Oakland University Student Congress
Oakland Center, Room 62
312 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(248) 370-4290

Initiatives & Services

Primary Goals

Goal #1: A Realistic Parking Solution 

There are 7,663 parking spots for 23,211 people on OU's campus. That math doesn’t check out. As you might know all too well, this makes parking extremely difficult at peak hours for OU's students, staff, and faculty. That’s why Zack and Anders are in contact with T2 Systems to install a parking availability system in P1 by late 2017. With this technology, you could check your phone and know exactly how full P1 is at any time of the day. The app would even give you optimal parking recommendations. The simplicity of this solution is the reason it'd be our #1 Goal if we're elected to the Student Congress Presidency and Vice-Presidency. 

Goal #2: Fight for Administrative Transparency and Accountability 

Students weren't notified of the 8.48% tuition increase before it was approved and summarily announced. Students weren’t included in the discussion about a new Chief Operating Officer. Students weren't even told beforehand that the individual selected for the job was a member of the Board of Trustees, that he had been a part of creating the position, and that he was selected without a nationwide search for the most qualified individual. As Student Body President and VP, Zack and Anders would work with the administration to ensure that students are included in the decision-making process and that, if they're not, the administration knows we are dissatisfied with their actions through petitions, rallies, and office sit-ins.

Administrative Transparency and Accountability

Goal #3: Enact Social Justice on Oakland University's Campus

Part A: Pass a Preferred Named Policy and an Admissions Inclusion Policy - 
Students in the LGBTIQA+ community are outed in classrooms every semester. They’re even outed as they walk the graduation stage. Moreover, international students aren’t able to use an English name that would help them acclimate to a new culture. That’s because OU doesn’t have a Preferred Name Policy that allows students to use their preferred name on class rosters and diploma. Zack and Anders are committed to creating and passing this Preferred Name Policy.
In conjunction with this, Zack and Anders would fight for Admissions Inclusion, which would add a gender non-conforming or non-binary gender option to OU applications.

Part B: Promote On-Campus Accessibility - 
Zack and Anders would also lead the movement for On-Campus Accessibility. Students with disabilities and injuries often face demeaning situations in which they must ask for assistance when going to the bathroom around campus. Zack and Anders will push for the installation automatic doors in OU's public bathrooms.

Enact Social Justice

Goal #4: Amplify Student Voices

A significant problem across multiple universities is that students are not participating in the political process. Students are not participating -- not because they choose not to -- but because registering to vote and accessing accurate political information is extremely difficult. This is why Zack and Anders have already partnered with Democracy Works and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy in order to provide online voter registration and easy-access voter information for no added fee to OU students.

Goal #5: Reinvent Oakland University Student Congress Operations

Part A: Make a Lasting Impact on Campus - 
The big idea: use the $300,000 per year budget Student Congress is given to make a lasting impact on the OU experience. Zack and Anders have been involved with OUSC through student committees, the Legislature, and the Executive Board and know the operations inside and out -- what works and what doesn’t. That's why they would be able to use their management and administrative experience to direct OUSC to bring long-lasting, permanent, and powerful changes to campus.
They've got three ways to make this happen:

  1)  Bringing OU SWAG TO the students. It's great to have people come to the OUSC office for free OU gear. It's even better to bring this gear to students in the OC and Kresge during the day!

  2) Hiring competent individuals with great time-management skills

  3) Bringing OUSC back to its initiative roots. That means less events and more BIG-TIME initiatives like finding a parking solution and increasing on-campus accessibility. 

Part B: Create a New Student Congress Complaint Process - 
Zack and Anders would create a Student Congress cell phone number to which OU students can text concerns, thoughts, and suggestions. Forget suggestions boxes, paper slips, and stubby pencils. The plan is to leap into the 21st Century and make it easy for students across campus to contact Student Congress with their questions and concerns.


Free Scantrons -

As of summer 2012, a Scantron machine is available in the lower level of the Oakland Center across from the Barnes and Noble Bookstore. This Scantron vending machine offers school supplies such as pencils, note cards, headphones, and much more. 

In the fall of 2014, Student Congress has expanded this initiative and began offering free Scantrons to students. We ask that to receive a Scantron, students follow us on social media sites (Grizz Orgs, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) so they see our updates. Students who come to the Student Congress office can receive two Scantrons for free, everyday. If our office is closed, our Scantron machine is right down the hall! We offer the follwing types of scantrons for free:

  • 882-E (long green scantron)
  • 815-E (short green scacntron)
  • F-1712 (large red scantron)
  • Blue Books


Grizz Art -

Grizz Art is a program partnered with the Kresge Library to display student artwork for Oakland University campus to see and appreciate. The purpose of this initiative is to get student artwork displayed on campus and to get students recognized for their talent. The program also serves as a contest where the first place winner will receive a $100 prize and the runner-up will receive $50. More information and applications can be found in the OUSC office. 

Grizz Art Logo Color

Hammocks -

The hammocks you see scattered throughout campus are a part of the OUSC outdoor initiative, which includes picnic tables, benches, information kiosk and hammocks. Hammocks offer relaxation to students and yet another location for students to spend time on campus. These hammocks can currently be found around Bear Lake.

During the Winter season, these hammocks are taken indoors so they don't get damaged in the harsh weather. Be sure to enjoy them in the Fall, Spring, and Summer!


Readership Program -

The Readership Program is a complimentary OUSC initiative that offers Oakland University students the opportunity to read several different local and national newspapers at no cost.

USA Today and New York Times or the Detroit Free Press are located in other buildings on campus as well, the locations include Kresge Library, Hamlin Hall, Vandenberg Hall.


Student of the Month -

The purpose of the Student of the Month Award is to recognize students who have shown an outstanding dedication through campus involvement to the Oakland University community. The Student of the Month award is given through an application. Students can retrieve an application at the Student Congress office, OUSC promotion tables, online through OUSC website and/or on the OUSC Student of the Month parking spot.

 1) Method

  • All students interested to become SOM must complete an application.
  • Applications can be picked up at OUSC desk, any promotions table sponsored by OUSC, and on SOM parking stands. Students must complete application in its entirety. One application per student per academic semester will be accepted.

 2) Rewards

  • Student of the month winners will be featured on the OUSC webpage and social media
  • Student of the Month winners will be nominated for the Wilson and Human Relations awards (depending on if individual meets criteria for each award)
  • Student of the Month winners will receive $50 Grizz Cash and a reserved OUSC parking spot in P2 for that month.

Student of the Month


The 2016-2017 OUSC Administration is striving for big changes on Oakland University campus this upcoming year. We aim to make students more aware of what is happening on campus and how it impacts their Oakland experience. In order to show what the 2016-2017 Administration is accomplishing, we'll be regularly updating this page to show our successes in improving the Oakland University experience. Listed below are some of these accomplishments: 

1) Increased Minimum Wage for Student Employees

Immediately after becoming aware of OU's return to its 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, Student Body President Zachary Thomas 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. Thomas was eventually able to sit down with key administrators like Glenn 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. We could not be happier to have worked with administration to successfully represent the students on this issue!

2) On-Campus Accessibility Enhancements

Over the summer, OUSC worked to improve Oakland University campus accessibility. Some of the enhancements accomplished include a new sidewalk along Pioneer Drive, fixing the crosswalk issue on Meadowbrook Dr. between Oak View Hall and Vandenberg Hall, repairing the crater on Bear Lake Bridge, repairing on-campus sidewalk craters, and the assurance of accessible bathroom doors, ramps, and new elevators in the upcoming Oakland Center expansion. 

3) Preferred Name Policy on Oakland University Campus

It is the mission of your University Student Congress to challenge inequality and help to foster the best "Oakland experience" for each and every student at our institution. Accordingly, since its founding in 1957, Oakland University had lacked a Preferred Name Policy for students identifying as 1) transgender or gender-nonconforming 2) an international student wishing to officially adopt an English name for campus matters, and 3) sexual assault or stalking survivors wishing to go by an alternate name for safety. What this meant was that students were being "outed" in classrooms or on the graduation stage, were facing discomfort when experiencing faculty, staff, and fellow students struggle with their name, or potentially dangerous situations, respectively. Accordingly, this is why your University Student Congress advocated and helped design a Preferred Name Policy, which became active on August 17, 2016, and which allows students identifying under the aforementioned three categories to go by their preferred name for most campus matters, including but not limited to class rosters, OU email, and walking at graduation. In doing so, we believe we have helped Oakland University make great strides in fostering campus equality, comfort, and safety.

4) Tuition Equality on Oakland University Campus

The University Student Congress seeks to increase access of our university for all types of incoming students. Until now, Oakland University had been missing a Tuition Equality Policy for DACA immigrants. Accordingly, this means that children of undocumented immigrants who have spent considerable time living in Michigan would not have been able to pay in-state tuition. Because of the Tuition Equality Policy that we implemented, if the prospective student has attended Michigan high schools for at least 3 years and graduated from a Michigan high school, they are able to pay in-state tuition. We believe it 1) makes fiscal sense, 2) is fair, and 3) welcomes prospective students aspiring to rise. Moreover, there are a plethora of DACA students in the Metro Detroit area, and because of our Tuition Equality policy we have opened a new door to higher education for these students who live in Oakland University's backyard.

5) Voter Registration of Oakland University Students

In their campaign for Student Body President and Vice President, Zack and Anders promised to lead the University Student Congress to double-down on voter registration efforts this Fall Semester in order to best amplify the student voice. Meeting and exceeding that promise, the University Student Congress registered 525 students successfully this Fall (beating last Fall's numbers by a factor of seven) and nearly doubling previous OUSC administrations' election year numbers. This process was executed successfully with the effective oversight and outstanding dedication of Legislative Affairs Director Sophia Polsinelli and her Legislative Affairs Committee. 

Several OUSC initiatives have been so successful that they have been permanently absorbed by other departments. They include: