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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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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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The student voice on monetary issues is found in the Student Affairs Fees Advisory Board

Student+Advisory+Board
Photo by Photo by Alyssa Denson
Student Advisory Board

As budgets decrease and the student population continues to increase, a student board on campus works to ensure Texas A&M is financially accessible for all students.
Established in 1991, the Student Affairs Fee Advisory Board is responsible for advising the administration of the university on the type, amount and expenditure of compulsory fees for student services, student health and medical services, student center facilities and recreational sports.
The advisory board is the students’ primary access to information about how their student fees are spent. The board was responsible for recent changes, such as a $2.50 increase to every student’s health fee and an increased budget for compliance positions, such as Title IX for the entire student body. Allison Torres, public health junior, is beginning her second year on the board.
“The student voice is important,” Torres said. “We are fortunate to have a way for students to have a direct voice, especially when it is our own money, not feeling pressure from the faculty. It’s all us — the students.”
Anthony Gacasan, biomedical science senior, is the 2018 advisory board chair. He has worked on the board for the past two years and and said he strives to represent the Aggie standard of service as he leads the board for his first time this year.
“When I made my decisions as a member of the board, I always try to keep in mind the six core values of Texas A&M University,” Gacasan said. “Excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service, and how the decisions I make serve the development of the university, the betterment of the students and the success of the mission of the Division of Student Affairs and the various departments within it.”
Thomas Reber, associate vice president for student affairs and SAFAB advisor, assists members but is not involved in the selection process for new members, which he said is an important aspect of this advisory board.
“The only part I have in the selection process is for the chair,” Reber said. “So when we select the chair, it is myself, the former chair, Student Body President, speaker of the senate and graduate student council president. It’s a good thing that students get to pick students.”
To ensure the majority of students are being represented on the board, Reber said board members look for candidates that are involved in various organizations.
“We’re hoping it is not just nine students making a decision [for] 60,000,” Reber said. “Those nine students have a network of acquaintances, friends, whatever and get more information from them … it is nine people trying to do what is best for the university.”
The board’s first official meeting will be held on April 28. The new board recently completed training for the semester on March 7, the Student Senate Confirmation date.
“It is fun to work with nine really devoted students in the university,” Reber said. “A lot of times what we deal with in student affairs are problems, but to work with people who are giving up their Wednesday nights to give back to the university is neat.”

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