Ruth Herman majors in services to the deaf and rehabilitation counseling at East Central University.
But recently, Herman showed the knack to venture down another career path as she won a moot court competition at an Oklahoma Intercollegiate Legislature event at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City.
“It was exciting and a lot of fun,” said the sophomore from Waxahachie, Texas. “Honestly, I didn’t know how I was going to do.”
Herman joined other ECU students on the trip where they studied, learned and competed in various competitions centered around studies of the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government.
“I developed a love for the moot court and how things get presided over at different levels like the Supreme Court or District Court,” Herman said. “I got an understanding what legal studies majors have to go through.”
According to Herman, the moot court is an appellate-style debate competition in which the participant gives a speech and justices can interrupt and ask questions.
“You have to respond with some like ‘thank you, your honor’ and you begin speeches with ‘thank you Madam Chief Justice’,” said Herman. “We all passed legislative bills. I wrote one about equal access to extracurricular activities for homeschooled students (ECU-504). My bill got passed through the house and senate. It was also signed by the governor of the organization so it will be passed on to the real Oklahoma Legislative Government."
While majoring in services to the deaf and rehabilitation counseling, Herman hopes that can lead to advocacy work for those fields. Herman’s efforts have also led to her being asked to serve on the O.I.L. Supreme Court as her confirmation is coming soon.
ECU was named third-best delegation for both the House and Senate along with being the third-best delegation for O.I.L. ECU representatives had three bills pass both chambers and get signed by the governor.
Alex Courtney, of Atoka, took second place for Best House Legislation while Herman was third in that same category. Courtney’s bill (ECU-502) prevents the performance of medically unnecessary surgeries on intersex children without informed consent. Another ECU student Skyler Riddle, of Lindsay, had a bill (ECU-003) pass both chambers and was signed by the governor. It was a bill to eliminate he option straight-party voting on ballots.
“We were shocked to receive the third-best delegation in all three competitions because there are 14 schools represented in O.I.L. and the best delegation award is voted on by members of the organization,” said Courtney. “It felt so good because we have been a very small delegation in the past but this year we really improved as an organization in terms of membership and skill.”