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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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Candidates form political bloc, pledging reform

In a rare development for Texas A&M student body elections, 54 Student Senate candidates, more than half of those running for the position, have coalesced into a political bloc and are pledging reform of student government.
“The candidates in our group are serious about change,” said Kerri Ward, leader of the group and a student senator. “For too long (the Student Government Association) has not been representing students’ views.”
The bloc has pledged its support for student body president candidate Luke Cheatham, who Ward said shares the group’s commitment to change.
“We believe in Luke’s vision of action, not words,” said Ward, a freshman marketing major.
Cheatham said the coalition of senate candidates is an indication that many students are unhappy with student government and want student leaders who will voice students’ views to administrators.
“The days of complacent representation are over,” said Cheatham, a senior civil engineering major.
However, some in SGA say they are wary of blocs promising change. Kevin Capps, a student senator, said Ward’s group does not seem to have any specific policy goals.
“The campaign is not about cliches. Students want serious proposals,” said Capps, a junior history major and chair of the Student Senate’s rules and regulations committee.
Having a bloc in the senate committed to the same goals can make it easier to move ahead with an agenda, but can also stifle opposing viewpoints, Capps said.
Bobby Tucker, adviser for SGA, said this is only the second time in recent election history that candidates are running as a bloc in student body elections. Two years ago a group called Pro Traditions won enough seats to control the senate. The bloc’s central issue was bringing back Bonfire.
“When they realized they couldn’t do anything on (Bonfire), it fell apart, and the year was not very productive,” Tucker said.
Candidates for Student Senate often do not realize that they have little real power to bring about change, and can only serve as a advocate for students to administrators, Tucker said.
Voting will take place Wednesday and Thursday at various campus locations and online at vote.tamu.edu.

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