Marlee Jacocks wasn’t expecting a call from the governor’s office telling her she was appointed to a two-year term as the Ball State student trustee. But when she got it, she was excited to say the least.
“I was very surprised,” Jacocks said. “I knew a lot of people who were applying for the position and I thought they were all incredibly qualified for it so I really didn’t want to get my hopes up. I was not expecting it at all but when I got the call I was full of emotions.”
Jacocks is a junior English literature major, minoring in French, political science and philosophy. She is an active member of the Riley Dance Marathon Recruitment Committee and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.
Ball State graduate and former student trustee Dustin Meeks, who finished his term in June, described Jacocks as a “passionate, incredibly brilliant woman."
“I have known Marlee since she was a freshman in high school,” Meeks said. “I don’t think I have met anyone else who can be that happy. She is this ray of sunshine and she also is incredibly hard working.”
Privileges of the student trustee:
- $50 per meeting
- $50 attend commencement
- Mileage $.40 a mile
- Hotel accommodations if needed
- 10 percent discount at BSU bookstore
- Two tickets to any event on campus
- All-Access parking pass
Information from bsu.edu.
RELATED: Former Trustee Reflects on Ball State Experience
Ever since she was a student at Fisher High School, where she graduated as the president of her class, Jacocks has had a passion for leadership.
“In the past, I have taken on a lot of different positions serving students,” she said. “It’s just a passion I have and I thought this would be an include opportunity to serve Ball State University as a whole and be the voice for the students.”
As the student trustee Jacocks will be responsible for understanding the purpose of the university as an institution, developing a vision for its future and relating effectively to the needs of its faculty, administration, and students, according to bsu.edu.
As a student trustee, she will be participating in the bi-monthly Board of Trustee meetings and will vote on various topics including strategic planning and university operations.
Getting to this point was a process. After hearing about the job from her older brother who is good friends with Meeks, Jacocks decided to fill out an application in February.
From there she attended a call out meeting and had an interview with a selection committee led by former Student Government Association Secretary Brock Frazer. After waiting about a month, she then heard from the Governor's office, which made her fill out another application. Jacocks was interviewed by members of the governor's staff and was told in June she received the position.
"It was a long process but I kind of went into it on my own and just was about seeing where it all was going to take me," she said.
Even though her first meeting isn’t until July 21, Jacocks has been planning ahead for what she hopes to accomplish in the position. Her biggest goal - increase communication between students and the board.
“I want to be that connection between students and the whole administration process with the Board of Trustees," she said.
Jacocks has listened to previous concerns of students including housing options, the Counseling Center and tuition. She plans to use social media as a way to connect and address student questions and concerns.
“I think it would be great to create an interactive Twitter account with a trustee where we can tweet out information after meetings, share the news related to campus and reach out and respond to anything students might want to know,” she said. “I want to be able to communicate with a lot of people.”
Another idea of Jacocks’ includes setting up office hours for students to visit her and learn more about “the trustee side of things.”
Leading up to the next meeting, Jacocks has been connecting with past and former board members like Board Chair Rick Hall, who has provided her with advice on how to successfully take on her position.
Forming those relationships is just one piece of advice Meeks has for the new trustee. He said he would encourage her to not be afraid to "speak up and stand on her convictions" as the student representative. He also thinks it’s important for her to meet with President Geoffrey S. Mearns to discuss "what Ball State means to her."
As one of only three women on the board, Meeks said he is excited to see what the job will bring for Jacocks.
“They don’t let people be in leadership who can’t pour themselves out into that task,” he said. “She will be a fantastic addition to the board.”
For now, Jacocks plans to continue to prepare for the job while enjoying the rest of her summer.
“I guess it still hasn’t fully hit me that I am in this position, but I am sure it will all settle in as soon as the first meeting,” Jacocks said. “As of right now, there isn’t a lot of nerves – I am just mainly happy and excited for this opportunity.”