The President’s Report: June 1, 2016

Hello there, my fellow OU students! Throughout this upcoming year, I will be communicating the initiatives, projects and services that your representatives at Oakland University Student Congress (OUSC) are working on, as well as important OU updates through President’s Report articles like this. I look forward to fostering many important dialogues with OU students, staff and faculty in an open, friendly and transparent manner through these articles!

So then, let’s get down to business with some important OU updates:

From April to May, so far, plenty has happened. When Anders Engnell, your vice president, and I took office, we became aware of impending student-employment changes due to changes in federal law. Immediately after becoming aware of the return to OU’s established student-employment policy, which is a maximum of 20 hours per week for on-campus jobs during the fall and winter, and of 40 hours per week in the summer, I brought the impending changes to the attention of our student congress at a public meeting. 

We were then, as an organization, keen and persistent on making sure the money that would be lost be returned to the students in some way, shape or form. We met with dozens of administrators and had several speak at our general body meetings. 

I was eventually able to sit down with key administrators like Gleen McIntosh and George Hynd to together resolve the situation by increasing the University minimum wage from $8.50 to $9.25, well above the state minimum. 

I could not be prouder, to speak on behalf of Student Congress, to have worked with administration to successfully represent the students on this issue!

Despite our recent success, Student Congress is continuing to work hard on additional projects over the summer; these include pushing a Tuition Equality policy that provides in-state tuition rates for DACA immigrants that have resided in Michigan for at least three years, working to update accessibility on-campus, ensuring our security poles are up-to-date and providing free voter registration service (oakland.turbovote.org) at New Student Orientations! Stay tuned for more progress to come!

As your Student Body President, I look forward to working with OU administration to continue to advance student interests this year. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please contact us at [email protected], or stop by at our office in the basement of the Oakland Center to chat!

Zack Thomas is Oakland University’s student body president for the 2016-2017 school year. He can be reached at [email protected]