The Otterbein University Student Government's (OUSG) agenda this year consists of improving student involvement in OUSG, providing input for the campus center renovations and increasing mental health resources for students.
Founded in 2014, OUSG is part of a larger legislative body that is the university senate. OUSG can propose changes to the campus life handbook and have its members sit on senate committees.
In its first year, OUSG proposed a new alcohol policy that was later approved by the university board of trustees.
"That was a big shifting point," said Colette Masterson, the OUSG advisor. "It was all driven, written, drafted and proposed by the student government."
Last year, the senate voted against a proposal for Otterbein to move toward a 3-credit hour model, but the decision that was overturned by the board of trustees.
According to senate bylaws, the board of trustees has final authority in all university decisions.
OUSG convinced the current administration to waive the student life fee for the class of 2019. This decision allows the class to graduate without having to pay for the upcoming campus center renovations, which those students wouldn't be able to use. The decision saves the students approximately $125-150 each.
OUSG is meant to total up to 60 students, the same number of faculty members that make up senate. Positions include executive officers and senators. There are also representative positions for various student groups, like international and veteran students.
Students are elected to positions by the student body during the fall and spring semesters. Students vote via a link sent to their emails, and the results are announced a week after the voting deadline. Those interested in running for a position must first become official candidates through an application process, which includes a petition for candidacy.
OUSG struggles to fill all 60 of its positions, Secretary Selena LaBlair attributes this to the organization's infancy.
"[Student government] is very new," said Lablair. "It's difficult in those early days getting a lot of people involved. We're lucky at least being at half-capacity right now. We're hoping to inch closer and closer to 60. That's our target number."
Additionally, OUSG created an O-Zone page designated for getting senate information to students.
OUSG general assembly meetings are open to the public. Students are encouraged to come and voice their concerns. Meetings take place every other Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in room 338 of Roush Hall. The next general assembly meeting is Sept. 20, 2018.