United States Air Force Senior Airman Paul Nelson, of Old Town has been selected by Governor LePage to be the student trustee on the University of Maine System Board of Trustees. Nelson is a junior at the University of Southern Maine majoring in political science and minoring in business. Immediately following his graduation from Old Town High School in 2012, Nelson joined the 101st Air Refueling Wing of the Maine Air National Guard. He currently resides in Biddeford.
During his time at USM Nelson has served as a member of the Student Senate, is a re-chartering member of the Nu Xi chapter of Phi Mu Delta fraternity and works as the student associate in the Veterans Services Office.
Each of the seven University of Maine campuses nominates a potential student representative with the final decision made by the governor. Nelson says he didn’t even know there was voting position on the board for students, but that he is honored and excited to serve the University of Maine System and to act as a voice for students’ issues.
“What I am looking forward to the most is interacting with students on a very large scale. As the Student Trustee it is my job to represent the student viewpoint to the board. My plan is to do a campus tour, visiting all seven schools, in the fall 2014 semester because I do not feel I can vote for what is best for our students if I do not know how they feel about issues surrounding their University. I would like to meet with the student leadership of every school so they know who I am and know how to get in touch with me. My position is irrelevant if I am not actively engaging with students from Portland to Fort Kent about issues that matter to them.”
Nelson says there are many issues he would like to address in the near future, including the university budget negotiations for the 2015 fiscal year. He says, “We must not lose sight of why we are really here. Universities would not be in existence without students and that is where we must draw our focus.”
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