not have any specific ideas or proposals he would like to see addressed.

The members of the delegation will meet on Thursday for an orientation and training meeting. At this meeting, the students will brainstorm and then divide into groups to work on specific resolutions.

“This delegation rocks,” Booth said. “I am so excited about the potential of this delegation, and I know that they’ll represent the U and their communities very well.”

[email protected]