OUSC holds first meeting of the semester, discusses student tax break

The first Oakland University Student Congress meeting of the fall semester was held at 4 p.m. in the Gold Rooms of the Oakland Center Monday, Sept. 8.

Student Body President Annie Meinberg and Vice President Liz Iwanski presided over the congress.

One of the first orders of business was to hear from Andrew Laux, a former OU legislator. Laux was hoping to regain his seat in the legislative committee for this semester.

“I’ve been very blessed at Oakland,” he said. “I’ve had fantastic classes, I’ve had the opportunity to meet wonderful people.”

Laux said he missed being a part of the Student Congress meetings because, according to him, “that’s when real work gets done. That’s where real progress happens.”

Laux was approved unanimously to rejoin the legislature.

Next up, Student Services Director Kyler Johnson reported that students had complained to about construction equipment being left on pathways and in front of doors. He told people to contact him if they see this.

Meinberg then suggested that she wanted to begin giving away Scantron forms from the office again, as had been done in previous semesters.

Legislative Affairs Director Bria Ellis announced that a select number of the congress was headed to the Student Association of Michigan held at Michigan Technological University later in the week.

“It’s pretty much like the whole state student congress,” Ellis explained. “It’s all 15 publicly funded universities coming together once a month, and we talk about different things going on on our campuses.”

Ellis also said that she was hoping to start lobbying again for Senate Bill 408, which would give a tax break to Michigan college graduates who choose to stay and work in the state. The bill is currently stalled in reaching the State Senate.

In terms of financial standing, Financial Affairs Director Sam Harris said that this semester’s budget for the Student Congress came with an unexpected carryover of $39,629.29 from last year, bringing a total of $140,371.89 to work with. Harris repeated the news that students employed by the university were still allowed to work 25 hours a week, rather than the briefly-adjusted 20-hour bar that was previously set by authorities.

Oakland University Student Congress meetings occur every Monday at 4 p.m. and are currently located in the Gold Rooms. Everyone is free to attend them.