By: Liz Wong
Third year LSU law student and current SBA Executive President, Clare Sanchez, has been elected to the prestigious Board of Supervisors. The Board of Supervisors is the governing body for the entire LSU system. It represents approximately 250,000 students. The Board oversees expansions, renovations, new degree requirements, and approves new majors, among other things. It is a fifteen-member board, with fourteen being appointed by the Governor. Each member represents the districts of Louisiana.
Sanchez is the student member, which is the only position not appointed by Governor Jindal. Instead, Clare was elected by the other seven Presidents from each of the eight LSU schools. Those schools include but are not limited to: LSU-Eunice, LSU-Alexandria, LSU-Shreveport, and the Health and Science Center. Essentially, Sanchez is the voice of the students for all LSU schools.
When asked about what she is looking forward to most, Sanchez said, “I’ve made it a point to look out for the smaller institutions or schools that are typically forgotten. When people talk about LSU, you think of the main campus. However, the main campus is pretty well-represented. Looking out for schools like LSU-Eunice, LSU-Shreveport, LSU-Alexandria, the Health and Science Center, graduate programs, and those students is important because I think they are the most underrepresented and they get forgotten. That’s been my big focus.” With the realignment, Clare Sanchez has an exciting yet difficult year ahead of her, but she is up for the challenge! She is ready to be our advocate and our voice on the LSU Board of Supervisors.
The realignment is not the only thing that will pose as an obstacle but weathering the budget cuts will also be a hot topic of discussion for the Board. Sanchez is looking forward to collaborating with the other fourteen members of the Board to problem solve and create solutions to find ways to make the budget that is available currently to work for all LSU schools as well as LSU students across the state.
The position comes with some incredible opportunities for Sanchez. Although she has a year ahead of her full of responsibilities, she seems calm on the surface and offers advice to whomever her successor may be in the future. She says, “Take advantage of all of the opportunities [the position] presents.” The Board of Supervisors participates and creates a lot of amazing things across the state. One event that Clare will be able to participate in is a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 at a brand new hospital in New Orleans. The unique experience was one that she is humbly grateful for but she also recognizes it is one that she may not have had in another capacity. Sanchez advises her successors to get to know the other members on the Board and take advantage of opportunities to meet some of the people that are doing big things in our state. For example, gubernatorial candidate, Scott Angelle, is currently on the Board with Sanchez. She is taking advantage of her ability to get to know him on a personal level and the accessibility to ask and discuss topics of interest with him is a unique networking opportunity that could help further her on a professional level as well. In addition to Mr. Angelle, there are other prestigious members of the Board. “I might be a 3L juggling a 3L schedule and SBA but the members of this board are CEOs of major corporations and major companies in Louisiana, so my schedule pales in comparison,” Sanchez says. This opportunity has not only helped Clare to be able to network professionally but also on a peer-level. She has had the opportunity to talk to students at the smaller schools, such as LSU-Eunice about their experiences at a smaller state-run institution. Throughout the advantages and opportunities that this has presented Miss Sanchez, she still manages to remain organized, humble, and grounded.
This position on the Board of Supervisors will open many doors for Miss Sanchez but she hopes to utilize her strengths to open more doors for the underrepresented graduate programs. Sanchez shared that her strengths include being assertive and the courage to speak up. Intimidation often floods a room when you are the youngest person by a minimum of thirty years and only one of two females. The ability to be assertive and not fear your own voice filling the room is a huge asset and a quality that the law school is lucky to have in our representative.
Clare Sanchez’s leadership abilities are not new to the LSU Law community. As a 1L, she was section representative and has continued to flourish throughout her time here. Even while juggling a 3L schedule and being our SBA Executive President, it seems that it would be nearly impossible to add another responsibility into the mix. However, Sanchez is juggling her responsibilities gracefully one day at a time. Although a logistical nightmare, it is one that she is not only glad to have but one that she is very grateful for. “I’m really excited to be involved in this capacity and I think our SBA executive board is really strong this year so I have no concerns about SBA. I know that Adam Boyer is going to be fantastic when I have to do one or the other. I know I have plenty of support and plenty of backup,” Sanchez said.
Although the support from SBA, family, and friends will pose as an asset to Sanchez, support in the form of feedback from the student body would help her to continue to move us forward and allow her to advocate for the law students more efficiently. “If you have an opinion about something. If you have a view on changes structurally or you have views on things like fees…I think making sure you’ve told a member of SBA or how you feel about changes is the most important thing because it’s impossible for me to represent student views if I don’t know what the views are,” Sanchez stated.