Elections for a new Oshkosh Student Association president, vice president and senator are offering UW Oshkosh students a way to become more involved with campus life.
The candidates for OSA president and vice president include Brett Spangler and Chase Reljic; Ronisha Howard and Goodwill Obieze; and Bryan Carter and Andrew Mertins.
The two candidates for the OSA senate include Jacob Banfield and Anton Senderquist.
Elections for OSA positions will open up at 8 a.m. on March 13 and end at 8 p.m on March 14. Students can access the ballot on TitanLink with polling locations available at Reeve Union, Blackhawk Commons and Polk Library.
Banfield said he is running for senate to bring more representation for the conservative body of students on campus.
“I believe that conservative students across the country are extremely underserved at college campuses, including our campus,” Banfield said. “I will be a voice for all students, but when bringing forth legislation or voting on particular items, it will be from a conservative perspective.”
Banfield said his involvement in various campus organizations has been part of the motivation to run again in this election.
“My involvement as an Army ROTC cadet, president of Turning Point USA at Oshkosh, president of Donster [Donner-Webster] Hall Government and an appointed OSA senator have motivated me to be back in the Senate,” Banfield said.
Banfield said one of his key issues he will focus on is parking for students on campus.
“Parking is an issue that is detrimental to a lot of upperclassmen on campus who are penalized for essentially going to class,” Banfield said. “There isn’t an easy solution to the problem like some suggest, but I’m willing to sit on committees and work on legislation that can fix parking.”
Banfield said another important issue to him is the freedom students have on this campus.
“In my eyes, another key issue on campus is the freedom of students,” Banfield said. “If an Oshkosh student wants to chew tobacco in class, who cares. Should we next ban soda drinking in class?”
Carter, who is running for OSA president, said the motivation behind running came from seeing a pattern within the way the shared governance group is running.
“OSA has become a privileged wheel of influence that keeps spinning year after year with no real change,” Carter said. “We not only have the heart to help students but the wherewithal to do that as well.”
Carter said the changes he will bring to OSA if elected are better communication and representation for all students.
“We want OSA to be a student-run organization that helps all students and makes the effort to reach them all as well,” Carter said.
Spangler said his reasoning for running alongside Reljic came from looking ahead at the future of the University and realizing there needed to be someone to step in and take charge.
“We decided to run because this next year is going to be really important for UWO students, and students deserve leaders with experience during this time,” Spangler said. “With me being the current OSA vice president and Chase being an OSA senator, we can listen to students’ needs and begin to help right away.”
According to Spangler, he and Reljic will also be focusing on the safety of students and investing in more programs that will ensure that.
“Safety and inclusivity are important and go together because without either of them, students aren’t going to want to come to UWO,” Spangler said. “We want to invest more in programs like Safewalk and Saferide in order to make students safer.”
Spangler also said they want to make UWO more inclusive for everyone.
“For inclusivity, we want to make sure that we don’t continue to have bias incidents on campus,” Spangler said. “To start, we should have monthly open discussions about race to prevent these incidents from happening. Every student, no matter their background, deserves the equal opportunity to achieve their full potential.”
Spangler said voting for him and his partner will bring leaders who are willing to commit all of their time to student issues and solving them.
“We’ll bring leadership, a willingness to listen to our fellow students and the ability to make meaningful changes,” Spangler said. “Not only will we be able to do the job effectively on day one, we’ll be completely devoted to it. If elected, we will quit our current jobs so that serving students is our full-time job. We’ll tackle parking, safety and inclusivity as soon as we’re elected.”