By Camryn Manning, Opinions Editor
September 13, 2023
Ouachita Student Senate officially has a full cabinet for the school year, thanks to the freshman elections held at the beginning of this semester. These freshman elections not only completed the cabinet but were also extremely competitive, active elections.
“I think that this year’s freshman election was the most involved and lively campaigning we’ve ever seen,” Student Body President Brock Bivens, a senior mathematics major from Sherwood, Ark., commented. “Our candidates this year were all super excited to get involved in something new, and they just so happened to be attracted to the Student Senate. I don’t get to see the exact votes cast, but Student Development told me that we had a very large percentage of the entire freshman class casting votes.”
During elections, freshman candidates organized and held a meet and greet in the Student Center to acquaint themselves with their classmates. “They wanted to give their peers an opportunity to come and meet them as well as allow for meaningful conversations about different topics around Ouachita’s campus,” Bivens said.
The meet and greet was completely organized by freshman students. It gave them the chance to not only meet potential voters but also each other. “It was the first one we’ve ever had,” Freshman Class President Lexi Aikman, a political science major from Conway, Ark., commented. “We came into the Stu and just got to know each other a little bit, then some people came in and asked questions. It modeled more of an actual election, challenging me as an individual to network in it.”
Running for Class President allowed Aikman to connect with many people as a freshman. “I’ve gotten to know so many more people than I would have if I hadn’t run,” Aikman commented. “I feel like this position will help me to get to know the behind-the-scenes of OBU in addition to the stories of students and staff here.”
Aikman aims to be approachable and faithful to her constituents as a class president. “I really would like to be a very personable president,” Aikman commented. “A lot of times presidents or higher-up figures act like they know everything better when approaching things or issues, and I really just want people to know that I’m one of them that wants to work to make our college experience the best it can be.”
Other freshman Senate members include Katie Miller, a choral music education major from Conroe, Texas, as vice president and Jillian Tankersley, a pre-medicine major from Hot Springs, Ark.; Chapman Cooper, a pre-medicine major from Greenbrier, Ark.; Janet Carden, a communications and media major from Little Rock, Ark.; and Adrie Gray, a criminal justice major from El Dorado, Ark as senators.
This year, the freshmen of Student Senate are looking forward to impactful opportunities. “These new Senators will help Ouachita by giving their perspective as a new student on campus to those around them,” Bivens said. “This year they want to create a tailgate atmosphere that makes everybody feel welcome, organize the craziest and most extravagant freshman Guard the Tiger event yet… I’ve heard rumors of a Speer Pavilion cleanup crew they are looking to organize.”
The entirety of Student Senate has good prospects for the year. “We are planning to have the craziest Guard the Tiger week in Ouachita’s history,” Bivens said. “I’m going to allocate a larger percentage of our budget for each night to try and increase the vibe. I also think BingOBU is going to help a lot of students realize how much there is to do just on campus, as well as doing a few special giveaways with that. I think there are a bunch of neat opportunities for things that Senate can bring to this campus. We’ve already sponsored bringing in Jordy Searcy, given away candy and Starbucks gift cards, so we’ve done a whole lot already and are looking to continue our momentum forward during the upcoming months.”