What’s It Like to Lead Otterbein University Student Government

Posted Dec 02, 2022

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be an Otterbein University Student Government (OUSG) leader? President Timmy Wotring and Vice President Matthew Lanning share information about their roles and experiences while working for OUSG.

What does your job as an OUSG leader consist of?

Timmy: My job as OUSG president consists of chairing the OUSG executive committee, serving as a representative for the student body in meetings and on committees, and being available to help students, faculty, and staff whenever I’m needed.

Matthew: In my role as vice president, I have a variety of responsibilities. Perhaps the biggest task that falls under my purview is overseeing our fall and spring election cycles. In addition, I lead the constituency awareness process each of our senators is expected to do. Moreover, I am also the chair of two OUSG committees: the Dining Advisory Board (DAB) and the Elections Committee. Lastly, I attend a variety of weekly meetings with senators, faculty, and staff.

What is the role of OUSG on Otterbein’s campus?  

Timmy and Matthew: It goes two ways. First, it is students’ built-in connection to the University Governance Model. By actively collaborating with faculty and staff, OUSG advocates for student’s best interests in almost every aspect of campus life. Secondly, OUSG provides students with a place to grow and exercise their leadership skills. Through responsibilities such as serving on committees and representing constituents, senators can sharpen their ability to be leaders.

What have been the most unexpected aspects of the job?  

Timmy: We had a switch in who our advisor was a few weeks into the semester and that was a very unexpected part of the job. So, adjusting to having a new advisor while also having to continue driving change on this campus and going through our elections process was very unexpected!

Matthew: The aspect of my job as vice president that surprises me is the number of emails I send in a day. While I’m more than happy to send them, I certainly did not anticipate the volume. Another unexpected part of my job is the genuine interest faculty and staff show when partnering with us. The Executive Committee has worked closely with several Otterbein employees this year and most everyone is keen to collaborate and get feedback from OUSG on many topics.

What’s your favorite aspect of this job?  

Timmy: I love being able to help a student in any way that I can! Whether that is by introducing them to the campus resource they were looking for or being a listening ear for them to vent to!

Matthew: My favorite aspect of this job is most definitely running elections! I’m thrilled to play such an integral part in recruiting and onboarding our new senators. For one, I find a lot of fulfillments in helping to familiarize them with OUSG. Two, I’m love making a ton of new friends at once!

What do you want the Otterbein community to know about student government?

Timmy and Matthew: We want the Otterbein community to know that we are available for them in any way that we can be and that we encourage them to get involved in conversations on how to improve the student experience whenever they can!

What have you learned in this role that will help you in the future?

Timmy: I have learned how to best work with a team of diverse individuals and how to have patience even when things change in student government or things on campus take some time to improve.

Matthew: The biggest takeaway I have from the vice presidency is that advocating for yourself, and others, does not have to be scary or intimidating. If done right, those in positions of power are typically willing to work with you on something that will benefit others.