Finance student Ryan Ring appointed to serve on the UW System Board of Regents

UW-Eau Claire student Ryan Ring appointed to represent all students as UW System Board of Regents traditional student representative


Photo by Amanda Thao

Ryan Ring is a sophomore finance student with a political science minor. His term will begin on Monday and he will be representing students not only from UW-Eau Claire, but the entire UW System.

Story by Elizabeth Gosling, Copy Editor

When he came to UW-Eau Claire, Ryan Ring already knew he wanted to get involved with student government. During his senior year of high school, the now sophomore finance student said he contacted Sam Fish, a former student body president, expressing his interest in joining Student Senate.

“I was kind of that eager freshman, if you will, wanting to get involved in student government, student orgs on campus,” Ring said.

Ring started serving on committees his first semester and was elected to be an on-campus senator the second semester of his freshman year. After serving as a senator for a year and a half, Ring will be moving on to a higher playing field following his recent appointment by Governor Scott Walker to serve on the UW System Board of Regents as the traditional student representative.

As part of Ring’s new role with the Board of Regents, he will be advocating for students across the state. The Board of Regents is responsible for setting policies and rules which govern the UW System. There are 18 members, two being students, one representing traditional students and the other representing non-traditional students.

“The Board of Regents for the UW System is kind of like a board of directors for a company,” Ring said, “where they’re kind of making decisions for the UW System.”

Ring will begin his appointment on Monday, May 15 and serve for two years until May 2019. He will be preceding current student representative James A. Langnes III, a student from UW-Whitewater, also studying finance.

To be considered for this prestigious position, Ring had to apply on Gov. Scott Walker’s website, go through a selection process and if he was chosen, have an interview with the governor.

Although his appointment has been announced, Ring awaits further confirmation with the state senate to finalize his appointment.

“I truly care about the students … and what they think and obviously their education here at UW-Eau Claire, not only UW-Eau Claire but as well the UW System,” Ring said. “I know we have a great UW System. Education here at UW-Eau Claire specifically is definitely one that kind of rivals others.”

Ring has met with Walker on a few brief occasions, from College Republican events to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington D.C.

Taking his work with Student Senate to the next level, meeting with students from around the state and from schools that operate differently is exciting but also nerve racking, Ring said. He will be going from school to school, he said, and discussing subjects such as campus climate with them and bringing their perspectives to the board.

Ring also will meet regularly with student representatives, a group of students in the UW System who participate in student governments across the state.

Scott Small, student senator and junior political science student, said the opportunity to be working with the Board of Regents is a wonderful opportunity for Ring and says something about the university.

“Having Ryan on that Board of Regents for a two-year term kind of gives us a direct path to Madison,” Small said.

The position is the top position any student can hold in Wisconsin, and students must be involved not only in the UW System but also in the state capitol, Small said. All universities must abide by the policies and rules the Board of Regents set.

Ring said he is ready to research the different policies, such as segregated fee policies on different campuses. A challenge he will face, however, will be making big decisions.

“I know how much it means to the UW System and all of the UW schools.” Ring said. “You are ultimately representing the hundreds of thousands of students in the UW System.”