Use your voice, make a choice

By Jordan Twardy

Next week, the students of Oakland University (that means you!) will elect a new student government.

You might be thinking, “Who cares? What difference does it make who gets elected?” As your current student body vice president, I can tell you it makes a huge difference. Student Congress controls as much as $100,000 per semester of your money, plus at least another $200,000 that helps fund every student organization and club sport on campus. Congress also funds big concerts, trips and lectures.

Not only that, but Student Congress has the resources and access to university administrators to create huge potential in influencing the way the university works for us with the right people at the helm. Therefore, as someone who has been in OUSC for more than three years at every level from rank and file to second in command, I want to stress to you the importance of knowing who these candidates are and of making an informed vote.

In my experience, I found that OUSC works best when people are not taking themselves too seriously, but are getting serious work done and enjoying what they do. To create this balance and a Congress that doesn’t just work for the students, but with them, having the right president and vice president is crucial.

You need a president and VP that combine experience and ingenuity — people who have a proven record of success in the organization and the creativity to tackle challenges in new ways. You need a president that is going to be a workhorse in the office, out talking to the students and attending events — and they need to be willing to do these things even when they are tired, stressed out or sick, not just when they feel like it, and not just the bare minimum to get by. Most importantly, they need to get out there and engage the students in the process — all of them.

Over 18,000 students attend OU, and each one deserves a student government that is looking out for them. If you aren’t aware of what Congress does, or if you haven’t heard about these elections, then you know exactly why it is so important that we elect a president who is doing this for the right reasons: a president who is in it for you and not for their resume, or for the spirit of competition, or to get paid $8.50 an hour to have a good time on the students’ dime.

In 2008 we saw what could happen when people participate in the electoral process. While we don’t have Barack Obama on this ballot, we have four diverse candidates to choose from, and I urge you to investigate all of them; five minutes on someone’s Facebook page can tell you quite a bit. Go to and see who is running. Ask them questions and see where they stand on the issues important to you.

The polls are open March 23-25. Use your voice and make a choice!