Tis the Season for Student Body Elections

Tis the Season for Student Body Elections

Zachary Robbins speaks during the UCOSA Presidential Debate in Constitution Hall on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Elections for UCOSA President and Vice President will be held on April 12-13, 2017, on campus and through Connect, with three slates on the ticket. (Cara Johnson/ The Vista).

The UCO Student Association hosted their Presidential Debate last Wednesday at 6 p.m. in Constitution Hall for the three slates running for UCOSA president.

The event began with UCOSA Election Commissioner, Caleb Power, welcoming the moderator, Kory Atcuson on stage. Atcuson was the former Chair of UCO Student Congress, but is currently the chief diversity and equity officer for Edmond.

Atcuson then welcomed the three candidates – Elsa Ruiz, Stockton Duvall and Zach Robbins – on stage to begin the debate. Atcuson asked the candidates questions that were compiled with the Election Commission from a variety of student sources.

The topics ranged from why the candidates decided to run and how they would represent the variety of students on campus, to what they would like their legacy to be if elected and if they considered themselves lucky.

The night began with a three-minute opening statement, having each of the candidates introduce themselves and their campaign to the audience.

Ruiz began by introducing herself as a junior, majoring in professional media with a minor in leadership. Ruiz said she met her running mate, Thomas Patterson, when she was a freshman. Their platform is to promote diversity on campus, having more communication between UCOSA and students and improve relations with Faculty and Staff Senate.

“Thomas and I are very passionate about the students here at UCO…we would like for there to be better communication between UCOSA and the students,” Ruiz said.

Ruiz was also the senator who worked with the Black Student Association and wrote the legislation for the Clara Luper Room, the first conference room in the Nigh University Center to be named after an African American.

Ruiz said that she and Patterson want to work with organizations under the Office of Diversity and Inclusion to encourage and create more projects like the Clara Luper Room.

Robbins, a business administration major, followed Ruiz, introducing himself and stating that he and his running mate, Caleb Shaw, have been involved in President’s Leadership Council and other organizations on campus together.



Robbins stated that he and Shaw decided to run when they discovered they shared the same vision for UCO – to enhance the college experience by getting more people involved on campus.

“Our three kind of main ideas for our platform are be involved, be aware and be heard,” Robbins said.

Both Robbins and Shaw are in the UCO Student Congress. Robbins is a senator that helps on the Public Relations committee, while Shaw is the current chair of student congress.  Both also want to work to improve projects such as the ShopCentral app and focus on working with more non-traditional students on campus to get them more involved.

Following Robbins, Duvall, a business management major, said that both him and his running mate, Madison Richard, wanted to run on a different approach than the other candidates – what they have accomplished rather than what they plan to accomplish.

“We are very excited to be running on experience, and that is something that I hope that you will consider voting myself and Maddy for in the future,” Duvall said.

Duvall and Richard are running on a platform to get student voices heard at the administration level while also improving accountability and pushing legislation to save students more money. Duvall also recently wrote legislation to combat access code costs and also increasing fees without student input.

After the debate all candidates felt that they did a good job during the debate and that they are like they had a chance to get their platforms heard. The election will be on April 12-13, 2017 where students can vote in person in the Nigh University Center by the foodcourts or online on OrgSync.

The UCO Presidential debate was live-streamed through Periscope on the UCOSA twitter account, @UCOSANews. To learn more about each slate, follow their Twitter accounts at @ruiz_patterson, @RobbinsShaw17 and @DuvallRichard17.

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