University of Alaska student regent’s email draws criticism

A white sign on a light wooden door says "University of Alaska Board of Regents/Executive Session in Progress/Please do not disturb"
(Josh Edge/APRN)

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Some University of Alaska students called for the resignation of the student regent following a lengthy email with content some considered inappropriate.

University of Alaska Board of Regents member Cachet Garrett sent the message to more than 30,000 students Monday, The Anchorage Daily News reported.

The nearly 4,300-word email titled, “A love letter from your student regent, Cachet,” included a description of her goals and views on the Board of Regents.

The email also provided a wide-ranging personal narrative covering her personality traits, background at the university and life experiences such as her study of yoga and tantra.

Garrett’s regent biography said she is a University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student and a licensed massage therapist who has worked at Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium and United Way of Southeast Alaska.

Garrett was named student regent by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy in May 2019, but her appointment has not yet been confirmed by the Legislature.

Garrett’s comments about mental health topics drew opposition on and off social media.

“I charge you all with the great task of self-care,” the message said in part. “And with this I must humbly, vulnerably, and bravely request of you all, please dear ones, NO MORE SUICIDING.”

Garrett also discouraged any “negative talk around our beloved university system.”

“Instead, engage your tools, engage the power of prayer, and lift up our universities and their leaders,” she wrote.

University of Alaska Fairbanks graduate student Bradley Morton said the email was “very bizarre.”

“A lot of it is rambling nonsense and a lot of it is also really inappropriate content to be sending to 30,000 people,” Morton said.

Morton and at least one other student called for Garrett’s resignation during public testimony to a regents meeting Monday, while others expressed dismay about the email.

The Anchorage Daily News reported Garrett did not respond to requests for comment. She did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

Regent Chair Sheri Buretta issued a response defending Garrett’s “right as a student and as a person to express her opinions.”

“However, she does not speak for the Board or the University, and the tone and content of her emailed letter to the student body do not reflect the sentiments of the Board,” Buretta said.

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