Outgoing USG Vice President reflects on her opportunities and accomplishments

Madison Mason with Brutus Buckeye

Outgoing USG Vice President reflects on her opportunities and accomplishments

By Paige Galperin

While many of The Ohio State University's 45,000 undergraduate students embody the Buckeye spirit, few represent the Ohio State student body quite like Madison Mason. A fourth-year Morrill Scholar, Mason spent the past year serving as Vice President of Undergraduate Student Government (USG), achieving numerous victories for the student body, including more access to mental health services.

A political science major with minors in civic engagement and philosophy, Mason was elected USG Vice President in March 2023 alongside running mate and fellow Morrill Scholar Bobby McAlpine. The pair became the third USG executive team in four years to include a Morrill Scholar.

As Vice President, Mason was instrumental in launching several initiatives for Ohio State students, including distribution of bike locks and finals care packages, installation of menstrual product dispensers, and implementation of 24-hour dining options. However, she is most proud of her team's work to increase campus mental health resources.

“We were able to allocate $2.5 million toward mental health care and access for students. Specifically, we advocated for a telehealth option that's more accessible for students. I'm very happy about that,” Mason noted.

Mason has also used her role to empower marginalized communities at the university: “Being Vice President of the student body is a huge privilege, and I think a big part of any leadership—whether it's student government or any other organization—is uplifting and amplifying the voices of other people who don't necessarily have a seat at your table,” Mason said.

Vice President was never a position Mason expected to hold, however. In fact, USG was not originally on Mason's radar: She heard about the organization the day the application was due and scrambled to apply in time, ultimately entering USG as a member of the Black Caucus's inaugural class.

“It's the opportunities you just never anticipate you'll be able to do that are the coolest, and I highly recommend that students seek those out,” Mason said.

Once Mason found USG, she never looked back, rising through the leadership ranks and gaining professional skills. Serving as Vice President allowed Mason to help others, and the position was invaluable for her own career in politics and law.

“This role has equipped me more for my future than almost anything else during my entire time in college,” Mason stated. “My classes have done a really good job of laying the intellectual groundwork for my future career, but I think having experiences with the politics and the administration of the organization has really allowed me to understand what that looks like in practice.”

Although Mason's term as Vice President has come to an end, her impact at Ohio State is far from over. As she enters her fifth year, Mason plans to work for the Office of Student Life over the summer and will spend the next few months on USG's Constitutional Bylaw Review Commission. She is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Pi Sigma Alpha political science honor society, and Sphinx senior class honorary.

Mason encourages students to make the most of their time. “The unique thing about Ohio State is that there really are opportunities for you to succeed in any field you want at any level. It's very important that, to the capacity you can with your mental health, you try to take advantage of those opportunities,” Mason said. “There are things that you just never expect you'll have the opportunity to do, and when you're given those opportunities, you should really take advantage of them.”