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OSU strikes black gold at OIL

Thursday, December 7, 2006

by Chase Harvick

Oklahoma State University students won the Best Delegation Award at the most recent session of the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature.

Delegations from colleges and universities across the state gather each semester at the Oklahoma Capitol for the five-day mock government. Founded in 1969 by former Gov. George Nigh, OIL features all three governing branches.

OIL’s executive branch includes a governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer and attorney general. The judicial branch functions through a moot court in which students argue both sides of an actual case. Justices, typically senior OIL members, preside over the court and decide who wins each round.

Members of the legislative branch, which includes a senate and a house, are assigned to committees that determine the pieces of legislation to be presented for consideration. Once the bills and resolutions are discussed, amended, debated and approved by both houses, they are sent to the governor for his approval or rejection.

“Members of the organization strive to recreate the most accurate portrayal of how the state government runs on a daily basis,” said Patrick Lively, governor of OIL. “In doing this, we, as students, learn more each day about parliamentary procedure, the power of networking and the excitement of politics.”

Legislative issues during the OIL session included altering the way Oklahoma’s Electoral College votes are cast, changing how lottery funds are distributed, net neutrality, creating new graduation requirements and many more. Although legislation passed has no power in the real world, it is presented to state government leaders at the end of the session.

“After all the bills and resolutions make it through the legislative process, the organization puts together a legislative packet to present to current members of the legislature,” said Andrew Cole, speaker of the OIL house of representatives.

OSU delegation leader Amber Stangl added, “Although OIL is fun and OSU enjoys a winning tradition, it is more than that. It is a chance for young leaders to hone their abilities and bring issues that are important to them to statewide attention.”

OSU’s delegation of 52 students, the largest in attendance, participated in every branch of the OIL government. Throughout the week, supervisors monitored the activities and rewarded points to participants and delegations based on their level of involvement. OSU received first-runner up for Best House Delegation and Best Senate Delegation and the award for Overall Best Delegation.

Individual winners from OSU were: Alex Shadid, Best House Delegate, second runner-up; Jered Davidson, Best Senate Delegate, honorable mention; Justin Biassou, Best Senate Delegate, second runner-up; Race Clark, Best House Legislation, second runner-up; Bonnie Blumert, Best Senate Legislation, honorable mention; and Matt Beier, Best Senate Legislation, honorable mention.

OSU also won the canned-food drive that was held among the delegates, donating almost 800 pounds of non-perishable goods.

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