If you’re going to aspire to something, you might as well shoot for the top. That’s true for University of Wisconsin-Waukesha student Nik Rettinger, the head of the school’s student government who hopes to earn an appointment to the university system’s Board of Regents.
Rettinger is among 23 applicants statewide seeking to serve as a "traditional student” representative on the board. The governor’s office expects to announce the appointments in June.
“It has always been my dream to hold public office, and I would be honored to serve the students of the UW system and the state of Wisconsin,” said Rettinger, president of UW-Waukesha’s Student Government Association.
Rettinger’s leadership experience began long before becoming president of student government. At his high school, Waukesha South, Rettinger served on student government and became an Eagle Scout. He also began serving with the youth ministry at his home church, Elmbrook, which he continues to this day.
As a Board of Regents member, Rettinger would be expected to vote on rules, shape admission standards and review budgets, among other things.
Rettinger has served on the university system’s United Council of students. He said he wants to be an active voice for the students, especially for those who, like him, attend one of the 13 two-year schools in the UW System.
Eventually, Rettinger plans to attend UW-Milwaukee, so he sees himself as a liaison for both Waukesha and Milwaukee. He would be expected to attend eight regular meetings per year in Madison, serve on special committees, serve as liaisons with at least two UW institutions and perform related duties.
Gov. Scott Walker announced last month that he was looking for two student representatives on the Board of Regents. Both representatives must be at least part-time students at a University of Wisconsin institution, be in good academic standing, Wisconsin residents, and enrolled for their entire term.
One student representative must be 18 and serve a two-year term, which is the seat Rettinger is seeking. The other position is for an undergraduate student representative who must be at least 24 years old and represent the views of non-traditional students and will serve for one year.