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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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June 8, 2024

Kelly says farewell as he passes the SBP torch

Kyle+Kelly
Photo by Tanner Garza
Kyle Kelly

With his term officially over after the 2015 Muster, Kyle Kelly has had a week to reflect on his time as Texas A&M’s student body president as the position passes to Joseph Benigno, 2015-2016 SBP.  

Kelly, a fifth-year industrial distribution senior, is a member of the Corps of Cadets and served as executive vice president the year before taking office. Emphasizing the education Aggies receive both in and out of the classroom, Kelly said he ran on the idea of the Aggie experience. In practice, this was represented by what Kelly calls his “way of working,” rather than by specific promises or platforms.

“The way of working was to represent students — that is, of course, a given — to have a good relationship in student government and then to have a rapport with the administration,” Kelly said. 

Rusty Thompson, department head of student activities in the Division of Student Affairs, said he interacted with Kelly several times per week and that Kelly did an excellent job of handling day-to-day needs of his office while remaining focused on big picture objectives.

Kelly said Student Government Association made tremendous strides this year in terms of communication between its branches. He said he developed a strong working relationship with the speaker of Student Senate Hannah Weger, which translated to a smoother, more efficient SGA.

“We have worked well together, sat on a variety of different meetings and task force together and it has been very helpful to not only be friends but to be people who don’t always agree,” Kelly said. 

Weger said Kelly is a driven individual who made it a point to quickly tackle whatever issue was presented to them.

“I think Kyle set several goals at the beginning of the year and worked to make sure those were accomplished,” Weger said. “One was just making sure that we all work with the core values — integrity, excellence, working toward selfless service — and I think he did a great job of carrying that through to the end.”

One controversial issue addressed during Kelly’s tenure that highlighted the need for a cohesive SGA was the concealed carry bill presented in Student Senate. Kelly said this was the toughest decision he made because it affected the rights and public safety of many different groups of people.

“I didn’t just think about masses of classrooms, I thought about individual people,” Kelly said. “I thought about my two younger sisters, Lorelyn and Delaney, who are in classrooms and I tried to make a decision with our Student Senate that was again representative of the student body but that was a decision that was best for A&M, and that was very difficult.”

He said the statement SGA released in light of the bill was extremely important because the issue is one that is not widely understood.

“[Concealed carry] is one that people approach with a lot of emotion and not a lot of fact,” Kelly said. 

In what Kelly called the pinnacle of his calling to serve as student body president, he gave a speech at the 2015 Campus Muster on April 21. He said while it is a ceremony, it is also a way of life for Aggies.

“It’s something we are about year round — remembering, taking care of our own, honoring those who have gone before us but then also using them as inspiration to continue what they were about,” Kelly said.

Kelly said his love for Texas A&M will allow him to continue to give back even after leaving the office of SBP and graduating, which applies to all students.

“We bring solutions to the problems in our world and benefit society,” Kelly said. “Aggies go on to lead and serve so I see it as very humanitarian in a way. It’s a ministry, it’s a calling, it’s something I love, and I believe so wholeheartedly in Texas A&M.”

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    Photo by Tanner Garza
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