UCOSA Opening Session
UCOSA advisor Cole Stanley swears in the new UCOSA leadership at the Opening Session on August 28, 2017 in the Carl Albert Room of the Nigh University Center. Vice President Madison Richard, President Stockton Duvall, Secretary Mario Figueroa, Vice Chair Kalina Popova, and Chair Remington Dean hold up their right hands to pledge themselves to UCOSA for the term. (Kateleigh Mills/ The Vista).
The University of Central Oklahoma’s Student Association gathered in the Nigh University Center’s Carl Albert Room to have opening session for the State of the Campus Address and what they would like to work towards for this year.
The UCO Student Association Leadership, which consists of congressional leadership and the executive cabinet, were sworn in by UCOSA advisor Cole Stanley at the start of the meeting. The new leadership consists of UCOSA President Stockton Duvall, Vice President Madison Richard, Congressional Chair Remington Dean, Vice-Chair Kalina Popova and Secretary Mario Figueroa.
“All of you share something in common,” President Betz said. “You wouldn’t be in this room, I believe, if you didn’t have some sense about service. What you are, are representatives.”
Betz said as a UCOSA representative, members are to venture out across campus to understand what students think, know and want. He said, if done right, UCOSA can understand how to fix issues and work with the UCO Administration to make solutions occur. Betz said that UCOSA members should work to have the students trust that they will represent them, adding that UCO is dedicated to being a place of tolerance.
“What we are trying to do at this university in our own way is to grow a whole state and country full of productive, creative, ethical and engaged leaders and citizens actively involved,” Betz said. “If you choose to be a representative then do it with your whole heart and all of your energy.”
Betz finished his speech by telling UCOSA members that they aren’t meant to push paper, but rather that they are to become more approachable and more transparent.
Duvall began his State of the Campus Address talking about improvements to the UBER program that began two years ago under then UCOSA President Austin Sheehy. The improvements extended the program to offer 24-hour rides to accommodate international students or on-campus students who might not have a car.
Duvall said during the summer he met with several departments across campus to understand their needs. He said one of the main priorities of UCOSA this year would be to gather more congressional leadership who represent all the different points of view and organizations on campus.
“We need to make sure we are intentional to reach out to students,” Duvall said. “It is important for us to make sure they know who we are.”
Duvall said that the Bronchos Helping Bronchos program which helps provide students services saw an increase in their budget from $10,000 to approximately $35,000. He said other installments included each college adopting a College Advisory Board that is intended to get student voices involved when with items such as fee increases. Duvall said that another goal would be to get more UCO students at the State Capitol to tell legislatures why UCO and higher education is important to them.
“It is going to be tough for our University to get another hit, another cut,” Duvall said.
Dr. Myron Pope, the vice-president for Student Affairs, spoke at the session and encouraged UCOSA members to partner more with organization on campus to do projects like the Clara Luper Room, where UCOSA partnered with the Black Student Association to create the first conference room in the Nigh University Center to be named after an African-American.
“This institution is only going to get better because of you,” Pope said.
Congressional Chair Dean wrapped up the session with dropping Robert’s Rules from congressional meetings and encouraging members to bring in anyone who might be interested in joining UCOSA. The next UCOSA meeting will be on Sept. 11 at 1 p.m. in the Nigh University Center’s Heritage Room (Room 326). Applications are online to join UCOSA on their OrgSync page.