OSA President and VP hope to help students find community


Photo illustrations courtesy: Daniel McKearn

Katie Pulvermacher, Managing Editor and News Editor

When it comes to leading the student body, Oshkosh Student Association (OSA) President Daniel McKearn and Vice President Ben Blaser encourage a positive sense of community on campus.

“Doing something is better than doing nothing if you want to make change,” McKearn said. “I really think it is important for students to find their community early on in their college experience.”

McKearn, a fourth year student majoring in public relations and advertising, has noticed the decline in campus-wide engagement, especially in club involvement.

“Student involvement should be something sought after, not something diminished or thought less of for seeming ‘different,’” McKearn and Blaser said in their candidate questionnaire from spring 2022. “Being a part of a community, more importantly the UWO community, should be welcoming and inclusive.”

Both McKearn and Blaser have extensive backgrounds to prepare for their roles. McKearn has worked for the Suicide Prevention Work Group committee, the University Body Governance Group Committee, the Marine Corps Reserve, and has volunteered with Titan Catholic Student Organization, the Oshkosh Area Community Pantry and Father Carr’s Place 2B.

Blaser, a junior majoring in political science, has experience in the community through Fraternity Life where he is an Interfraternity Council delegate; he has also served on the Reeve Advisory Council and the Parking Appeals committee.

Both have served previously as at-large senators. 

“I decided to run for OSA president because I had time in the Senate and had a lot of time with the previous president, Jacob Fischer,” McKearn said. “He told me a lot about OSA, a lot I did not know about, and how great it is. I knew that my experience as a senator would help me understand the functionalities and purpose of the OSA.”

McKearn and Blaser said they believe COVID-19 had a huge impact on the decline of student involvement. They do not want this to hold back students anymore.

“As COVID-19 guidelines and regulations change, we do not want to have fear in finding a community here at UWO,” McKearn and Blaser said.

Blaser said OSA is always looking for students to join the Senate and other positions. 

“Right now my biggest goal is to fill the Senate,” Blaser said. “We started the academic year with three senators, and are now up to 10. We still have 15 spots open, so if anyone is interested please apply.”

A month into the fall semester, things are already underway through OSA.

“Right now Daniel and I are working on filling the Senate, getting a new sign for Polk, and assisting Darryl Sims with his plans for our athletic facilities,” Blaser said.

McKearn said students and other visitors on campus seem to get lost trying to find the main entrance to Polk, hence the reason to put up a new sign. He said he also wants to display more lights around campus.

“I deeply care about the safety of my fellow Titans and having more lights around campus is a good step in the right direction,” McKearn said. “I want someone to be able to read a book wherever on campus, regardless of what time it is.”

It is never too late to get involved, McKearn said. 

“I waited until my senior year to finally get involved with clubs and orgs on campus,” McKearn said. “Knowing that there were great resources earlier in my college career, would have made my time more enjoyable from the beginning.”

McKearn and Blaser would not be in the roles they are in today without thinking they could represent the student body in a positive way.

“I am approaching my role with the utmost care for whom it represents – the students,” McKearn said. “I represent the voice of the student body and I plan to lead UWO into a more positive community where everyone feels welcome and where people can become leaders.”

Students interested in joining OSA as a senator or committee member are encouraged to email or call (920) 424-3202.