Student Government Association Senator Alex Martin has been appointed by Governor Bill Haslam as the Tennessee Board of Regents’ representative on the Tennessee Higher Education Commission for a two-year term.
There are two types of student representatives: one for the University of Tennessee system and one for the TBR, with voting rights rotating each year.
“It’s an honor being the student voice for 500,000 TBR members for the next two years,” said Martin.
THEC was created in the fall of 1967 by the Tennessee General Assembly, to achieve coordination and foster unity in the state’s higher education.
Martin went through three interviews before landing the position. The first was an in-person interview at the site of the THEC meetings in Nashville. The second was a phone interview by two members of the Governor’s staff. Martin had a final in-person interview at the state capitol.
Martin laughed and said he was “nervous for that last interview.”
Something else stood out to Martin from that final interview.
“Mr. Bryan McCormick asked me why I should be the third TBR representative to come from Tennessee Tech in the last four years,” Martin said. “I explained that being on THEC and being a TBR representative, which is what Lee Gatts and Ashley Humphrey were, are two separate positions, so I would be the first from the school to do this.”
Martin went on to describe that the culture of the students at Tennessee Tech are concerned about their education and not just about the party lifestyle. He believes this is why the state positions have been held by Tennessee Tech students in recent years.
Over the next two years, Martin will have numerous duties for the THEC and the state, including sitting on the Students President Council, attending quarterly THEC meetings and, beginning next year, being the only student vote of 500,000 TBR students.
“It’s definitely an honor and a privilege,” said Martin. “I’m excited for it and I can’t wait to help out my fellow students.”