OUSC elections are coming up: here’s what you need to know


Noora Neiroukh

OUSC Vice President and President. Taken last fall.

The annual Oakland University Student Congress (OUSC) elections begin this Friday, April 1 and run through Apr 14. The positions of president, vice president, speaker and legislator are up for election on the ballot.

The OUSC is a student advocacy group that, according to their GrizzOrgs page, “strives to represent the student body and increase pride and unity on campus through dynamic leadership, a commitment to diversity, and an ongoing devotion to the quality of university life.”

The organization is currently running initiatives to reduce the cost of course materials and raise the minimum wage of all campus employees to $15 an hour, alongside other projects.

The organization is led by a legislative body voted on by students. The positions of president, vice president and speaker are running uncontested on the ballot, so the main focus of this year’s election is on the five candidates for legislators. The legislative chamber has 23 members who are decided by a popular vote and the top 23 candidates are elected.

Jordan Tolbert, the elections commission chair for the OUSC had this to say about the candidate pool: ”I think that the current election cycle has a lot of great candidates and I’m excited to see the next administration get elected. The lack of competition was slightly disappointing, but it’s just a reflection of the impact COVID-19 has had on student life.”

In response to this low election turnout, Tolbert encourages students to get involved saying, “I encourage students to still fill out the application form on our website to join as a legislator, or look for executive board positions that open in the summer.”

Despite there only being one candidate for some positions, It is also possible for write-in candidates to win. Write-in candidates either have to receive a majority vote or for the position of legislator receive 2% of the popular vote.

Since the positions of president and vice president only have one candidate on the ballot, the OUSC is going to forgo their annual debates. Instead, the OUSC has paired up with the Oakland Post to run a virtual Instagram town hall.

Campus community members will be able to ask the incumbent candidates, Andrew Romano and Murryum Farooqi, questions which will later be published through an article in the Post. The OUSC hopes that this event will increase transparency and encourage participation in their legislative process.