SNU Students Participate in O.I.L.

Each semester more than 300 students representing 15 Oklahoma universities gather at our state Capitol to participate in O.I.L.— Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature. For five days students don suits and ties, transforming into Senators, Representatives, elected Executives, and Supreme Court Justices and attorneys.
Southern Nazarene University is allowed 16 students each session, with six members in the Senate and ten members in the House of Representatives. Over the past four sessions, SNU has seen growth in participation and won numerous awards including Best Delegate, Best Legislation, Best Freshman, and Best Senate Delegation. In April 2007, SNU was fourth place over all, losing only to OSU, ORU, and OU. SNU has also produced elected officials including Governor and President Pro-Tempore of the Senate, with Junior Jenna Holt currently holding the Lt. Governor seat.

Senate representatives pictured above from left to right. Gary Banz, Representative, SNU students, Jenna Holt, Andrea Kesterson, Clayton Cory, Brea Little, David Lawrence, and William Kraft. Not pictured, SNU student House Representatives: Cody Alexander, Scott Price, Scott Martin, and Jessica Collins.

O.I.L is a mock legislature in which students mimic the exact legislative process using parliamentary procedure and sitting in the actual House and Senate chambers. Students work all semester coming up with bill ideas and transposing those ideas in to pieces of legislation, which they then present and debate in attempts to win the overall competition.

Senior Brea Little, who has attended four sessions and has recently been appointed to the Supreme Court, explains how O.I.L has helped her develop necessary skills for use in the professional world: “I feel O.I.L helps all individuals, not just those interested in politics, gain self confidence and the knowledge of tools needed to succeed in all aspects of life, particularly in the professional sphere.”

Representative Gary Banz, an SNU alum, has recently promised a $10,000 endowment to SNU’s O.I.L delegation. Students have been paying their own way to attend the session. The endowment will relieve students of this financial burden and create more support for O.I.L as a whole, providing an example for other universities to follow.

“We are hoping to encourage Oklahoma universities to contact their alumni, particularly O.I.L alums, and create an endowment for their own college,” Banz commented.

Delegation chair Scott Martin elaborates, “This endowment helps secure the future of our organization and promises a path of success for future SNU delegations. I cannot express my appreciation for Representative Banz and his financial support. Most importantly, we appreciate his recognition of our organization as one of the most successful clubs on campus and the benefits this organization offers to college students. We hope other schools will follow our lead and create financial stability for delegations across the state.”

Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature will be in session November 14-18. Delegation meetings take place on the fourth floor of the history building Wednesday nights at 9 p.m.

For more information, please contact Bob Lively, Ph.D., Professor of History at Southern Nazarene University at 405.491.6389 or by e-mail at blively@snu.edu.