OUSC discusses new programs and events

By Jake Thielen

At Monday’s Oakland University Student Congress meeting, OU registrar Steve Shablin spoke regarding the progress of combined registration.

Shablin asked OUSC members about their experiences with the registration system and what they had heard from other students around campus. Some legislators reported hearing mixed reactions from other students regarding the changes made last year, while others offered their own opinions.

“Personally, I really liked it after I was able to figure out my whole schedule,” said student body president Brandon Gustafson. “I was able to not only wait for fall classes, but winter classes at the same time, and then kind of mold my schedule more effectively.”

During the discussion, Shablin also gave the dates for next year’s registration.

“The first day of registration for summer 2011 will be Monday, Feb. 8, 2011,” Shablin said. “For fall 2011 and winter 2012, we will begin registration on Monday, March 21 of 2011.”

Shablin said that registration will begin at 6 a.m. on those days as opposed to midnight in previous years so that the time will be closer to when campus offices open at 8 a.m.

“Starting later in the morning will give us time, at 8 o’clock, to immediately address any issues related to registration, if necessary,” Shablin said.

Shablin addressed concerns about the server crashes that have plagued SAIL in the past.

“I think (the server issue) has been resolved,” Shablin said. “Our computing center did implement some improvements in the database server.”

Shablin said that expanding the registration schedule from one day to two days for each class level has also helped minimize server issues.

In addition, Shablin discussed an idea of adding a waiting list for full classes.

“If the course has a limit of 20, the students after 20 would be put on a wait list,” Shablin said. “If the section opens up, meaning one of the students drops and now it’s sitting at 19 enrollment, you would get an e-mail to say that you have ‘x’ hours, 24 hours or whatever, to say now the course is open, go in and register. If you don’t register, then it will move to the next student on the wait list.”

Voter registration

Legislative affairs director Nessma Bashi said that she is looking for volunteers to help OUSC’s campaign to register students to vote in this fall’s elections.

“We are going to be tabling in the dorms Wednesday and Friday from 4 until 7 p.m., and then we’re going to be doing some canvassing, so hitting the dorms again on Tuesday and Thursday starting at 9:30 p.m.,” Bashi said. “We really want to get out there and mobilize the student body.”

The deadline to register to vote is Oct. 4.

Ride share program

Student services director Brett McIsaac said that he has been speaking to the creator of OU’s book swap site, University of Michigan-Dearborn student Jeremy White, about adding a ride share section to the website.

Legislator Matthew Parks said that he supported the idea.

“I don’t really feel comfortable just ripping a phone number off (the bulletin board advertisements) and calling it,” Parks said. “Especially if it was backed by OUSC or Oakland on that website, I’d feel a lot more legit than looking on Craigslist for a ride.”

McIsaac addressed some safety concerns that the program would create, including the possibility of non-students trying to register.

“When you insert your e-mail, it automatically inserts the ‘@oakland.edu’ and you insert the front one, so if you didn’t have an oakland.edu e-mail, you wouldn’t be able to register with the site,” McIsaac said.

Upcoming events

OUSC is still looking for volunteers for the Rec Fest on Friday, Sept. 24. Students interested in volunteering should contact the Student Program Board, located in the basement of the OC.

OUSC will be hosting its first golf outing to benefit Oakland University’s Center for Biomedical Research on Monday, Oct. 11. The event will be held at the Katke-Cousins golf course with a shotgun start time of 11 a.m.

Tickets are $55 for students with an Oakland I.D. and $100 for other adults. That price includes 18 holes of golf, a cart and lunch. Students must sign up at the CSA window by Oct. 1.

Campus changes

Student vice president Amy Ring said that the Subway in the Pioneer Court in the Oakland Center will now be open in the morning to serve breakfast and coffee.

Ring also said that new toilet seat covers have been ordered, and they will be installed in the bathrooms in the Oakland Center.

New SPB chair

Jermaine Conaway was approved as the new student program board chair. Conaway will take over for Jonathan Jenkins, who resigned last week. Conaway, who has three years of previous experience in the student program board, including a year as the golden events chair, will hold the position until Jenkins’ original term ends on Dec. 1. After that, other students can apply for the position.

“I’m really looking forward to working on Congress and working with all of you guys now,” Conaway said. “I have a whole new group of people to work with, instead of just the e-board for SPB.  I have OUSC now too.”

New committee members

Darrell Boyd, Stephanie Hamilton, Carleen Jarbo, Danny Kakish and Shakita Billy were approved as members of the Legislative Affairs Committee.

Steve Cox and Parks were approved as members of the Scholarship Committee. Scholarship Committee chair James Kaminski said that the committee will be looking to expand its role beyond just awarding prizes in an essay contest, as had been done in previous years.

Kaminski said that the Scholarship Committee plans to make better use of its allotted $1,000 budget.

“Last year we actually used about $500 of it, and we put a lot of effort into that just in the last semester,” Kaminski said.

“What we’re going to be doing is planning out this semester, and focusing on next semester as well, to really not only do something along the lines of an essay, but new and fresh ideas,” Kaminski said.