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New student senate elects Isaac Davis (left), Megan Handle (middle), and Reagan Farmer (right) pose for a photo in Baker University Center in Athens, Ohio on Monday, April 10, 2023. Handle was elected as president, Davis as vice president, and Farmer as treasurer. (Madeline Lynch | For The Post)

Student Senate’s next leaders discuss goals, responsibilities

Ohio University's Student Senate for the 2023-24 academic year was announced on Friday, resulting in Megan Handle winning the presidency along with her Vice President-Elect Isaac Davis and Treasurer-Elect Reagan Farmer. 

According to a previous Post report, 1,158 undergraduate students voted in this year's election, which was a significant increase in turnout compared to the 638 students who voted in last year's election.

Megan Handle, a junior studying social work in the honors tutorial college, received 507 of the 1,158 votes, defeating presidential opponents Trinity Robinson and Clay Lewis. 

Next year will be Handle's fourth year as a member of OU's Student Senate. She currently serves as the Women's Affairs Commissioner and works to empower women on campus. 

As president, Handle will communicate with OU administration and future OU President Lori Stewart Gonzalez.

Isaac Davis, a sophomore studying history and political science, is a recent transfer student from Ashland University, where he also held student government positions. Davis said he has years of experience in student government dating back to high school.

"Freshman year of high school, I was freshman class president; for (my) junior and senior years, I was student body president. At Ashland University for my freshman year, I was involved in student government there," Davis said. "I was in Student Senate leading up to the election as the Greek Life Senator. My parents just always raised me to live a life in service to others."

Reagan Farmer, a sophomore studying political science in the honors tutorial college, ran independently for the position of treasurer with the hopes of taking on a higher leadership role to bridge the gap between the general student population and student athletes. Farmer currently serves as the Senate representative for student athletes and she is also a member of OU's women's softball team.

Farmer will work closely with the Senate Appropriations Committee to determine what student organizations on campus need funding for and the amount of money they will receive. She will also be in charge of keeping Senate members informed about the Senate's finances. 

Some of the issues Handle and Davis said they would like to focus on are campus accessibility and academic support.

Handle would like email notifications to be sent to students when services affecting accessibility are down, which would function similarly to the emails students receive regarding IT services.

"I want to create an opt-in email service for accessibility purposes. If you opt-in, you'll get an email if the escalators (are) down or the elevators (are) down," Handle said. 

In addition to campus accessibility improvements, Handle said she would also like to make fentanyl test strips, Narcan, and safe-sex products more accessible while president. 

Davis said his previous leadership positions in student government have allowed him to see how other schools operate. He plans to use those strategies and try to implement versions of them at OU.

His ideas include a "dead week," prohibiting homework from being assigned during the week leading up to finals week and a textbook exchange program.

All three electees would also like to increase student engagement with Senate during the upcoming year. 

Handle said she, Davis and Farmer feel prepared to take on their new roles because of what they've learned from the current Senate leaders.

"We have a great executive team right now so I think all of our transitions will go pretty smoothly, and they'll lead us into our roles well," Handle said. "I'm just excited for the next year. We have lots and lots of ideas." 

Handle, Davis and Farmer will be sworn in and assume their new roles during Senate's last general body meeting this semester, which will take place on Wednesday, April 26, at 7:15 p.m. in Walter Hall 235.


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