Student Government Association has new president, and he’s already working to fulfill campaign promises.
Randy Gipson-Black, religion sophomore, was elected after a two-day voting period that started March 28.
Any undergraduate or law student was allowed to vote. Out of 478 students who voted, 75 percent chose Gipson-Black, while 25 percent voted for David Hall, music education/sociology sophomore.
“A vote for David wasn’t a wrong vote by any means. It was just a different vote, and that’s great,” Gipson-Black said. “I’m glad that there is opposition out there because, if there wasn’t opposition, there wouldn’t be a reason for accountability.”
Hall said Gipson-Black and his cabinet are capable of working with students to check things off the list of student requests.
“Should he need help coordinating the efforts, I am more than willing to help,” he said. “However, being that both of us combined were able to speak to over 300 students in less than a week, it shouldn’t be too difficult.”
Gipson-Black served on Student Court for two years. He’s a part of Lambda Chi Alpha, serving as the fraternity’s external vice president and philanthropy chairman throughout his membership. He’s also a member of the debate team and serves as the risk manager for the Young Democrats.
Holly Randall, SGA vice president, said she felt the need to endorse “the best candidate for the job.”
“Randy impressed me with his leadership skills and his honest intentions to do what he found best for the school,” she said. “He has unique ideas and has already been looking into the implementation of them, proving that he is ready to hit the ground running.”
Randall will serve on Gipson-Black’s cabinet as chief of staff.
Gipson-Black said he’s already working to get faded parking spots repainted. He said senators are researching the cost and process so they can talk to maintenance and facilities.
“My secretary of policies and initiatives, Victoria Mayhall, is getting me in contact with the head of maintenance and facilities,” he said. “We’re going to come to maintenance and facilities with the cost, time frame, et cetera, and give them what they need to know in order to hopefully fulfill it by the fall semester.”
Gipson-Black said he’s going to meet with Dr. Amy Ayres, vice president for student affairs and dean of students, and Lesley Black, associate dean of students, to discuss the process before going to maintenance.
He said he also is focused on expanding the Aduddell Fitness Center and is working with Josh Hall, assistant director of student life, intramural sports and recreation, to discuss the initiative.
“I just really would love to see the conversations with Aduddell actually get movement started before I get out of office because I realize that’s a big project,” he said.
Another thing Gipson-Black is already working on is a new recycling bill. He said he and some senators rewrote the original bill by Ken Williams, chemistry senior, for recycling bins in each Oklahoma United Methodist Hall room.
SGA members talked with Michael Burns, director of housing operations, to have the bins be considered furniture, so students would have to pay for them if they disappeared. The initial cost for the bins would come out of SGA’s budget.
“The amount we requested for the bill from SGA’s budget is right at $796.80, and that would cover 204 bins, from what I understand,” Gipson-Black said. “We’re trying to keep it cost-effective, yet we want to make students aware that it is a piece of furniture, so they have a good option to use it.”
Gipson-Black said there is a good possibility the bins would be in Methodist dorms at the beginning of next semester.
Gipson-Black said his biggest aspiration as president is to get more people involved and excited about SGA.
“When it comes to SGA as a whole, I just really want to get more involved, more active on campus. It’s not something that people take a very large interest in currently,” he said. “I want to be a steward to the campus, and I think a lot of that involves making sure people who want to be in SGA get to be in SGA because that’s how we’re going to get the best OCU experience possible.”