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Friday, July 10, 2020

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UHV student appointed as UH System student regent


Alvaro De la Cruz will join the UH System Board of Regents as a student regent and non-voting member, planning to be the voice for students across the system. | Courtesy of Alvaro De la Cruz

Alvaro De la Cruz Jr. will join the UH System Board of Regents as a student regent and non-voting member, planning to be the voice for students across the system. | Courtesy of Alvaro De la Cruz

The UH System’s latest student regent was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott on June 10, alongside nine other student regents representing various Texas institutions. 

Adult and higher education masters student Alvaro De la Cruz Jr. will be the UH System student regent until May 31, 2021. In the role, he will represent the perspective of students from across the UH System to the Board of Regents as they make governing decisions on how the campuses operate.

“My number one main priority is students,” De la Cruz said. “Students first and foremost, I want to represent them, I’m here for them.” 

De la Cruz will be the first UH-Victoria student regent since 2010 and the second in the institution’s history, following former UHV student Kristen Lindley Sayegh’s appointment in 2009. 

“I wanted to represent students so badly,” he said. “I want to do this not just for myself, but to show that UHV has a great candidate and a great student body that can be in leadership positions.”

As a first-generation college student himself, De la Cruz shares how he cares about the struggles other first-generation students face. While working for student housing and residential life, he said he has experienced hands-on representation and servitude to these students, and hopes to continue this through the Board of Regents.

During his time at UH-Victoria, De la Cruz has served as Student Government Association president, president of the Pre-Health Student Association and vice president of the Residence Hall Association. He currently is the RHA adviser and a residence hall coordinator.

“Alvaro De la Cruz has shown great dedication to the success of the University of Houston-Victoria as a student,” said Chancellor Renu Khator in a news release. “I am excited about the opportunity for him to serve as a student regent and the enthusiasm he will bring to move all of our universities forward.”

De la Cruz strives to represent the needs of the UH System’s diverse student populations and plans on talking and listening to as many students as he can to do so. Sharing some of his own identities as Latino and gay, De la Cruz wants to hear other diverse student groups and have a better understanding of who he is representing, he said.

“I want to hear from this diverse student population,” De la Cruz said. “I want to talk to the SGA presidents, I want to talk to the presidents, vice presidents and vice chancellors of the institutions, and want to know what exactly I am representing.”

In high school, De la Cruz was not sure what next steps he would take, he said. He applied to college after being approached by a group of students who “looked like (him)” that assisted him in the process.

Soon after starting at UH-Victoria, he got heavily involved on campus, something he didn’t previously do. 

“It’s still surreal to say I’m a student regent,” he said. “It still shocks me sometimes that I see my name on that news article Gov. Abbott released.”

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