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OU Student Government Association Undergraduate Student Congress alters SGA rules of order, bylaws

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A screenshot of the Jan. 26 OU Student Government Association Undergraduate Congress meeting.

The SGA Undergraduate Student Congress passed four bills from the Congressional Administration committee altering SGA rules of order and bylaws in its Tuesday night meeting. 

Before congress voted on any bills at the meeting, Congress Chair Crispin South shared insights he took away from a recent survey of congressmembers. South said one of the biggest issues members highlighted in the survey was “drama getting into personal politics and conduct” within the body.

South said he plans to reach out to associates and representatives individually to better understand what they would like to see in Congress and SGA in general.

He said he expects members to treat each other with respect both in congress sessions and in their personal lives. He added disagreements towards pieces of legislation “does not make you any less valuable as a person or less valuable as a member of this body.” 

“I want to remind all of you here, both in person and on Zoom tonight, that we're here for one central purpose — we are here to benefit the student body,” South said. “We are here to legislate, we're here to produce resolutions expressing student interests. We're here to create SGA structures that will help students have the best possible academic and social experiences here at OU, and we're here to advocate for students and ensure that student voices are heard in administration's decisions.”

After receiving a presentation from the Congressional Administration Committee on the SGA “Standing Rules of Order" — which detail the body’s rules of governance procedure — Congress saw the “Utilize the Standing Rules of Order Act 2021,” recognizing SGA’s existing standing rules of order to the body’s bylaws.

The bill passed with a final roll call vote of 30-0-0.

Congress then saw the “Orders of Business Act of 2021,”  amending congress bylaws to “allow presiding officers of standing committees to determine the order of business for meetings based off the needs of the committee,” according to the meeting agenda. This bill also passed with a final roll call vote of 30-0-0.

Congress also passed the “Bylaws Cleanup Act of 2021,” , which removed certain sections of the SGA bylaws after revitalizing the standing rules of order and creating a code of conduct. Engineering Representative Natália Raymundi Pinheiro clarified the sections removed from the bylaws were not deleted, but were moved to better organize congressional procedures. 

The bill passed with a final roll call vote of 30-0-0. 

Lastly, on the bills presented by the Congressional Administration Committee, the body passed the  “Revising the Standing Rules of Order Act of 2021,” clarifying the specific roles of the Congressional Administration Committee and Executive Committee regarding the revising of the SGA standing rules of order. The bill passed with a final roll call vote of 27-0-0. 

Congress revisited the "Fight On Norman High Resolution of 2021," a resolution that passed in the last SGA meeting with a final roll call vote of 33-0-0. The resolution congratulated the Norman High Lady Tigers basketball team for winning the state championship and called on the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication to “seek accountability with media professionals.”

According to one of the authors of the resolution, Associate Rebecca Yanez, the resolution was seen by the Graduate Student Congress and amended to include several senators as co-sponsors of the resolution. She said, as a formality, the resolution needed to pass Congress again. The resolution passed again with a final roll call vote of 32-0-0.

Congress approved the “Congratulations Deb Haaland Resolution,” which congratulated Deb Haaland on her appointment as the U.S. Senate Secretary of the Interior. The resolution acknowledged Haaland’s “historic appointment” as the first Native American to ever serve as a cabinet secretary. In the meeting, the body decided to update the bill to include additional sections.

The bill passed with a final roll call vote of 32-0-0. 

Gabriela Tumani is an international student from Brazil. She is majoring in journalism with a minor in international studies and works as a junior news reporter for The Daily.

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