The President’s Report: July 20, 2016

My fellow OU Students,

Hello! Thank you for joining me for this summer edition of the President’s Report.

From May until now, your Oakland University Student Congress (OUSC) has been hard at work to push for pro-student initiatives at our university. During the last several months, OUSC has been pushing primarily for summer voter registration, accessibility on campus and the continuation of the administration’s transparency and accountability. Let’s tackle these initiatives and their updates one-by-one.

As you may already know, OUSC began contracting an online voter registration service called TurboVote early last year. We have since been promoting TurboVote at New Student Orientation with the help of some of our very awesome Orientation Group Leaders! However, new students are not the only ones who benefit from this service: if any OU student heads to on their computer or mobile device, they can start their voter registration process for free without having to wait in line at the Secretary of State’s office for hours! Using, we hope to register as many students as possible for this upcoming General Election in November.

OUSC and I are also dedicated to improving on-campus accessibility at OU. I am happy to report that this initiative is progressing very well- and that we should be excited about it. According to administrators on the accessibility committee, sidewalks around campus and the crosswalks in front of the residence halls are under repair, and an updated campus accessibility map should be finished by the end of July. Additionally, in the upcoming OC expansion project, there is reasonable assurance that accessible bathrooms on each floor as well as additional elevators in the building are to be included in the design.

Lastly, we have been focusing wholeheartedly on ensuring that productive, constructive dialogue between the students and the administration continues. The maintenance of our Student Organic Farm and its coordinator was a great example of that. In the last month, there were unofficial talks of moving our Student Organic Farm and laying off its coordinator, which students thought would damage the farm’s progress. The students, via petition and testimonials organized by OUSC and Student Organic Farmers task force, showed that they were against the potential move. In response, the administration has since revealed that although the coordinator was operating on a one-time special fund that ran dry, there are no further present plans to move the farm. Accordingly, the difference between the situations like the Student Organic Farm and increasing the university minimum wage, and any other situation in the past is that this year, we are calmly and assertively speaking up and the administration hears us. Therefore, we plan on continuing these efforts as you elected student representatives, because we recognize that communication with the administration is a two-way street.

As always, OUSC and I love to operate on student feedback. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] with your input, or stop by at our office in the basement of the OC anytime.


Zack Thomas

OU Student Body President


The views expressed in the President’s Report do not necessarily represent those of the Oakland Post.