MCSG President Franz Meyer '09 to serve as student liaison to the Board of Trustees

By Zac Farber

When student government president Franz Meyer ’09 succeeds Blythe Austin ’08 next year as Macalester’s second student liaison to the Board of Trustees, he will emphasize student-trustee communication and will work to train the student representatives on the Board’s committees.A six-member selection committee, chaired by Austin with Brian Stephenson ’10, recommended Meyer for the position to President Brian Rosenberg.

Austin said the committee picked Meyer because of his experience talking in public as MCSG president, his understanding of issues facing the college and his commitment to the college.

“He impressed us,” she said, “with his ability to realistically look at himself and the position and say, ‘These are things that I’ll be able to do well and these are our challenges.'”

Meyer said he sees the position of student liaison as an agent of communication between students and trustees rather than as an advocate for student causes.

“In the past,” he said, “there’s been this veil of secrecy over the Board of Trustees, but over the past year that has started to lift quite a bit through the work of Blythe Austin and I hope to continue that this year.”

Austin, the first-ever student liaison, was given a non-voting position on the Board, a role in selecting students for positions on Board committees and leeway to further invent the responsibilities of the position.

She saw the need for, and organized, trustee-student interactions. She prepared Board committee representatives for their meetings and involved them in the “social life” of the Board.

“I sometimes feel,” she said, “that I have coupled my last year of college with my first year in a job.”

Meyer said he plans to continue Austin’s example.

“There are a lot of really fun people on the board,” he said, “and I want students to actually know them.”

Meyer said his experience as student government president will help him transition into the student liaison position.

“Many on the Board know my face, they know my name,” he said. “When they’re here I can chat with them-I can recognize them-in a very familiar way.