Grim and Coleman Win UCO Student Body Election with Largest Recent Voter Turnout
After receiving 685 votes, Emily Grim and Christian Coleman were voted in as the new University of Central Oklahoma student body president and vice president in an election that saw more students voting than in the previous three years.
“Ethan and Madison threw a really great campaign, and they’re great friends of mine. So. I would’ve been fine however it went,” Grim said.
Running opponents Ethan Clark and Madison Stueve finished the race with 447 votes. Overall this was over 1,000 votes in this years student body election, and according to UCOSA is the highest voter turnout they’ve seen within the last few years.
“I was very much in shock when they first told us, I definitely cried a little,” Grim said. “I had been thinking about this and working toward it since I came to UCO, and the fact that it worked out the way that I was hoping for the last two years is absolutely insane!”
Voting for the UCO Student Association election took place on April 3 and Grim and Coleman were campaigning on campus all day, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
“Really, the students and their concerns and well-being kind of motivated me to push through, in dress shoes, from 9:30 [a.m.] to basically 5:00 p.m.,” Coleman said.
The whole campaign itself really opened their eyes to new goals and problems occurring on campus, according to Grim. Both she and Coleman had made it a point during their campaign to reach out to student organizations and attend their meetings, especially those organizations that have traditionally expressed concern that UCOSA was less responsive to their needs.
“Whenever we spoke to the International Student Council we had someone ask us why no one from UCOSA had been there before; we had a lot of questions about budget; one organization wasn’t even sure what happened to their budget,” Grim said. “We have these broad goals, we know the impact we want to have, so the more people we spoke to, the more we could build our list and be like OK, we know what we were doing [and] what do we need to do to get there.”
Their campaign slogan was ‘For The People’ and Grim said they hope to be transparent as possible during their time in office.
“I want to build campus involvement with communities that are different, directly hosting events that invite students out to learn about other cultures,” Coleman said. “As well as bringing events and what students want to campus. That’s something I’m super focused on and that will really be the main leading point as the vice president in my position over special projects.”
Grim said they really tried to make an effort to step out of the UCOSA realm and speak to more students about their problems and needs. Along with visiting meetings, on the day of voting, Grim said she went to classes to speak about the campaign and voting.
“Something that we talked about from the beginning is we really want to meet with as many student organizations as possible,” Grim said. “But we also want to go out of our way to reach the people who aren’t in student organizations, going into classes, having tabling events. So we will start brainstorming some ideas on how to reach the student body next semester.”
Both Grim and Coleman are involved in the UCO community. Grim was UCOSA Congressional Secretary, is in the President’s Leadership Council, is an orientation leader and is about to be initiated into UCO’s chapter of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority. Coleman had served as the UCOSA Human Diversity Chair, is part of the Black Male Initiative, Black Student Association, Leaders of Tomorrow and is a member of UCO’s chapter of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
“I’m ready to get to work and serve the student body,” Coleman said. “I look forward to producing as much as we can for our students.”