UCOSA Kicks Off Spring Legislative Session

The University of Central Oklahoma Student Association opened the spring legislative session last Monday with a review of the previous semester’s goals and the State of the Campus Address.

UCOSA President Remington Dean opened the meeting with his State of the Campus speech, during which he was adamant about the student association fighting for a common cause.

“I look forward to working with this body and making many of the ideals that will come out of this Congress possible this semester,” Dean said.

Dean also reviewed the goals that UCOSA had accomplished last semester, which included: agreeing on gun legislature for the campus;  launching and installing the “blue boxes” of phones for emergencies on campus; getting new uniforms for the UCO cheerleaders; and relaunching Shop Central, a partnership with local businesses around Edmond that give discounts to UCO students.

Dean said that they are going to try their best to relaunch the Uber program later this semester. The program was cut at the beginning of the semester due to a budget shortfall of approximately $50,000.

Other goals Dean outlined for the spring semester included plans to expand Shop Central to connect with additional partners, promoting health and wellness on campus, and bringing in a guest speaker.

Laura Butler, the director of Public Affairs and Leadership at UCO, also presented at the meeting, speaking about Higher Education Day. An annual event sponsored by UCO and Leadership Central, the program has students go to the State Capitol to visit with state legislators to share their experiences as college students and advocate for higher education funding.

Hosted from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 12, the event is free to attend with transportation and lunch provided. As the event lasts all day, Butler said that absences from classes will not be excused, although Leadership Central can email professors about the event to explain what they will be attending.

We [the administration] go up on behalf of the institution and talk with legislators on a recurring basis, but they sometimes get tired of us,” Butler said. “So you all are the best people to advocate on behalf of your UCO experience, and the legislators have told us that your experiences are actually a lot more meaningful when they’re looking at the budget.”

Butler also said that the event is nonpartisan and that when talking to legislators, it is better to advocate for a college experience as opposed to advocating for a particular political party.

Sometimes the event is specialized for a specific demographic, Butler said, specifically with the event advocating for women and education and groups for veterans.

The next UCOSA meeting will be 4 p.m. on Feb. 11 in the Will Rogers Room in the Nigh University Center.

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