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First undergrad allowed Board of Trustees vote

Halie Vilagi, a third-year in public affairs and political science, at Berry Cafe. Credit: Courtesy of Halie Vilagi.

Halie Vilagi, a third-year in public affairs and political science, at Berry Cafe. Credit: Courtesy of Halie Vilagi.

In November, Halie Vilagi will become the first undergraduate student in Ohio State history to be allowed a vote at the board level on the university’s Board of Trustees.

Vilagi, a third-year in public affairs and political science, was appointed to the board by Gov. John Kasich after a lengthy, three-round interview process in the summer of 2015 and will serve until she graduates in 2017.

“I was at my internship when the governor’s office called with the news,” Vilagi said. “I was overwhelmed with both joy and responsibility — I had worked for nearly a year to accomplish this goal.”

The trustees serve as the chief strategic and fiduciary body of the university. While many students in the past have served on the board, Vilagi is the first undergraduate to have the same voting rights as the other trustees, Vilagi said.

Vilagi said she wants to  keep transparency alive between the trustees and students. To accomplish this, every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:40 a.m. to 2 p.m. she will be available to discuss matters and obtain student feedback in Room 3070 of the Ohio Union.

“It is the greatest gift of my life,” she said. “I have the honor of representing students who have hundreds of passions and hail from all around the world. Every Buckeye is unique.”

Vilagi’s experience includes her time as an Undergraduate Student Government senator and serving on the John Glenn College of Public Affairs’ Budget and Strategic Planning Committee.

“She has been instrumentally involved in providing a student perspective on some of the major strategic choices facing the college,” said Trevor Brown, dean of the Glenn College. “She is incredibly service oriented, she reflects the university’s commitment of education for citizenship, she is a leader and an exceptional communicator.”

Vilagi also is involved in Politics, Society and Law Scholars, the John Glenn Civic Leadership Council and YoungLife.

After graduation, Vilagi said she hopes to study public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, with the long-term goal of working in the federal government in Washington, D.C.


  1. Judgy McJudgerson

    BoT has two student trustees, an undergrad and a grad student. Both now have a vote. The Lantern staff wow us again with their not-quite-bare-minimum journalistic investigation!

    PS Thanks to Mike Stinziano for persistent lobbying to get our student trustees the vote. Good Job, Miranda, for somehow managing to run a bio of one of the two student trustees without telling us HOW they actually came to get the cote.

  2. Dr. Peter Venkman

    The Board does, in fact, have two student members, one to represent undergraduates and one to represent graduate and professional students. BOTH will be obtaining the right to vote.
    The previous poster is correct that The Lantern once again completely ignores that anyone exists on the campus other than an undergraduate population.
    And, like the previous poster, I’d also recognize the history of the battle for this right that actually began with Mike Stinziano’s father lobbying for this change decades ago.

    Now, whether or not either student trustee will have the intestinal fortitude to actually vote against other Board members and use their vote to properly represent students and not just enjoy the perks of free football games and excessive pampering… that remains to be seen.
    That might be a good question to ask the current grad/prof rep.

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