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OU Undergraduate Student Congress passes legislation on veteran parking, absence exemption for voting

SGA10/08

The OU Student Congress meeting on Nov. 8.

The OU Undergraduate Student Congress passed legislation encouraging OU administration to recognize class exemptions for voting and creating parking spaces for veterans during its meeting Tuesday.

Lacey Lewis, congress chair, spoke on her bill calling on OU administration and faculty to recognize attendance exemptions for students who miss class to vote.

Lewis further explained why she chose to promote this bill over an original bill that aimed to establish Nov. 8 as a voting holiday. Lewis said she felt some administrators might be more receptive to considering voting exemptions rather than an entire voting holiday.

When asked whether she thought faculty were aware of limitations students might have when trying to vote, Lewis said she believed faculty do care about encouraging student voting and assisting students’ accessibility to voting. However, there are logistical difficulties that can come with mandated exemptions.

“No one wants to tell professors what they have to excuse,” Lewis said.

Rep. Michael Reynolds spoke on his bill, which called to create nine more available parking spaces on OU’s campus for veterans.

Reynolds said he hopes to increase the available parking spaces since many veterans do not have accessible parking stickers but struggle with mental health issues like PTSD.

Congress also tabled bill CR-108-20, which aims to raise student wages for those who work on campus for the next meeting.

Both bills passed unanimously and will move to the Graduate Student Senate for further deliberation.

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