OSA Election results: Blaser voted president


Courtesy of OSA – Ben Blaser (left) and Jakob Rucinski (right) were voted the OSA president and vice president, respectively, for the 2023-24 academic year.

Frankie Kerkhof, Writer

Ben Blaser and Jakob Rucinski were elected the next Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) president and vice president, respectively, for the 2023-24 academic school year, according to unofficial results.

UW Oshkosh students could vote in the OSA annual election, which took place on March 7-8. About 560 students voted this year, up 430 votes, or 330%, from last year. Results will be confirmed and reviewed by the OSA Election Commission and sent to the OSA Senate for final approval in the coming days.

Blaser, the OSA president-elect from Janesville, is a junior pursuing a political science degree. Rucinski, the vice president-elect from Germany, is a sophomore pursuing a chemistry degree. 

“The first thing I plan on doing as president is establishing relationships with other leaders on campus,” Blaser said. “Whether it be administrators, faculty, staff or other student leaders, I feel it is essential to start off on the right foot in order to ensure collaboration throughout campus.”

Rucinski said one of his first duties as vice president will be implementing changes to the Senate, specifically “things that I saw from last academic year that could be improved on to make the Senate more effective.”

Blaser said he suspects they won the election due to their prior OSA experience, as well as topics such as residence life, which they have been strong advocates for.

“Many dorm residents are frustrated with the paper towel situation right now, and I am happy that Jakob and I can amplify their voices,” he said.

Rucinski added that they also worked hard on their campaign and put in a lot of hours to inform students about their positions.

“The reason I think Ben and I won the election is because we had a good campaign strategy, using social media as well as word of mouth to spread awareness of our campaign,” he said.

Blaser also acknowledged the opposing candidates, applauding both the Jana Metko/Devin Heinz and the Anna Bubolz/Abdul-Karim Toheeb-Lawal campaigns.

“It is difficult to run a campaign and be a full-time student, and I would be lying if I said they made it any easier,” he said.

Rucinski said he thanks students for voting and getting involved, and he promises that he and Blaser “will work hard to better the student experience and represent all students.” 

In the long term, they hope to change the structure of the OSA Assembly in order to achieve greater participation among UWO student organizations, Blaser said, adding that they are still deciding which is the best way to do so.

Blaser said he was “thankful and humbled” that students chose him and Rucinski to be their next student leaders.

“We will work as hard as we can for you, and we urge you to tell us when something is wrong,” he said. “No student’s concern should go unheard.”

In other election news, Jesse Ramsey and Daniel Smith were elected to senator at-large positions, and Hiba Seraj was voted in for the international student advocacy senator post.

Additionally, students approved a campus resolution calling for OSA to amend its constitution and move forward with a proposed executive board restructure and the creation of a student employee position.