The Pacific 12 Conference will now feature athletes as a subgroup in its voting governance structure, the Pac-12 Council, the conference announced Tuesday. The group, called the Student Athlete Leadership Team, includes two athletes from each of the 12 member institutions, with 12 students attending every council meeting.

“The perspective from our student athletes and their contribution to our policies and processes is critical as we push forward a bold agenda to address issues and preserve the best of college athletics,” Larry Scott, Pac-12 commissioner, said in a statement.

The Pac-12 is the first major college athletics conference to include athletes in its formal governing process. Last year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s five wealthiest conferences — including the Pac-12 — beganĀ allowing athletes to vote on legislation at the NCAA’s annual meeting.