UConn Student Director is an opportunity for transparency from Foundation

Anthony Patelunas, the former Graduate Student Senate President, will be the first graduate student to be the Student Director of the UConn Foundation. (Amar Batra/The Daily Campus)

After voting and appeals, it has been decided that graduate student Anthony Patelunas will be the UConn Foundation Student Director next fall. The UConn Foundation Inc. is a nonprofit organization that manages UConn’s endowment of $383 million dollars, as of 2016. Patelunas is the first student to fill this new position with UConn Foundation, and as the student director, he will act as an active non-voting member and a student representative for the board of directors. This new position is a great opportunity for students to become more involved and aware of the undertakings of this foundation.

As a student representative for the board of directors, Patelunas will attend all of the foundation’s Board of Directors meetings and meetings of the committees of which he will be a member.  One of his responsibilities is to communicate with the student body concerning the foundation’s efforts. This is a fantastic opportunity for UConn students to become more involved and for the UConn Foundation to make its actions may become less opaque to the student body, for to understand the students’ interests better and they may receive more support.

This closer connection to the UConn Foundation will be beneficial for the student body. The communication that this position will foster will allow students to address their concerns. For example, last year USG was concerned with whether or not the UConn Foundation was investing in or receiving donations from private prisons. USG was concerned that the UConn Foundation was monetarily involved in an institution that violates human rights. This position will foster communication that will more easily convey the students’ interests to those who are fundamentally connected with the university’s resources.

More communication with the board of directors presents great opportunities to build connections. Increased communication between students and these varied professionals may lead to new opportunities and growth for students. The Student Director position is hopefully the beginning to direct of the foundation’s focus on students’ concerns. This includes the matter of heightened transparency and communication, so that trust may be fostered between the student body and the organization that manages the university’s endowment.