New Otterbein Student Government Leaders Want to Inspire Collaboration
Posted Jul 08, 2020
Otterbein University Student Government (OUSG) will be led by two Black women as president and vice president — but they don’t want the conversations to end there.
President Frandie Francique ’21 (Psychology; Sociology) and Vice President Angel Banks ’21 (Psychology; Criminology and Justice Studies) ran for OUSG’s highest offices together, on a platform of “continued collaborative efforts with campus officials, open dialogues and student support… to serve students in the ways that they need.”
Otterbein interviewed Francique and Price to learn more about these leaders and their visions for the future of the campus community.
Question: What do you want to accomplish along with the University during your tenure?
Francique: The only way to succeed is together, and we hope to promote the coming together of opinions, perspectives, and knowledge to create an Otterbein that meets the needs of everyone. Our focus on textbook affordability, inclusivity, sustainability, and transparency looks to the collaborative efforts of faculty, staff, and students to be accomplished.
Banks: We want the entire Otterbein Community to be involved in creating a safer and productive environment for students in and out of the classroom. Amid all that’s happening in our world, we want to ensure that students can feel seen and heard.
Question: You recently released a joint statement from OUSG and the African American Student Union (AASU) on racial equality and the Black Lives Matter movement. What are the most important messages you hope students and members of the Otterbein community read and understand from the statement?
Francique: Above all else I hope to inspire the Otterbein community to stay informed and active when it comes to issues that impact them and their peers. We have to all work together to create the change that we want to see tomorrow starting today, including faculty, administration, and students. I want Otterbein to hold itself accountable to fostering an environment that prepares students to enter the world with the confidence to act.
Banks: Our intention was to let the community know that we see them and offer our support from a distance. Hopefully our statement has led the campus community to start building conversations about how to implement plans and policies to create a more equitable environment on campus. It is not enough to say that Black Lives Matter; we must be continuous and transparent in our efforts to change.
Question: What do you most appreciate about each other?
Francique: I appreciate Angel’s commitment to people. Her passion for helping others and for making people feel wanted is one of the main reasons we’re friends and why we work so well together. I have learned so much from her about what it means to be a confident woman, friend, and leader. She keeps me motivated to do better and push pass what I feel is limiting me. Her commitment and passion to others is going to leave Otterbein better than she found it.
Banks: Frandie is one of my biggest support systems on campus and I know that I can always count on her. Frandie is patient, kind, and the funniest person you’ll ever meet. She is a woman with a plan and the spirit to make it happen.
Question: How do you feel being the first two Black women to serve as president and vice president of OUSG?
Francique: Representation matters. We feel empowered to be in these positions. We hope this inspires other BIPOC (Black and indigenous people of color) students to run for leadership positions. Over time, as more students of color joined, we have seen OUSG incorporate a truly diverse set of voices and perspectives towards the things on campus that impact all of us. We worked our way up to president and vice president not just for the sake of the title, but as a reminder to all students that they are capable of anything.
Banks: We acknowledge how amazing of an accomplishment this is, but our legacy is not simply going to be being the first Black women to serve as president and vice president of OUSG. Our legacy is going to be as student leaders who advocated for their peers to go after the opportunities that they may not think are possible and to be a part of the change they know is needed. Here we are, committed and ready to lead alongside our fellow Cardinals.
Otterbein encourages everyone to keep up to date with OUSG and AASU via social media for more of Francique and Price’s initiatives and continued work towards equity and inclusion in our Cardinal community.