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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Newly formed Student Council of Arts, Sciences clears confusion concerning congealing colleges

Photo by Ishika Samant

Heldenfelds Hall holds labs and classes for most students with the majors being consolidated by the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences

With frustration, confusion and uncertainty common among students of three merging colleges, two students have reacted with a plan. 

After Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks announced the official merger of the colleges of Liberal Arts, Geosciences and Science, economics junior Olivia Lambert and communication junior Alexis King created the Student Council of the Arts & Sciences, or SCAS. 
Lambert said she and King were inspired to create the student council after conversations of frustration and confusion were broadcasted by students of the merging colleges. 

“We really saw this merger as an opportunity for a larger Aggie Network within this new college, and a lot of students we were hearing felt like their voices were not being heard,” Lambert said. “We really wanted to create a place of unity, of leadership and of empowerment to bring all of these individuals that have very diverse academic backgrounds and passions, and create a place that we can create change and develop ourselves together as this new Student Council of [the] Arts and Sciences.”

Lambert said when creating the organization, it was important to gain feedback from student voices in the most equitable way possible.

“Me and [King] realize that we have two very specific academic backgrounds, and we aren’t going to automatically know what everyone needs in a student council in order to serve the students well,” Lambert said. “This process was first, me and Alexis formulating a mission statement and purpose that we feel will serve this college really well.”

Lambert said the group met with existing student councils — the Student Geosciences Council, the Liberal Arts Student Council and the Biomedical Sciences Association.

“That is why we created a student body roundtable that was hosted last Wednesday, and that was an opportunity for all students, even if they aren’t in those already established organizations, to come and be able to insert their feedback and opinions,” Lambert said. “Now that we’ve been able to speak with all the students, we are ready to begin to have conversations with administration.”

King said she and Lambert were pleased with the turnout of the roundtable with attendance from students in every merging college. With recommendations from established student councils and individuals who attended the roundtable, King said her and Lambert will not be the only founding executives for SCAS. 
“We really want this to be an organization that was founded by students for students that from its beginning, is something that is representative of each of the academic backgrounds that are merging into the College of Arts and Sciences,” King said. 

Lambert said the student council wants to advocate for a common space to be shared by all students within the college. 

“Tying back to one of our key goals for this organization is to build that community for College of Arts & Sciences students, and we think that a common space, whether it’s a building, a space on campus [or] something online that is for College of Arts and Sciences students to come together, get to know each other, have those conversations, is something that can be really special,” Lambert said. 

Lambert said the student council is also excited to host large professional development events during the fall of 2022, something that will be decided on by the founding executive members. 

“That is something that is serving all academic backgrounds well, and then ties once again back to that community building,” Lambert said. “In the spring, something that me and Olivia are really passionate about and really excited for is developing a spring carnival of Arts and Sciences. Once again, just a community building event where organizations can come out, table, we can have food, circus aspect, music, and then just showcasing really what the College of Arts & Sciences has accomplished over the next year and what it has to come for students.”

Lambert said along with vice president applications, students can apply for officer positions next fall. 

“We’re really excited to expand this team of people with diverse passions and backgrounds,” Lambert said. “We really want to know that something we’re very excited about is making sure that our application process, our written application is blind so that we may eliminate bias and secure equitable opportunities for all student applicants … and have the very best student leaders involved in our student organization.”

Bradley Matthews, associate director of the Liberal Arts Career Services in the Career Center and current adviser to SCAS, said he has assisted Lambert and King in establishing the organization with the A&M framework. 

“I would love to see the building of community,” Matthews said. “We have so many different college structures coming into one. Building that unified community among all the different students of arts and sciences to create this new college identity because a lot of folks are really tied to their current college identity, like the College of Liberal Arts or College of Geosciences, so my goal would be hopefully, I know probably won’t happen overnight, but over the next few years, kind of building that identity with the College of Arts & Sciences.”

Matthews said getting involved with the newly established student council allows students an opportunity to elevate their voice.

“As a staff member, the reason why I joined or the reason why I’ve pursued education is because of the students, and the goal of this organization is really to elevate the student voice as a part of the College of Arts & Sciences, and to really be the Student Council of Arts & Sciences,” Matthews said. “This would be a great space for students to get involved with their input, their thoughts on how they want to operate on campus and then ultimately, this will be kind of an extension of the college.”

Students who are interested in joining SCAS can find more information here

“I think something else that we’re really passionate about is just rewriting that one negative student narrative in regard to the merger, and turning that conversation around into something positive,” Lambert said. “[So] that we as students may rise up to create change, create this new community and allow this merger to be something not that hinders us, but that makes us better students and more connected to our Aggie Network with these opportunities that the council will be able to provide.”

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