Tacoma student named to UW Board of Regents

The University of Washington announced yesterday that a University of Washington Tacoma student will join the UW Board of Regents as the student representative for all three Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma campuses.

Jean-Paul Willynck, a senior Urban Studies student, has been appointed to a one-year term as the UW student regent by Gov. Chris Gregoire, effective July 1. Willynck is the first-ever student representative to the Board of Regents who does not come from the University’s main campus in Seattle.

Willynck, who expects to graduate in June 2009, was one of more than 3,000 students to apply for the position this year. An active participant in UW Tacoma’s student Legislative and Advocacy Committee, he has lobbied for childcare, campus safety and tuition subsidy bills in Olympia, and advised legislators on student perspectives of the proposed UW campus in Snohomish County. He also established a new campus group to deal with student transportation issues and has planned a series of forums on campus to address parking and alternative transportation.

Representing all of UW’s 40,000 students on three campuses is a unique opportunity, said Willynck, adding, “I believe this is a tremendous opportunity to help UW Seattle students and leaders understand that the Tacoma campus truly is a part of the UW.”

Willynck has extensive international experience and has studied human rights, international law, development and democracy in Norway, Namibia and Asia. He is currently traveling in Thailand. Although Willynck will be involved in the broad range of issues that are reviewed by the board, he is particularly interested in tuition, student fees and capital construction. He intends to take some classes at UW Seattle to become more familiar with the issues addressing students there.

The 10-member Board of Regents has authority over the entire University of Washington system. Since 1998, the board has included a student regent who is tasked with bringing a student perspective to the board’s decisions while acting in the best interests of the University and the State of Washington. The student regent has full voting power on the board.