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

Sophomore LHP Shane Sdao (38) reacts after a strikeout during Texas A&Ms game against Texas at Disch-Falk Field on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
A Sunday salvage
May 12, 2024
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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
Programs look to combat drunk driving
Alexia Serrata, JOUR 203 contributor • May 10, 2024
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Junior Mary Stoiana reacts during Texas A&M’s match against Oklahoma at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Regional at Mitchell Tennis Center on Sunday, May 5, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
No. 13 A&M upsets No. 5 Virginia in dominant fashion, 4-1
Roman Arteaga, Sports Writer • May 17, 2024

No. 13 Texas A&M women’s tennis met Virginia in the quarterfinal of the NCAA Tournament on Friday, May 17 at the Greenwood Tennis Center...

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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The Battalion May 4, 2024

Election about issues, not age

This summer, the College Station City Council will consider raising the age for running for council from 18 to 21. Among other things, this comes as an insult to students’ intelligence by implying that the opinions of residents under the age of 21 are irrelevant.
According to a Feb. 20 Battalion article, College Station City Secretary Connie Hooks said that younger students who run for council may not know enough about the office or the issues involved.
“Someone who is 21 will make decisions based on the importance of the role, not necessarily (the importance) of (Texas A&M),” Hooks said.
This argument makes it seem that although College Station appreciates the business of residents ranging in age from 18 to 20, the city doesn’t trust them to help make decisions for themselves.
If an 18-year-old is old enough to vote and thereby make a political decision, then why shouldn’t he be trusted to represent other residents his age in the City Council? Age alone does not make someone ignorant.
By placing age restrictions on council member eligibility, City Council seems to be assuming that just because one adult is a few years older than another adult, he is more mature and better educated.
Age has nothing to do with understanding. There are many college students who understand issues better than their parents do. Why would a middle-aged resident necessarily be more qualified for a council position than a political science student who is studying local government?
Another important point is that the purpose of democracy is representation. Obviously, students account for a large percentage of the population of College Station. Of the 45,000 students at A&M, several thousand fall into the under-21 category.
How can a 40-year-old College Station businessman represent these college students better than someone between 18 and 20? It’s simple; he can not.
Many may wonder if the City Council’s reason for raising the age limit is really due to the belief that students under 21 are unqualified, or if the council is afraid of younger Aggies gaining local influence.
Maybe the council anticipates that younger council members would be in favor of passing legislation loosening restrictions on alcohol, for example. This line of thought might be seen as a threat to the values of College Station’s current City Council.
Hooks said that a younger council member might confuse A&M issues with other local ones. In most cases, legislation has nothing to do with the University, such as with issues of rezoning, raising property taxes or creating bike lanes. However, if legislation was ever brought forth concerning A&M, then why shouldn’t students be concerned about how it would affect other Aggies their age?
Voters will be able to decide on the age increase in November. A&M students should use their voting power to show City Council that they are paying attention to this issue.
By participating in the democratic process, especially in this instance, Aggies will help to dispel any belief that students are ignorant or apathetic about what goes on in College Station.
Hopefully, in the next local election, at least one A&M student will consider running for City Council. If that happens, it will be important for other students to vote him into office so that he can better represent their needs.

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