Centennial SGA Senatorial Race Produces Notable Turnout

OBU's Student Government Association recently held annual elections for freshman class presidency and new senatorial positions. Voter turnout was remarkably high this year, SGA officers said, which they see as a positive sign.

"There were 292 ballots cast this year, which marks a nearly 15 percent increase in the total number of ballots cast in last year's Senate elections," said Chuck Porter, SGA vice president. "I believe this will translate to more awareness and consideration of what is going on around campus."

OBU senior Rebecca Churchill (right), from Claremore, Okla., casts her vote along with classmates during the recent SGA elections. SGA officers Chuck Porter (left),a junior from Owasso, Okla., and Carson Misner, a sophomore from Sapulpa, Okla., oversee the voting process.

Tane M. Webb, a freshman from Hollis, Okla., and Glenn M. Pearce, from Edmond, Okla., won the offices of president and vice president for the class of 2014. In addition to his presidential duties, Webb will serve as a senator. Other elected freshman senators are Malcolm L. Baker from Edmond; Katie L. McCollough from Pine, Colo.; and Erin E. Tresch from Tulsa, Okla.

"The freshmen have already had a huge impact in SGA," said Porter, a sophomore from Sapulpa, Okla. "More than half of the votes cast in last week's elections were from members of the freshman class. Freshmen have a unique perspective in comparison to the rest of the student body because they can see things the way they are, instead of seeing the way that things have been in the past. Those fresh eyes can point out both issues of concern and praiseworthy items, and help the rest of the OBU community fix those problems or continue to grow in the good areas."

Winners for the sophomore class senate are Neal A. Ellis from Midlothian, Texas; Colin M. Metcalf from Jenks, Okla.; and Cody L. Potter from Miami, Okla. Junior class senators are Jacob P. Hooten from Seminole, Okla.; Reuel L. Shaver from Muldrow, Okla.; and Laura C. Simma from Perkins, Okla. Senior class senate includes Caitlin R. Dacus from Overland Park, Kan.; Daniel B. Jordan from Bella Vista, Ark.; and Meranda L. Mills from Shawnee, Okla.

Senators at-Large are Derek A. Green from Oklahoma City, and Ben W. Buchanan, Timothy M. O'Gwynn and Ryan W. Whitlock, all from Shawnee. Overall, there are 10 returning SGA members and 10 new senators.

"SGA has ambitious plans for the school year, starting with Senate meetings," states the current Student Government Association report. "President Dickinson has included in his proposed annual budget an increase in Senate petitionable funds, which will allow the Senate more flexibility in its authorship of bills and its voting habits. Also in the works are tentative plans for campus forums, an idea from the previous SGA administration that never came to fruition. These forums would encourage debate on current issues both on and off campus and would provide a voice to students and knowledge from topical experts. SGA will stay involved in its association with Homecoming by administering the annual Harvest Court elections and hosting a come-and-go party for SGA alumni as a part of Homecoming festivities."

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