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OIL Attends Fall Session

Released by Panhandle State Campus Communications on 12/13/2017 Members of Panhandle State’s OIL organization traveled to Oklahoma City for the second session of the 49th Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature November 29- December 3. Pictured from left to right: Jasmine Estrada, Ian Licea, Jasmine Brown-Jutras, Diego Arenas, Deirdre Harbison, Mariah Morigeau, Kamala Garrett, Edyth Mercado, Tristan Hubler, and Elizabeth Vega. —Courtesy photo Members of Panhandle State’s OIL organization traveled to Oklahoma City for the second session of the 49th Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature November 29- December 3. Pictured from left to right: Jasmine Estrada, Ian Licea, Jasmine Brown-Jutras, Diego Arenas, Deirdre Harbison, Mariah Morigeau, Kamala Garrett, Edyth Mercado, Tristan Hubler, and Elizabeth Vega. —Courtesy photo

Goodwell, Okla. — Oklahoma Panhandle State University plays host to a number of organizations that give students the chance to take learning outside the classroom for hands-on application and Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature (OIL) is certainly one that opens the door for students to have this opportunity.

One of the largest groups to participate in recent years, 10 members of Panhandle State’s OIL organization recently traveled to Oklahoma City for the second session of the 49th Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature November 29- December 3.

Students that attended include Diego Arenas of Dickinson, Texas; Jasmine Brown-Jutras of Hermitage, Ark.; Jasmine Estrada of Guymon, Okla.; Kamala Garrett of Fort Washington, Md.; Deirdre Harbison of Guymon, Okla.; Tristan Hubler of Bartlesville, Okla.; Ian Licea of Boise City, Okla.; Edyth Mercado of Hooker, Okla.; Mariah Morigeau of Elgin, Okla.; and Elizabeth Vega of Hooker, Okla. Assistant Professor of Political Science Dr. David Cole went as the group advisor.

OIL was started in 1969 by then-Lieutenant Governor of the State of Oklahoma George Nigh in an effort “to provide an organization in which students can learn the legislative process and practical problems of state government.” The goals continue to be accomplished 40 years later as students gather each semester to simulate the governmental process.

Students can participate in the House of Representatives, the Senate, the Executive Branch, the Supreme Court, and most recently, the OIL Press Corps. Panhandle State had six Senators and four Representatives while Garrett participated in the Journalism sector and Estrada in moot court. Additional, Brown-Jutras served as the Rules Chair and Mercado was the Assistant Floor Leader.

Members of Panhandle State’s OIL meet weekly and spend much of their time learning the legislative process as well as how to debate, both critical processes throughout the mock sessions they attend. Each member of Panhandle State OIL that attends the state session is required to write a piece of legislation of their choice and be prepared to debate it if necessary. The five-day session is jam packed with real life learning opportunities as well as networking each evening.

Garrett said, “OIL Session was a great experience. I learned so much, and I can’t wait to go back again in the spring.”

This session, Panhandle State collected the most awards the group has earned in recent records. Vega won first place among the freshman bills within the senate awards. Among the House awards, Garrett received third place among the freshman bills. She also earned second place in journalism. Delegation Chair Brown-Jutras wrote legislation that passed and was signed by the student governor. Her bill will now be presented to the Oklahoma Legislature for review.

Brown-Jutras said, “I am incredibly proud of how much the OPSU OIL club has grown since my first Delegation meeting five years ago! I can’t wait to see the amazing things they can do in years to come!”

In addition to the learning that takes place when the group is together, community service is another area of focus among the members. The group has completed two service projects this fall semester including a Constitution Day on campus in an effort to promote voter awareness and a clean-up day at Sunset Park in Guymon, Okla. Collectively, the group has over 250 hours of community service aside from the two group projects they completed. Also, this semester OIL hosted an interactive game show during the week of Homecoming activities this fall.

Special thanks goes to all who support the group and those who have helped with fundraising projects.

OIL is one of the largest and oldest intercollegiate student legislatures in the United States. Next semester’s session promises to be special as it marks the 50th session.