The Board of Visitors (BOV) is the governing authority of Virginia Tech and consists of influential public- and private-sector leaders, many of whom are alumni. Each year, the BOV selects one undergraduate student and one graduate/professional student to serve as representatives to the board. Some of the board’s responsibilities include appointment of the president of the university; establishment of fees, tuition, and other charges paid by students; and the approval of university policies including those related to student life. The undergraduate and graduate student representatives to the BOV are appointed for a one-year term and meet with the BOV four times during the academic year, in August/September, November, March, and June.
2018-2019 Student Representatives
To learn more about the BOV student representative
position and application process from Rachel and Zo,
come to one of the information sessions:
January 24 or January 31 | 7:00-8:00 p.m. | NCB 110B
Ms. Rachel Iwicki is a senior majoring in both Mechanical Engineering and Russian from Springfield, Virginia. She was also a resident advisor and an undergraduate recruiter for the College of Engineering Dean’s Team. Ms. Iwicki said representing Virginia Tech’s undergraduates for the Board of Visitors was a natural progression from her role with the Student Engineers’ Council. Also, studying abroad in Russia, Moldova, and Estonia while speaking Russian sharpened her communication skills. “Sometimes the people who could offer the most valuable input are afraid to offer it or do not know how,” Ms. Iwicki wrote in a personal statement for her board application. “I enjoy sitting down with my peers to hone and sharpen their opinions, then help voice their experiences so that we can work together to make a change.” Through her work with the board, Ms. Iwicki said she wants to push for the expansion of mental health resources on campus and advocate for an inclusive environment at the university.
Mr. Lorenzo (ZO) Amani
Mr. Lorenzo (Zo) Amani has two bachelor’s degrees from Virginia Tech, and after leaving for a few years to earn a master’s degree, he is back at his alma mater. He is on track to graduate in 2020 with a Ph.D. in public administration and public affairs, within the College of Architecture and Urban Studies. Mr. Amani is also gearing up to be the voice of graduate students for the Board of Visitors. Mr. Amani said he hopes to address several topics related to graduate students during his tenure, including recruitment, health and wellness, and funding for travel and scholarships. “Our graduate students’ academic, social, and financial needs should be adequately addressed if Virginia Tech desires to grow and positively impact the world through research,” he wrote in a personal statement for his board application. Along with his doctoral work, Mr. Amani is a graduate assistant in Virginia Tech’s Office of Budget and Financial Planning. He also enjoys guiding and mentoring Virginia Tech students. Mr. Amani is a graduate residential fellow in West Ambler Johnston Hall, and he mentors student athletes. As an undergraduate, he earned bachelor of science degrees in sociology and in apparel, housing, and resource management through the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Mr. Amani said his extensive campus network will help him to be an effective voice for graduate students. “I understand the importance of building sound relationships,” he said.
Student Representative Responsibilities
What is the student representative’s role on the Board of Visitors?
It is an honor to serve as a student representative to the BOV, which offers a unique opportunity to be at the table giving voice to the student perspective while important matters affecting students are being deliberated and decided. As non-voting representatives to the BOV, the student representatives attend all open meetings of the board and the committees of their choice. At each of the four regular board meetings, the representatives deliver a constituency report to apprise the BOV of student issues. Refer to the BOV Student Representative Handbook for a comprehensive description of responsibilities.
What types of issues does the student representative address?
The representatives act as facilitators and champions of issues faced by their constituency. Issues that cannot be solved at the SGA and GSA levels or by other commissions and issues that need official sanction from the BOV are the representatives’ niche. Additionally, the representatives work with the administration, various departments, constituencies, and the community to enhance academic and student life experiences at Virginia Tech.
Where does the student representative to the Board of Visitors fit in university governance?
The student representatives are liaisons between the BOV and the undergraduate and graduate/professional student populations, respectively, at all Virginia Tech campuses. BOV student representatives also serve as members of University Council (visit https://governance.vt.edu/), the Commission on Student Affairs, and Order of the Gavel, and may be asked by the president, provost, or other university leaders to serve on special task forces or committees. The student representatives to the Board of Visitors are independent positions, but they often work closely with the university administration at all levels—particularly with the president, provost, and vice presidents for policy and governance, student affairs, and graduate education—to address student concerns.
What opportunities are afforded by the position?
The student representatives to the BOV have a unique opportunity to interact with members of the university’s governing body and senior leadership and to give students a voice at the highest level of governance at Virginia Tech. These are coveted positions and are of great benefit to those students who are interested in learning more about leadership and university governance.