The President’s Report: For the last time


Wow. What a year it has been. I ran for office promising sweeping changes, not the least of which was a complete restructuring to the very academic foundation of OU through reforms to our grading scale. I promised more OU swag, and more electrical outlets. I promised to continue the fight to expand the building which is the beating heart of our campus, the OC.

It wasn’t a one-man effort, though. The executive team that I had the privilege and honor to work with and lead were the unsung heroes that were such a huge part of OUSC’s success this year. Not only did they help us accomplish the Big Four, but also they worked on awesome projects of their own. Cultural events, educational events, campus reform initiatives, sexual assault awareness campaigns, OU swag, SAFB requests, a microwave in Kresge, marketing of OUSC and other orgs, La Tomatina, It’s On Us, Rock 4 Rights, Talkin’ Trash, Exam Cram, OU Day at the Capitol, A Walk Through History, Mind Matters, Arabian Nights, Grizz Art, the Companion App, TurboVote, VoteSpotter, and a hundred others.

What about the Big 4, those goals I kept bringing up in report after report? Well, you already know about three of them. We have more outlets in the food court with more coming in expansions and new buildings. We had more swag this year as OUSC passed out hundreds of shirts, scarves, padfolios, and sweaters (those Finally Famous sweaters around campus? Ours.) We have more space as, after five years of work, the OC will at last be expanded.

And the grading scale? What about that? I’ve said it before, and it still is true for me: if OUSC had accomplished absolutely nothing this year, nothing at all, and yet we had fixed this grading scale, I would consider it one of the most successful administrations of all time. My friends, I am immensely humbled and proud to tell you that come fall 2017, we will have a new grading scale. Alphanumeric, which is standard for most universities, and fair, with none of this 99 percent=4.0 nonsense. It’s finally happening.

It has been my great joy and privilege to serve as your student body president. As a final word, I would like to leave you with a warning, and a promise. The warning is this: at many, many colleges around the US, administrators, faculty, staff, and students are actively, openly trying to shut down students they disagree with or opinions they find “uncomfortable.” This attitude has not struck OU yet, but I promise you that if it does, we will become a dry, withered husk, a place of fear and intimidation. I’ve seen it happen to other schools (to our shame, often with the approval of those schools’ student governments) and it would break my heart to see it happen here.

To put it bluntly, if you are comfortable your entire time at college, something is dreadfully wrong. Just like an athlete must push his/her body to the limit and endure pain and soreness to become great, so we must push our minds to the limits and grapple with tough ideas and awkward questions to move from the teenage years into the adult ones. We won’t always agree, but it is this very disagreement, this diversity of thought, that made OUSC great this year and that make OU great every year. Without it, we are worthless.

My promise to you, then, is this: just as OU will wither away if you let it become a place of censorship of uncomfortable or controversial ideas, so it will blossom if you stand up for free expression for all. In the same way, these initiatives that we have started will fade away unless you continue to fight for them. You students must continue to push for what students want in the expansion of the OC and keep pressure up to ensure that the grading scale reform isn’t dropped to the wayside. I have every confidence that you will succeed. I cannot wait to come back to OU as an alum and see what you’ve made of the place. It’s going to be great.


For the last time,


Nicholas James Walter, 

Student Body President