ORU’s chapter of the Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature won overall best delegation Nov. 17 at the Oklahoma Capitol.
They also placed first in the House of Representatives and the journalism competition. They placed second in the Senate and third in the Moot Court competition.
“I just feel very humbled to be honest to have been able to not only lead these people, but get to know them personally,” said Tiffany Rogers, ORU’s OIL president and House floor leader.
The House and Senate spent five days going through the legislative process.
The delegates wrote a bill beforehand that covered anything from zombie diseases to concussions.
The chosen bills hit the floor at session, and the parliamentary procedure began.
In order to speak in the House or Senate, delegates ask permission. “On a motion,” “on privilege,” “objection” and “consent” are heard hundreds of times a day.
But perhaps the most memorable moments taken home after the bills have been debated upon are the ones taken from “game on.”
“My favorite part of parly pro is when we move “game on” and do silly things like ‘House of Hicks’ and ‘on a catfish,’” Eric Yoder, sophomore psychology major, said.
This was Yoder’s first session. He won best freshman delegate of the House.
Imagine hundreds of delegates gathered together changing the rules to talk in “hick” and, instead of saying “on a motion,” delegates are now saying “on a da.”
“A lot of times it is a little bit chaotic, because we basically suspend the rules of the House,” Rogers said. “People are able to kind of do whatever they want in parliamentary procedure.”
Rogers said it is a time for the upper-level delegates to “show off their parliamentary bravado” and for younger delegates to receive a friendly hazing.
Although a division occurs between the upper classman and younger delegates, the university teams are a tight-knit community.
Brandon Richards, OIL senator, said one of ORU’s strong suites is their team atmosphere.
“Team bonding before we go to session is, I guess, a key to victory in more ways than just winning the trophy,” he said.
This year, 85 percent of delegates were new to OIL. But no matter what level of experience, OIL didn’t lack in diversity. Delegates represented are not solely political science or government majors.
“The intelligence level is through the roof. The quality of people is through the roof,” Yoder said. “There’s that joke that it’s all about the people, but, literally, it’s about the people.”
Coming out of OIL, Yoder said he gained a respect for the legislative process.
“Even when we aren’t divided by political parties and we are just in our own opinions, it takes a minimum of a couple of hours to pass a piece of legislation,” he said.
Rogers said if you have the right personality OIL can become invaluable.
“It really helps you just learn how to talk to people and how to get your points across, how to talk about things that you belief in a bipartisan way,” she said.
OIL will meet again in the spring for their 46th session. As they prepare for another session, Richards said becoming a strong team will be paramount.
“Each additional session after this, our focus is going to be on having a close-knit group before we ever go to session,” he said.
Rogers said their focus will be bringing strong delegates and writing powerful legislation.
“We want to write good legislation, not just good ideas,” she said.
If you’re interested in joining OIL in the spring, email firstname.lastname@example.org.