Home Campus Leading the Ticket: Meet Forward Ohio, this year’s uncontested Student Senate ticket

Leading the Ticket: Meet Forward Ohio, this year’s uncontested Student Senate ticket

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Despite an uncontested ticket for president, vice president and treasurer, Forward Ohio U hopes to raise campus awareness of Student Senate.

When Student Senate voting opens this year, students will only have one option for who they want to lead the highest offices: Forward Ohio U, the ticket led by Lydia Ramlo, Alicia Lundy-Morse, and Jayden McAdams.

All of Forward’s executive members have previously been involved in Student Senate. Ramlo is currently serving as treasurer, and has been part of Senate since she joined the environmental commission her sophomore year.

Lundy-Morse currently serves as chief of staff and was previously the West Green Senator; she’s since served as the residence life commissioner and has worked with Ramlo on the residence life commission and on multiple sustainability initiatives. She also served as an intern for the Athens City Planner office.

Both were interested in running for higher positions and decided they wanted to form a ticket, with Ramlo running for president and Lundy-Morse for vice president. They turned to McAdams as a prospective treasurer after seeing his skills in other aspects of senate, like handling SAC funding. After he accepted, they started to develop their platform.

Forward’s platform is focused on increasing mental health resources, environmental sustainability, support for student organizations, and transparency between Senate and the student body. In particular, they want to create a more streamlined set of ideas after seeing issues with last year’s ticket, Bridge Ohio, having too many platform points.

“It’s great to shoot for the stars, but we have such a small time frame that some things just won’t get done, and that can be hard to admit to yourself,” Lundy-Morse said. “As we were building our platform, we wanted tangible things we could do.”

But they also have a more simple goal: to help students understand exactly what Student Senate is. McAdams in particular noticed the need for more awareness when he asked his friends to write him into the Student Senate ticket last year, and many of them didn’t even know what Senate was. Going into next year, he wants the distance between Senate and students to decrease.

“I notice oftentimes a disconnect between what’s going on behind the scenes and what students see,” McAdams said. “Hopefully this year by the time we’re all done, as many people as possible will know what Senate does.”

Lundy-Morse will be the first to admit that she and Ramlo have been so heavily involved in Senate that they often struggle to have an outside perspective of how other students view them. Next year, they are interested in continuing Student Senate traditions of collaborating between committees and reaching out to student organizations to make them a bigger part of the conversation.

In particular, they have prided themselves in welcoming multiple voices onto their ticket. Forward Ohio U’s members are evenly split between internal senate members and external new members, and all of them are committed to helping to define what Forward is all about.  

“This platform was not just the three of us sitting down and talking,” Lundy-Morse said. “This is a working document with our team who are running with us, or our supporters, and what they want to see done.”

Despite all the work that went into forming Forward’s team, they still remain the only ticket running this year. Last year, Bridge followed the same pattern. But for Forward, this hasn’t made their run a simple task.

It has given them a challenge to connect with the Ohio U community and  to show them that their voice and vote matters. After two years of running on unopposed tickets, Ramlo in particular sees the value of an uncontested election more than ever.

“I’ve had members come up to me and ask why we’re tabling and campaigning,” Ramlo said. “I tell them it’s not about winning, it’s about empowering each other and building that community and vision for us and being transparent. The more votes we have, the more people we can see we’re representing.”

Ultimately, Ramlo, Lundy-Morse, and McAdams want to make sure they are leaders first and foremost, even if their win is guaranteed. Regardless of how this year’s election plays out, Forward aims to use their platform to best serve the students that they have been given the responsibility to represent.

“Next year I’m really hoping to be more transparent and make sure we are not doing this for ourselves,” Ramlo said. “We are doing this to help Ohio University and make prospective and current students’ paths easier than the paths we went on to get here.”

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