Serving Students First: Thomas, Engnell named student body president, VP for 2016-17 school year

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Serving Students First: Thomas, Engnell named student body president, VP for 2016-17 school year

Zack Thomas and Anders Engnell were named the 2016-2017 OUSC president and vice president on Wednesday, March 23.

Zack Thomas and Anders Engnell were named the 2016-2017 OUSC president and vice president on Wednesday, March 23.

Zack Thomas and Anders Engnell were named the 2016-2017 OUSC president and vice president on Wednesday, March 23.

Zack Thomas and Anders Engnell were named the 2016-2017 OUSC president and vice president on Wednesday, March 23.

Kristen Davis

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Oakland University junior Zack Thomas and sophomore Anders Engnell were named OUSC president and vice president on Wednesday, March 23, winning by a total margin of 461 votes over runners-up Tim Brown and Griffin DiMaggio.

Oakland students and some faculty gathered in Fireside Lounge at noon to hear the results of the voting that took place from March 14 to 18.

Thomas and Engnell were “blown away” by the number of votes they received.

“We were super excited and overwhelmed by the fact that we almost got 1,000 student votes,” Thomas, who will serve as president, said. “I mean, I feel like that’s unprecedented.”

Vice president Engnell added that it’s a relief to reach the “pinnacle of the campaign.”

“All the 300 hours [we] put into this went to something. It all mattered,” he said. “No matter what, we would’ve been like, ‘hey, this was a great campaign,’ and we had fun with our team. But those 300 hours had a product at the end. They paid off.”

 

Getting to work

The pair, which made the decision to run for president and vice president during the fall semester, has already made progress towards each of their five goals that were included in their platform, “Serving Students First.”

Engnell said he has been in contact with Alex Tallentire, a sales associate from T2 Systems, a parking management company. T2 Systems has worked with other universities including Ball State and Northern Arizona, as well as different municipalities, private operators and event venues, among others.

Engnell said he has set up a meeting with Tallentire and OUPD in April to discuss a solution to parking. They plan to use P1 as a beta testing lot.

They also plan to meet with Oakland University President George Hynd and Vice President of Student Affairs Glenn MacIntosh in April to “talk about getting open forums and town halls for big decisions on campus,” as well as bridging the gap between administration and students.

Engnell and Thomas added that as soon as the OUSC budget for the 2016-17 school year opens, the first measure they will take is allocating funds to improve accessibility. This includes installing automatic door openers on the bathrooms in the Oakland Center and fixing cracked sidewalks around campus.

As for the efforts to implement a preferred name policy, according to Engnell, he received a draft of the policy via email and a memo was sent to Hynd recommending it.

“The groundwork is laid for those two policies in our third goal — social justice for underrepresented communities,” Engnell said.

They have taken steps towards their goal of amplifying student voices through the TurboVote service, which was launched through OUSC for the first time in early March and allows students to register to vote for free online.

Their last goal of reinventing Student Congress is in the works as well, with adjustments being made to the definitions of administrative positions within OUSC.

“The goal is to set the standard in our administration that initiatives that will have a long-lasting impact on the student body are first,” Engnell said. “That’s the tone that we’re going to set.”

 

The inauguration

Thomas said the first item on the list of things to do is to assemble their administration. Applications for nine paid E-board positions opened on March 24 and will close on April 4. They can be found on servingstudentsfirst.com. Administration will be sworn in on April 11.

Thomas and Engnell will be inaugurated on April 4 at 4 p.m. A transition period will follow through the end of April and they officially begin with their administration on May 2.