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

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

The Battalion

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Bill approves shared governance

The Student Government Association expressed concern with President Elsa Murano’s administration in the passage of a Student Senate bill Wednesday night.
The Murano Administration Student Opinion Bill called for a renewed concentration by the administration on shared governance and consideration of the student voice at Texas A&M.
When presented to the Senate, the bill was heavily debated as senators worked to select the best wording. Bill authors wanted to express their concern without showing disrespect to President Murano.
“This is saying that we don’t feel that she has fulfilled the understanding of students’ expectations of shared governance,” said Senator Jess Fields, one of the bill authors.
Austin Carlson, rules and regulations chairman and bill co-author, said the bill does not question Murano’s integrity.
“It’s saying that she does not understand; it is not fulfilling our expectation of shared governance,” Carlson said.
Bill authors worked to explain the student view of shared governance.
“Shared governance is not about directing Murano what to do,” Senator Alden Harris said. “Shared governance is about, and this bill is about, encouraging her to communicate with us. This bill is simply about opening the lines of communication.”
The definition of shared governance was based on the term as outlined by Murano’s Vision 2020. This administration concept also stems from the University administration under former A&M President Robert Gates.
The bill questioned the level of communication in the hiring of General Joe Weber as Vice President of Student Affairs, the renovation of the Memorial Student Center and the formation of the Aggie Assurance program. It called for future student involvement through shared governance.
The Senate passed the bill with a vote of 54 for and one against.
The Senate also considered a bill veto from Student Body President Mark Gold. This was Gold’s first veto in his term.
The Recommended Medical Fee Structure Modifications Bill was passed by the Student Senate at their last meeting with a 55 to 3 vote. The original bill supported an increase of the Health Services Fee cap set by the Texas Legislature from $75 to $150. While the bill was on the floor, an amendment passed that increased the fee cap to $100.
Gold vetoed the bill because he desired a bill that would better serve the needs of the student body.
“I love that the bill creates more student oversight once the cap is raised. I agree completely with the heart of increasing the cap enough to allow for slow and steady growth, but not too much so that the cap is ultimately pointless,” Gold said. “I would like to see the cap raised to $125. I think that it’s a perfect compromise that it’s not too high, but it’s high enough to give the students power.”
A veto override vote was brought before the Senate, but failed with a vote of 37 against, 18 for and 1 abstaining.
A revised bill was brought before the Senate during open session with the fee cap set at $125. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the new bill, which will be taken to the state legislature in Austin as the opinion of the Texas A&M students.

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