Student Senate’s influence diminished by administration, past president says


Submitted by: Yosolajesu Olujide-Ajibade

Yosolajesu served as the executive president for the 2021-2022 academic year.

Yosolajesu Olujide-Ajibade was no stranger to the Ashland University Student Senate when she took on the role of executive president during the 2021-2022 school year.

Her presidency was filled with many hardships,such as being in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, but that was not her biggest challenge, she said

Dealing with the administration was one of her biggest frustrations during her time in the Student Senate.

“I believe Student Senate had only a sliver of an influence on the University, and most of
the time this was due to university administration itself,” said Olujide-Ajibade.

She acknowledged that she is a blunt individual when it comes to topics she is passionate about. Still, she said the administration would ask her, on multiple occasions, to redact, retract, and provide evidence to back the Student Senate statements because they were too brash for donors.

“It was extremely disheartening to me to leave Student Senate meetings almost in tears due to
Student testimonials/grievances and then pour my heart and soul into telling the
university leadership about how these students felt, only for them to tell me they
weren’t sure those things ever happened or if I had interpreted the aforementioned
testimonial/grievances the correct way,” said Olujide-Ajibade.

Involved across campus

Olujide-Ajibade was heavily involved around campus and she believed this was able to help her better represent the student body as a whole as the executive president of Student Senate. She previously served as the Office of Diversity and Inclusion representative on the senate from 2019-2021.

She was a sprinter on the AU track team, president and social media and community events chair for Delight Ministries and served on the Ashland IDEAL Council, the AU Diversity Council, and executive board member for Black Student Alliance. She was a mentor for the Pathways program along with being a coordinator for the Pathways Pre-Orientation program.

“I wanted to be student body president because I felt like for some years now, the university has only had a certain or specific type of  population that served in the role. I felt that the university needed a bit of a change of pace with how we went about the position,” said Olujide-Ajibade.

Olujide-Ajibade felt as if she was only able to “scratch the surface” with her goals for the student body, Student Senate, and university as a whole.

Her top priority was to promote increased communication and relations between the student body and university leadership, and to create a cohesive, collaborative senate with an extensive involvement with other student organizations to create a more involved campus community.

Another goal of hers was to facilitate more conversations, resources, and spaces that addressed the topic of mental health, and finally, to ensure that AU’s Title IX regulations and policies adequately protect victims.

‘Extremely eye-opening’
Even though she was unable to accomplish all her goals during her time on the senate, Olujide-Ajibade overall still enjoyed being on the Student Senate.

“I really enjoyed my experience with the Student Senate. It was extremely eye opening to serve as the main voice of the Student Body and take all the concerns they had directly to university administration,” Olujide-Ajibade said. In the same breath though I also found it extremely disheartening at times and frustrating because there were multiple weeks where it felt like we were just bringing forth the same problems over and over and over again with no real action or change taking place”, said Olujide-Ajibade.

After her time at AU and serving as executive president, Olujide-Ajibade is now working as a nurse tech at the PACU at a major hospital system, along with being a float nurse tech at another major hospital system, all while finishing up her nursing degree at Herzing University for her fifth year.