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OU Undergraduate Student Congress appoints superior court justices, SGA general counsel, allocates funds

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Members of SGA Undergraduate Student Congress talk in a Sept. 28 meeting. 

OU’s Undergraduate Student Congress appointed new superior court justices and the SGA general counsel, and appropriated SGA money to eight more OU organizations during its Tuesday evening meeting.

SGA President Tavana Farzaneh presented an appointment bill to fill the vacancies in the Superior Court. Rep. Abby Halsey-Kraus said the Superior Court is the judicial power of the SGA and has seven justices seated.

Appointees Clayton Gaddis, Luke Helms and Arden Nerius are all graduate students at OU’s College of Law, and appointee Corbin Walls is a public and nonprofit administration sophomore. Farzaneh said although Walls lacks formal legal familiarity, she believes in his abilities due to his parliamentarian and SGA experience and stressed his value as an undergraduate student.

“It’s important we have law students because (SGA covers) the entire OU-Norman campus, and they have a different perspective since they have taken law courses and they are studying to do law,” Farzaneh said. “But it’s also just as important that we have undergraduate representation, especially since this is a term where it’s important that they can stick around for a while.”

The bill unanimously passed with a vote of 23-0-0.

Farzaneh also presented a bill to appoint the SGA general counsel. Halsey-Kraus said the position has “the powers and duties of both the legal counsel and the Attorney General for SGA in legal matters.” 

Nominee Nick Hazelrigg is a second-year student at OU Law with external legal experience with Tulsa County Judge Daman Cantrell and the Tulsa district attorney office. He also has SGA knowledge through his reporting of the undergraduate student congress for the OU Daily during his undergraduate years. His appointment passed with a vote of 23-0-1. 

Hazelrigg said he is excited to get back in-touch with the Norman campus and work with SGA and the general student body. 

“The SGA general counsel helps represent students who are dealing with grade appeals or accusations of academic misconduct,” Hazelrigg said. “It’s my goal one day to be a public defender, and so that’s an important part of why I'm interested in this work. It’s something that I'm looking forward to have the opportunity to do.”

The undergraduate congress also saw a bill from the budget committee that will appropriate SGA funds to eight organizations, according to the meeting’s agenda. This is the fourth auxiliary act of the current SGA session.

Chair Lauren Patton explained that the budget committee has more money in its box budget than normal due to COVID-19, and the group plans to limit their allocations to student organizations.

“We are capping what we’re allowing ourselves as a committee to spend, because it’s not sustainable for us to spend all of this money and increase budget and then, next year, have to give unfair decreases because it’s not a normal thing for us to have as much money,” Patton said. “We’re looking at other ways we can put that money back into the student life experience on campus and what we can do as Congress.”

The bill passed with a unanimous vote of 22-0-0.

Editor’s note: Nick Hazelrigg was The Daily’s editor in chief for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Kaly Phan is a journalism sophomore and news reporter at The Daily.

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