ASU law student takes office in July
A new non-voting student regent will put his 10 years of university experience to the test next semester when the Arizona Board of Regents debate issues like rising tuition, redesign costs and new admission standards.
Kolby Granville, a first-year law student at Arizona State University, will kick off his two-year term for the board of regents July 1 and said he looks forward to working toward positive changes for students.
"Student issues have, for far too long, been met with a lack of validation," Granville said. "Even if a student has an insane idea on how to improve the campus, it's important to listen, respect and validate that idea because the next idea may be a winner."
Student regents, who represent more than 115,000 students throughout the state and are rotated among the three state universities, serve on the 12-member board for two years; the first year as a non-voting regent and the second as a voting regent.
As a non-voting student regent, Granville said he wants regents to understand students should be the starting point for discussions, not the reaction to be dealt with.
Too often administrators pitch ideas to regents and then wait to see if students contest, Granville said.
"I'd like the regents to meet and interact with actual students, not just students leaders ... sit in a class, search for parking, ride the shuttle," Granville said. "How can you address the needs of students if you don't do what they do?"
Gov. Janet Napolitano, who selected Granville out of a pool of 15 applicants last month, called his background "very impressive."
"Kolby has already established a strong presence at ASU, and that will be a great benefit to the board of regents," Napolitano said in a press release.
A bona fide student, the 30-year-old is approaching his 10th year at ASU after earning an undergraduate and master's degree in education.
During his time at ASU, Granville created Channel 2-Sun Devil TV, served as the activities vice president for the Associated Students of ASU, oversaw weekly sketch and improvisational comedy shows as Memorial Union Comedy Committee Chair, was a DJ at KASC-1260 AM, participated in the Residence Hall Association and was named an NCAA All-American for archery.
Granville also volunteered in the Peace Corps in Mozambique, was employed as a teacher and curriculum developer in China, and served on the Tempe Arts Commission as well as the Board of Directors for the East Valley Chapter of Habitat for Humanity.
But don't expect Granville to flaunt his accomplishments, said Deirdre Hahn, president of ASU's Graduate and Professional Student Association.
Hahn characterized Granville as modest, well respected, funny and independent, with the uncanny ability to get along with nearly everyone.
"Kolby doesn't fit the stereotypical mold of many of our past student regents, which is really his strength," Hahn said.
Non-Voting Student Regent Ben Graff, a second-year law student at the UA, will take over as the voting student regent when Wes McCalley, voting student regent and Northern Arizona University graduate student, finishes his term June 30.
Saif Al-Alawi, president of the Associated Students of ASU West, said because Granville is impenitently outspoken, he expects disagreements with regents, but added Granville's character and intelligence make him well suited for the position.
When the two shared a hotel room after attending a regents' meeting, Al-Alawi said he saw Granville's true character when they walked into the room that had two beds with eight pillows each.
"He (Granville) threw off every pillow except one and said, 'How many pillows does a person need?' Al-Alawi said. "That really demonstrates the type of guy he is. He is a very simple person, humble ... not in the job for the glamour and the glitz. He's there because it's his duty to represent students, and I think that's honorable."