Oakland University Student Congress

Oakland Center, Room 62
312 Meadow Brook Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4454
(location map)
(248) 370-4290
ousc@oakland.edu

Initiatives & Services

Administration
Primary Goals

Goal #1 - Inclusion For All Campus Groups:

Joe and I will be scheduling more meetings with large groups on campus, aside from simply having group representatives at general body meetings. We will also be tabling more in the Oakland Center to hear student concerns face to face, while continuing to use the text message suggestion number and student concerns boxes around campus. New permanent representative positions for graduate students and athletics are currently being added to the OUSC Constitution. We will also be working to help start a Graduate Student Council to have a more direct outlet for graduate student concerns. We plan to work closely with the GSC and the GSA and SAFE train all Executive Board members and legislators. We also would like to meet regularly with RHA members, the CMI (and other minority student organizations), and
Greek Council.


Goal #2 - Improving Campus Life:

There are many ways we are looking to improve campus life and make the Oakland University experience memorable for all students. We would like to better publicize campus and athletic events, such as by having more electronic message boards in the OC in areas students frequently visit. We’d like to work with University networking to include the campus events calendar as a permanent tab on MySail. We want to better promote the club football team games and begin discussing with administration about creating a permanent football team in the future, and survey for student and alumni interest. We want to host more tailgates at different athletic events throughout the year. We also look to work with SPB and Housing in creating more large-scale events, including on weekends for on campus students. We will also be hosting more OUSC events to increase student engagement with our organization.


Goal #3 - Improving Parking:

We look to continue to work on parking improvements, which OUSC is currently addressing. We will work with OUPD to remove many of the metered spots to regular parking spots or increase the allotted time of the meters (from 45 minutes currently to at least 2 hours or more). There are also many reserved spots, especially in the P2 lot, which are rarely used and can be turned to regular spots. We also want to continue to optimize the Bear Bus routes and add more spots at optimal locations. To add alternative transportation, we’d like to re-implement the “Bike Share” program, but have students check out bikes with their ID for more accountability.


Goal #4 - Improving Campus Accessibility:

We plan to create an efficient and streamlined process for students to report accessibility issues on campus, by either texting Facilities Management directly or create a more user friendly portal on the OU website. We will have our Student Services Director follow up with them regularly to keep them accountable and timely. We also look to push administration to continue funding large scale accessibility changes that are needed in many of the older buildings.


Goal #5 - Improving Campus Sustainability:

As the previous Environmental, Health, & Wellness Director, Lena has been working on an initiative to add gardens and outdoor seating spaces on the terraces of Kresge, and we will continue working on this initiative with Dean Stephen Weiter. We also look to purchase more outdoor recycling bins and implement energy efficient lighting in several prominent buildings. We plan to work closely with the Student Organic Farm to ensure preservation of the farm for years to come and add improvements to their program. We want to continue scheduling regular student ran campus clean-ups as well.


Goal #6 - Broadening Career Opportunities:

We look to bring businesses and career opportunities outside the Metro Detroit area to Oakland University during career fairs and other events, by working with the Career Services office to do more corporate outreach at a national level. We will also survey which businesses and corporations students are most interested in working with. This should establish a greater presence of Oakland University at a state and national level.


Goal #7 - Improving On Campus Food Options:

We will improve the quality and nutrition of foods served in the dining hall by working with the Dean of Students, Chartwells, and surveying opinions from students.

Other initiatives:


-Continue to work on Administrative transparency
-Allow food trucks to serve food on campus
-Create a smoothie bar at the Recreation Center
-Improve Campus Wifi
-Add a street light on Greek Row
-Create discounts for students at local businesses
-Push for renovations of older buildings
-Purchase equipment for professors to record lectures

Current
Services

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 following 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 and second place winners will receive awesome prizes! 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 a crewneck, a reserved parking spot in Parking Lot 2, and other surprise giveaways!

Student of the Month

Current
Successes

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. 

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