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Praise for the Nevada State Student Alliance

29 Mar 2024 5:30 PM | State Board (Administrator)

Following the NFA's call for Patrick Boylan to resign from the Board of Regents after hishostile response (7:53:16) to a student leader's public comments (7:52:00) hoping Boylan would "expand and change [his] paradigm" regarding LGBTQIA+ individuals, the Nevada State Student Alliance issued apowerful statement denouncing multiple regents for inserting ideological, geopolitical, and regional rhetoric into Board deliberations. 

"We are learning from our regents that many are controlled by singular issues that do not promote progress within institutions. Some board members, like Regent Brooks, fixate on geopolitical matters, some, like Regent Arrascada, focus on perpetuating regionalist and irrational ideologies between the north and south of our state, and some, like Regents Boylan and Goodman, regurgitate extreme ideologies that manifest in racist and transphobic remarks. These dogmas have no place in the realm of higher education." - NSSA statement

 The State Board of the Nevada Faculty Alliance applauds the NSSA for their courage to speak truth to power, and we echo their observations. Too frequently, substantive and legitimate deliberations about the oversight of NSHE are derailed when a Regent raises a divisive and irrelevant issue instead discussing the substance of athletic reports and deliberating on the budgetary challenges confronting our programs that will lead tolong-term deficits. As the students of the NSSA pointed out, "[t]hey are not fulfilling their responsibilities to the students and citizens of Nevada."

Worse still are some of the reactions of these Regents toward their constituents who are bold enough to publicly disagree or challenge them. This was on full display on March 1 in Regent Boylan's response to NSSA President Kevin Osorio Hernandez exercising his right through Public Comment to share his perspective on the language used earlier in the meeting and to challenge Boylan to do better. NSHE Chief General Counsel James Martines had toinform Boylan (7:53:08) that he could not engage in back-and-forth debate with Mr. Hernandez during the Public Comment period, so Boylan insisted on making a public comment himself (another disturbing trend among Regents). 

The irony is probably lost on Regent Boylan, but by refusing to walk up to the podium where everyone else makes comments, and remaining in his seat at the Regents' table to decry that his First Amendment rights were being violated, he used a literal position of authority to denounce the criticism. As the NSSA students recommend, the Regent should become a student again and reviewthe First Amendment, which prohibits those in power from suppressing the speech of others, not the other way around.

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