Run for the money: Student congress members have power of the purse

By Staff Editorial

So you want to be a big shot? Well believe it or not, it’s all very possible.

Oakland University’s student congress budgeted spending of about $200,000 of student tuition in 2009-10. That is all student money, a percentage of the $25 taken out of every student’s tuition bill who is enrolled this year.

Student congress leaders also have a vote on how the rest of the student fees is split up among other direct-funded student organizations, see page 10.

It’s that time of year again and every seat on the student congress is up for grabs. There is the presidential and vice presidential ticket, which is elected by the student body, and eight other executive board positions that are appointed: financial affairs director, Student Program Board chair, Student Activities Funding Board chair, administrative assistant, Student Services director, Multicultural Affairs director, publicity and technology coordinator, and Legislative Affairs director.

All of these positions are paid! Not only is it a great opportunity to network with other motivated students and gain leadership experience, but you get paid and bulk up your resume. Better than letting the Michigan job market eat away at your sanity.

These positions pay $8.50 per hour, without ever having to leave campus, and a well-decorated office space to boot. The hours range from 10-25 per week, depending on the position and the time of year.

Some of those titles sound daunting for an outsider. How many students have actually been a director of anything? The only chair most of us have sat on is the one with four legs.

But don’t let that discourage you. As Mark Medaugh says, who is the current SAFB chair, somebody is already doing it so that means somebody else can too.

Possibly the best way to get started at student congress is by putting your name in for one of the 25 legislator positions, which are also elected positions. Last year, everybody who was on the ballot won because there were only 22 people running for 25 seats. Legislators aren’t paid, but they have the access to get their ideas funded. Take the disc golf course that opened on campus in the fall for example. That was an idea that took only about a year to become a reality after once-legislator, current student services director, Jarret Schlaff introduced it.

The Bear Bus is also another student  legislative initiative that is changing the way Grizzlies get around the area and soon, the campus.

Most of the “little things” that make campus life better are the product of students on congress. There are probably thousands of brilliant ideas floating around in thought bubbles somewhere between Pawley and Hannah halls.

So you can continue wondering how great your memoir will be when you finally share your ideas with the world, or you can do something about it and run for student congress. You can apply until March 1 on oakland.edu/ousc.

Like everything else in life, this thing we call our college experience is what we make of it.