A University of Houston-Clear Lake undergraduate student will, for the first time, be representing the University of Houston system’s 74,000 students on the UH System Board of Regents.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has named Derek Delgado as the new student regent on the board of regents. Delgado, who is pursuing his Bachelor of Science in legal studies at UHCL, is the first Hawk ever to be appointed to the board, per a UHCL media release from June 10.

“This experience will help me because my goal is to complete law school and go into politics,” he said in the release. “Student advocacy is a great place to start, and it’s a good stepping stone into that career.”

Although he does not have a vote on the board, Delgado will work with the nine board members to make governing decisions for the system and each of its four universities.

When he first enrolled at UHCL in 2018 and joined the Student Government Association, Delgado liked the idea of being student regent and representing both UHCL and the whole UH system, he said in the release. He spent time serving in various roles through SGA, then applied in November to assume the student regent position during the final year of his undergraduate studies in 2021-22.

The process involved interviews with UH’s Vice Chancellors Jason Smith and Robert Walker, and the UH system’s Chancellor Renu Khator eventually recommended him as student regent. Delgado was notified of this at the end of May.

“Derek Delgado is an exemplary student with a passion for the legal system and a commitment to service, which makes him an ideal student regent,” Khator said in the news release. “His energy and ideas will be welcome additions to the board.”

During the application process, Delgado talked about what was most on students’ minds during COVID-19: their struggles with the online learning environment.

“Students felt there was a disconnect between the administration and the students regarding grading policies, resulting in a lot of miscommunication,” he said in the release. “I discussed that a lot during my interviews, but we hope this semester students will be on campus for the majority of classes. I see my job as student regent as communicating to students what the system does.”

Delgado will work directly with the SGAs of each university in the system. These governing bodies know the specific needs of their respective students, so Delgado’s goal will be to come up with system solutions as well as to keep up UHCL’s great success, he said.

When he is not on the UHCL campus, Delgado is employed part-time as a legal assistant at Travis Bryan Law Group, responsible for the intake of new and potential clients, drafting and filing legal documents, and conducting legal research for pending cases, per the release. He is also a volunteer firefighter for the Pasadena Volunteer Fire Department.

Delgado was sworn in as student regent at a June 7 ceremony at the Pasadena Municipal Court by Judge Lester Rorick, for whom he’s served as deputy clerk since 2016. He succeeds outgoing student regent Alvaro De la Cruz, who recently graduated from University of Houston-Victoria with a Master of Education in adult and higher education, per the release.