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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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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Gus Blessing

 
 

The driving force behind Gus Blessing’s campaign is the simple idea that Student Government Association policies don’t matter if Student Government Association itself doesn’t matter.
Faced with a multitude of students on campus who don’t know what SGA stands for, Blessing said there is a disconnect between students and their student government.
“Our vision is to make SGA relevant to the lives of each and every student, because it’s not right now,” Blessing said. “People do not know what it is. People do not know what the student body president does.”
Blessing said many believe the student body president has more power on campus than she or he actually has. The student body president’s role is one of influence, Blessing said, a role that is maximized with input from students.
“When we talk to administrators, we need to let them see that it’s not only in the best interest for students, it in the best interest for Texas A&M. We have to convince them of that,” Blessing said. “So, it’s not just me talking to administrators, it’s me talking to administrators with a senate bill in hand and with 10 people by my side who are students who have problems and are talking.”
Concerned with compensating for the growing pains associated with the University’s expansion initiatives, the bulk of Blessing’s platform pertains to the improvement of education and student services.
“We’re experiencing a lot of growth, and as student body president, we need to make sure this growth is handled in a way that helps students, because at the end of the day, the deans are going to be thinking about something else, compared to what the students are thinking,” Blessing said.
Blessing plans to speak with deans and faculty members about academic concerns. He is opposed to the faculty senate’s proposal to shift to an A+/- grading system and wants to follow the example of other universities in cutting textbook costs. Blessing said one way to cut textbook costs would be buying textbook directly from publishers instead of through retailers, and he proposed trial runs with specific departments in the University.
Part of Blessing’s academic push is directed toward veterans and the Corps of Cadets, and he said he hopes to be given the chance to push for priority registration for veterans and to encourage policy to exempt members of the Corps Band from needing a visual and performing art credit.
Blessing’s agenda also includes advocating for non-mandatory meal plans, advocating against any plans to consolidate or reduce buses and reaching out to graduate students for joint ventures with mutual benefits.
Blessing’s team has incorporated various student input components throughout campaigning, including text polling, chalk boards and a reddit AMA. If elected, Blessing said he hopes to continue gathering student input, though not necessarily through these outlets.
Blessing said he is by no means a master politician and that his campaign isn’t about the votes – it’s about putting his heart on his sleeve and getting a message out.
“We’ve never done this before. It’s just me and my best friend,” Blessing said. “I wish I could do it over. I’d know a lot more than when I just started, but I mean we’re not trying to just mass appeal it. We’re trying to send a message with it.”

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