Home Politics President McDavis visits Student Senate, student trustees propose changes to selection process

President McDavis visits Student Senate, student trustees propose changes to selection process

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President Roderick McDavis visited this week’s Ohio University Undergraduate Student Senate meeting to give a presentation on the growth of the campus, “OHIO for Ohio,” and expansion of regional campuses as well as programs offered there.

After his opening remarks, McDavis moved on to address the growth of the student body on OU’s main campus. He said this year’s freshman class of 4,423 students was the largest in the school’s history. He also added that enrollment is up by 2.3 percent across the entire university.

This raised the question of capacity on main campus and the number of freshmen the university will continue to admit each year. McDavis told Student Senate that over the next few years, the university does not look to raise the number of incoming freshman.

“We are not going to grow that much on the Athens campus,” McDavis said. “The plan right now is to maintain what we have.”

McDavis next spoke on OHIO for Ohio, a program that advocates to recruit students from Ohio to come to OU, whether that be attending Athens campus or one of the regional campuses. He mentioned that many universities are looking to grow their out-of-state enrollment, and he said that he is glad that most of OU’s students come from Ohio.

“We have about 90 percent of our students come from the state of Ohio,” McDavis said. “We like that.”

After McDavis finished his presentation, he fielded questions from the senate members. Several students asked if they could expect to see more programs offered exclusively at main campus move to regional campuses. In answering those questions, one of McDavis’ key phrases was, “Is there a need?”

He explained that the regional campuses and programs offered by OU are offered because of requests from those communities. McDavis said OU goes where it is needed, while at the same time trying to keep the quality of classes high at the main campus and other established branch campuses.

Student Trustees Sharmaine Wilcox and P.J. Roden attended the meeting and spoke about their roles and the current selection process. As student trustees, Wilcox and Roden represent the student body at OU Board of Trustees’ meetings. Their current goals include increasing communication with the student body and meeting with students as often as possible. The student trustees also spoke about the frustrations they had experienced when applying for the position.

Roden was studying abroad in Australia when he applied for the position and had difficulties communicating during the debate part of selection process. He also struggled to get his name out on campus due to restrictions on campaigning.

“I had to do a debate, and obviously it was going to be a little difficult,” Roden said. “We found some way for me to do it, and it did not work out well. They could see and hear me through my laptop, but I couldn’t see and hear them.”

Roden and Wilcox also explained that there was no campaigning allowed for the position, and as a result it was hard to get their names out around campus before it came time for the students to vote.

Senate members discussed alternative options for the selection process that could be used in the future, and members expressed a willingness to work with the student trustees to accomplish these goals.

Student Senate also appointed William Kolenky as a new Off-Campus senator. Senate also agreed to form a committee on community service and social activity as well as voting to fund a Senate Alumni Open House for homecoming weekend and a table at the Annual Blackburn-Spencer Homecoming Scholarship Pageant.

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