The freshman class elected new senators to represent them in Student Government Association.
Austin Jones, Oxford plan freshman, and Trae Trousdale, education/history freshman, will serve as this year’s freshman at large senators on Student Senate.
There were seven candidates in the election. Freshmen voted via OrgSync in late September. Jones and Trousdale were elected by majority vote 30 minutes after voting closed.
They were inaugurated and sworn in at the Student Senate meeting Oct. 3 by Ellie Roth, finance sophomore and associate judge of Student Senate.
Jones is a member of OCU Native American Society, Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and the worship team at Evensong, the weekly non-denominational service in Bishop W. Angie Smith Chapel.
He was president of student council and National Honor Society his senior year of high school. He is on his second yearlong term as president of the Cherokee Nation Tribal Youth Council, a youth organization that focuses on culture, government and traditions.
Jones said his goal as a senator is to advocate for his class to give them the best possible experience in college.
“I represent my freshman class in hopes that I’m doing a good job in providing them with what they need and what they want in order to have the best college experience,” he said.
Jones said he’s thankful that his constituents chose him and hopes to serve them in the best way possible.
“I’m really thankful that they’ve chosen me for this opportunity,” he said. “I hope I don’t let them down, and if they ever need anything, I’ll always be here to listen to them.”
Trousdale is also a member of NAS and Lambda Chi Alpha, as well as a part of the Student Philanthropy Committee. He said he hopes to continue to learn from and connect with the other organizations on campus.
“I hope to be able to drop in and learn from different organizations, learn what they do, where they see themselves going and continue to develop the relationships that are necessary to properly represent everyone on campus,” he said.
Trousdale said his highest priorities as senator are to advocate for his class while also being available to those within it.
“I am definitely going to try and bring a voice for the freshmen while maintaining a level of approachability with each and every one, as well as accessibility, whether that be through email, text, face-to-face, anything… just as long as I can hear what they have to say about our campus community,” Trousdale said.
Austin Gipson-Black, religion junior and vice president of SGA, heads the Student Senate. He said what made Trousdale and Jones most qualified for the positions is their sincere desire to be involved.
“In the past couple years, student engagement in Senate has been low,” Gipson-Black said. “The fact that those two stepped up, went through the election process and genuinely wanted to be there is what overall sets them apart from the rest.”