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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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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

All Things Reconsidered | CS needs pro-student representatives

How many students believe it could happen – a housing ordinance implemented in College Station that would restrict more than two unrelated people living together in one residence?
Sure, it happened in Bryan, but there are thousands more Texas A&M students in College Station who would rally against an ordinance, whereas there may not be as much protest in Bryan. With this in mind, and after the city council workshop, on the surface it looks like a housing ordinance is out – but it isn’t over yet. Students still need to take important action to ensure its complete demise.
The city council workshop on March 27 involved discussion of the “Neighborhood Integrity” comprehensive strategy, which included feedback from two day-long workshops that involved residents and A&M students. The main issue was the housing ordinance, which appeared to have no support from the city council despite a few angry, older residents in favor.
City councilman John Crompton had supported an ordinance, but appears to have experienced a change in heart. He said that he was “elected on the premise of instituting a ‘two-unrelated ordinance,’?” but admitted during the workshop that it is “not the best solution to deal with this issue.” Crompton appears to have seen the light, but like many students, I can’t help wonder at the sincerity of this after considering the upcoming city elections.
Thousands of students have decided to take action against a housing ordinance as evidenced by the more than 2,500 people who have joined the Facebook group “BTHO Housing Ordinance – GIG THE VOTE!,” which is a serious threat to any candidate seeking election or re-election – including the flip-flopper, Crompton.
During the workshop, city officials gave 2 percent as the figure for those who are breaking existing housing codes – and the reason for dreaming up the housing ordinance to begin with. Mayor Ben White expressed a concern for the lack of logic going into the ordinance. Should the 98 percent who follow the rules suffer because of the “two percenters”? It appeared the council understood that during the workshop Thursday.
Members of the SGA proved in a presentation during the workshop that the problems could be solved without a housing ordinance and through enforcement of codes already in place. They made clear that they have a 100 percent success rate of approaching rowdy student residents who break the codes and convincing them to behave properly.
As Darrek Ferrell, chairman of external affairs for Student Senate, said, the housing ordinance is “like a wedge. The problem is that a wedge is a destructive tool. Like a wedge, the housing ordinance is not the right tool for the job.” We should not let the issue create a schism between students and the so-called “permanent” residents.
Student Government worked for months with the city to come up with a compromise, or a way to bring about neighborhood integrity without a housing ordinance, and it seems they may have prevailed.
But it’s important that students make up their own minds on which city council members are truly pro-student and against the housing ordinance, and vote accordingly. Residents, after all, will never get the chance to vote for or against a housing ordinance directly. It’s up to us to elect the persons who will or will not support it.
If you are registered in your hometown, it’s simple to register in College Station. Fill out a voter registration card and mail it in by the deadline, Wednesday. Let’s make the housing ordinance disappear completely.
Wes Kimbell is a senior international studies major.

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