UCOSA Increases Student Representation
For the first time in several years, the UCO Student Association has achieved full capacity with 48 senators and with 45 percent freshmen.
With such a large amount of senators this year being freshmen, Congressional Chair Tate Atkinson said there will be room for the senators to grow into their positions.
Colten Kidd, a former UCOSA senator, said that he had found UCOSA to not be ideologically diverse during his time in Congress.
“Almost every single piece of legislation passed unanimously with little discussion,” Kidd said. “I’m not saying that passing a piece of legislation without opposition is inherently a bad thing, but when it happened as often as it did last year, I can’t help but question if every student is accurately represented.”
Kidd also said that with an increase of senators, he hopes they will become more representative of students. He said he is unsure of what will happen with the latest congressional body, but thinks the only way UCOSA could experience a shift is with broader student involvement.
Atkinson said the senators that comprise this year’s Congress are a more diverse group. In the spring 2018 semester, 22 out of 40 senators were studying in the College of Liberal Arts, nine were in the College of Mathematics and Science, four were in the College of Business, four were in the College of Education and Professional Studies and one was in the College of Fine Arts and Design.
This semester, out of 45 senators, there are 14 from Business, 12 from Mathematics and Science, 10 from Liberal Arts, five from Education and Professional Studies, four from Fine Arts and Design and one graduate student.
“We have a diverse group in student congress this year and my hope is this will increase more marginalized groups’ representation within [the] student association,” Atkinson said.
The new senators for UCOSA are Michaela Anang, Caleb Armer, Angel Bonilla, William Dunn, Jose Gallegos, Dakota Gann, Alexander Garcia, Yeji Ha, Aubrey Henshaw IV, Markia James, Kamryn Johnson, Kevin Leonard, Cole MacCollister, Justin Markham, McKayla Muse, Emma Sawyer, Mary Soper and Oscar Zepeda.
Scott Monetti, the director of Housing and Dining, also spoke at the meeting about new dining and menu options this semester. Tu Taco, 2nd Street Subs and 1890 are new dining outlets with meal-swipe options in the Night University Center. There is also an International Market in the Quad, which sells international food items.
Monetti also hinted at the layout of the new dining hall that will be complete the spring of 2020, with an Italian concept on one side, a barbecue concept on the other and a regular cafeteria style similar to what Buddy’s currently has in the middle.
Housing and Dining also revealed a new number students can text to review the food. The number is 405-974-3663 and Monetti said you must include the 405, or the number will not work.
Housing and Dining is also trying to create a mobile app where food can be ordered ahead of time and picked it up. Monetti said they are hoping to roll out a limited version beginning in January.
“Given that there’s nothing worse than rolling out a product and having it suck out of the gate…there’s gonna be a lot of work for us to do to make sure that it works right before we actually roll it out,” Monetti said.
There is also a Food Committee, created in June, which has been focused on taste testing and reviewing new food options and providing feedback for the current food on campus. To join, email Housing and Dining at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The next UCOSA meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on Sept. 27 in the Nigh University Center.