Congress hears OC expansion plans, elects new legislators and committee members

By Ali DeRees

Plans for an expansion and renovation of the Oakland Center  were presented to the Oakland University Student Congress Oct. 14.

Director of the Oakland Center, Richard Fekel, as well as Board of Trustees liaisons Robbie Williford and Samantha Wolf presented their Oakland Center (OC) expansion plans and expansion survey before Congress.


Cleaning house

Fekel spoke of the overcrowding and lack of meeting space he sees at the OC.

“This project will hopefully ease overcrowding,” Fekel said.

The basic design includes adding space by wrapping around the existing back end of the current OC building. A water feature will be built by the clock tower that is currently under construction.   

Features of the new OC will include a bigger banquet room that can be broken up into five spaces and a theater that will replace the Oakland Room.

The bookstore will be moved to the north end of the upper level and the old one replaced with a 12-lane bowling alley.

Fekel invites students to come to his office and see the blueprints and plans for themselves. He is eager to receive feedback from students regarding the plans.

“We are looking for comments and suggestions as we move forward,” Fekel said.

Fekel wants students to have a more spacious and accessible work environment and hopes the students want it just as bad.

“I hope this generates a lot of excitement,” Fekel said.


More space more money

 They surveyed those students and faculty and brought those survey results to Fekel.    

Wolf said the Board of Trustees was completely unaware of the overcrowding at the OC.

Wolf and Williford’s survey included questions regarding whether students go to the OC, what facilities they use and how they would feel about a tuition increase.

According to Williford, the state of Michigan does not fund buildings like the OC because it is not an educational building or a building that students live in.

President Hanna estimated that the raise in tuition would be less than the originally estimated six to ten dollar per credit hour increase included in Wolf and Williford’s survey.

Williford said they would look for donations to put towards the expansion as well.

Wolf and Williford will have both electronic and print surveys. They want students to hear about it by word of mouth, as well.

“Word of mouth is very crucial in this,” Williford said.

Williford emphasized the importance of starting this project now.

“We have to act fast, we have to act now,” Williford said.

Wolf, Williford and President Hanna stressed the importance of student support and encouraged students to go to the Board of Trustees meetings to show the members that they really want this.

“We are not going to go forward unless you guys support this,” Williford said.

 Along with hearing the proposed expansion plans, OUSC elected various committee members as well as legislators.


New members

Victoria Franso, Elizabeth Iwanski, Annie Meinberg, Andre Sykes, and Laina Townsend were unanimously voted in and join 16 other legislators belonging to OUSC.

 The Marketing Committee lead by Tim Brown gain eight new members, Marissa Coloske, Andrew Laux, Madison Kubinski, Geena Basile, Nusrat Zaman, Rachel Boye, Lauren Tibbits and Patricia Rockentine.

Jessah Rolstone and Andrew Laux join the Multicultural Affairs Committee lead by Kathleen Peterson.

Joshua Yasoni joins the Student Activities Funding Board Committee lead by Phillip Johnson and Andrew Laux joins the Steering Committee lead by Lauren Tibbits.

OUSC is always looking for new student ideas and initiatives. You can visit them at their office in the Oakland Center (62 Oakland Center).

The next OUSC meeting will be held Monday, Oct. 21 at 4:00 p.m. at the Oakland Room in the Oakland Center.