The Undergraduate Student Congress announced its new chair and nominated next semester’s vice-chair candidates in its Tuesday night meeting.
University Policy Committee Chair Crispin South was elected new chair of congress.
“I’m so honored to be elected to this position, and like I said in the meeting, I hope to lead congress to be a force for good on our campus,” South said in an interview with The Daily. “I’m extremely grateful for the leadership of our previous chair — Savanah Patterson — and hope to continue her efforts to improve congress, communication with the student body and improve the student experience for all OU students.”
In the meeting, South said he sees SGA as a “real force for change” and “true improvement” of the student experience on campus.
“We don't just pass legislation for the fun of it,” South said in the meeting. “Every single one of us (wants) to (make) the lives of our fellow students better. That is exactly what I wanted the Congress to do as your chair.”
South said he’s developed a platform for advocacy, belonging and communications, and wants to work with committee chairs to develop “proactive plans” to tackle issues. He said he wants to engage more directly with administrators to improve the student experience and the environment of SGA for members.
“It's always good to have debates and to thoroughly discuss an issue,” South said. “But too often we've seen debates stray away from the issue itself and turn more personal. It is the duty of the chair to maintain decorum, so preventing this from happening is a central responsibility of the chair.”
South said he wants to hold virtual or socially distanced events so members can get to know each other better and “not feel compelled to question each other’s motives." He added he wants to improve communication between SGA and the rest of the student body.
Applying “Votes of No Confidence” — with which officers immediately lose their seats in congress — the body voted for Malachi Bouch to lose his seat of vice-chair.
Bouch announced on Nov. 17 he would be resigning effective Jan. 25, however, the vote will remove him from the seat effective immediately. The initiative passed with a final roll call vote of 14-9-0.
Congress saw vice-chair nominations following the vote. External Affairs Committee Chair Taylor Broadbent and Communications Committee Chair Alexis Marvin were both nominated for the position.
SGA will have a vice chair election in their next meeting which is likely to be in January, South said.
With a roll call vote of 0-23-0, the body voted to keep Emily Tucker in the secretary position.
Congress also saw the “Mission: Election Commission,” a bill which updates SGA language in the bylaws by changing the name of the “Election Board” to “Election Commission” and “Election Chair” to “Election Commissioner.” The bill passed with a roll call of 23-0-0.
Editor's note: This article was updated at 5 p.m. Dec. 2 to correct the quote from South in the article's eight paragraph.