OUSC announces candidates for 2020-2021 school year

OUSC+candidates+Annabella+Jankowski+and+Ethan+Bradley.

Sam Summers

OUSC candidates Annabella Jankowski and Ethan Bradley.

Dean Vaglia, Staff Reporter

The candidates for Oakland University Student Congress (OUSC) have been announced.

At the Wednesday, Feb. 5 election kickoff, the candidates for OUSC president, vice president and legislators gave speeches outlining their platforms, goals and why they should earn OU’s vote.

Ethan Bradley, a sophomore studying political science and philosophy, is the sole presidential candidate. Currently the legislative affairs director for OUSC and a Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP) fellow, Bradley has spent the fall 2019 semester helping students. He is also working with the Center for Civic Engagement to hold a mock caucus on March 3 and organize debate watch parties.

Annabella Jankowski, a sophmore double majoring in international relations and Japanese language and literature with a minor in LGBTQIA+ studies, is running alongside Bradley as vice president. She is involved in various organizations across OU, most recently as the student services director for the current OUSC administration. 

One of the main initiatives our administration would like to pursue pertains to increasing mental health services on campus,” Jankowski said. “This would involve adding more hired positions at the Graham Counseling Center to reduce wait times and reviving the iPause program to help students manage stress before going to the Counseling Center.” 

Other initiatives proposed by Bradley and Jankowski include reintroducing transfer meals, expanding dining options, refining the grading system and providing students with textbook relief. A forum for the president and vice president will be held on March 3 at 12 p.m. in The Habitat.

The candidates for OUSC legislators are Dylan Pescarolo, Stephanie Recknagel, Brisilda Musaka, Chantell Phillips, Makarila Gaston, Natalie Bielecki, Jeremy Johnson and Elijah Sanders.

Pescarolo is the current OUSC steering chair legislator and the vice president of the College Republicans OU chapter. The sophomore is running to change the grading system and make it easier for people to get into OUSC by lowering the minimum signatures required to be on the ballot.

“I originally ran for Student Congress to serve my fellow students, and during my time in office, I truly believe that I have served those who have elected me to the position of legislator,” Pescarolo said. “In my next term, I plan to continue serving those who I work for and will continue to propose legislation that will make student life at OU better and will help us do better at the academic level.”

Musaka is a pre-medical student, a member of the Golden Key International Honor Society and the secretary of the Mission: Kindness OU chapter. As a legislator, Musaka plans on increasing the visibility and amount of automated external defibrillator (AED) devices on campus, as well as increasing medical emergency training for faculty and staff.

Gaston is a freshman majoring in journalism. She served on her high school’s student congress and is focusing on making OU’s academic dishonesty policies clearer to incoming students.

“Though a majority of our staff members and professors do a good job at educating students on this concept, I feel like more can be done,” Gaston said. “Some students do not thoroughly understand the ins and outs of what exactly can be academic dishonesty or considered cheating and the implications that follow an act like this.”

Johnson is a freshman and a political science major. His main goal is to improve student mental health by overhauling the Counseling Center and increasing the advertising for peer mentors.

Bielecki is a junior studying public relations and strategic communication, who serves as a resident assistant, the marketing coordinator for the National Residence Hall Honorary and works in the ID Card office. In line with her studies, Bielecki plans on overhauling the OUSC’s marketing efforts. She also plans on advancing sexual health education and support on campus.

Phillips is a first-year student majoring in communication and plans on using the legislator position to expand mental health awareness, as well as increasing the diversity of campus life by adding more activities for people with disabilities. 

Two of the candidates, Recknagel and Sanders, were not at the kickoff to give a speech. Sanders is an OUSC senior legislator with goals to increase OUSC cooperation with Greek organizations, unite political clubs like the College Republicans and Student Democrats, and campus media organizations. Recknagel served as an OUSC judiciary committee chair and plans on increasing cooperation within OUSC, as well as giving students more opportunities to give OUSC their input.

Despite being presented at the kickoff, all of the candidates will need to obtain a minimum number of signatures to be on the ballot. The election will be held March 6-13 online through Engage.