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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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Student leaders reflect on years of service in final Student Senate meeting

‘Find what lights your fire and run towards it as fast as you can’
Justice Jenson
76th Speaker of the Senate Marcus Glass, left, poses with incoming 77th Speaker of the Senate Ava Blackburn.

The Student Government Association wrapped up its 76th session by giving out awards such as the Senator, Committee and Statesman of the Year while also allowing its longest-serving members to address the Senate for the final time.

On April 17, Speaker of the Senate Marcus Glass started the assembly with a special presentation of the Senator of the Year award.

“This person, by far, everyone in this room knows their dedication to Senate, to the work, to advocacy, working with administration and seeing projects come to life,” Glass said. “This person has led their committee fearlessly … I am proud to call this person a friend.”

Speaker Glass then presented the Senator of the Year award to the Academic Affairs Chair Angelina Baltazar. While Baltazar did not speak immediately after receiving this award, she was given the opportunity to speak later in the meeting, with this speech being her final address to the SGA.

“I have a lot of mixed emotions about tonight,” Baltazar said. “[Being in Student Senate] took a little bit of a toll on my mental health. Sometimes the amount of work you do takes a mental toll … I really debated about running again because I didn’t know if I could take it that much longer. However, I remember looking at other organizations, and I could not find another organization that allowed us to have the impact that we did. That’s the magic of Senate.”

Additionally, Glass presented the Committee of the Year award to the Rules and Regulations committee, followed by the Statesman of the Year award to Community Relations Chair Luke Morrison.

“[The Statesman] award is for someone that I believe went above and beyond in crossing bridges, in talking to people of different beliefs,” Glass said. “I believe that this person has been essential at making effective policy at a city level and in our Senate room.”

Judicial Court Chief Justice Sawyer Bagley addressed the assembly, saying his farewells. Right after, Student Body President Andrew Applewhite addressed the 76th session of SGA for the final time.

“This year it was said that maybe the student government wouldn’t be able to achieve a lot,” Applewhite said. “After looking back on it, I would say that this has been one of the most effective student governments in recent memory. We were able to include scantrons for all students with collaboration from the Provost’s office and both the executive and the legislative branch. If that isn’t a microcosm of this entire year that shows collaboration amidst chaos, I don’t know what is.”

Finally, for many members of the Student Senate, this was their last ever meeting. Many of them were given the opportunity to address the room one final time before their departure. The Senate’s longest-serving senator, Jessica Williams, was given the opportunity to do so while holding her “pass down” cane.

The cane has remained within the Senate for years and is possessed by its then-longest-serving member. Williams quoted writer Kurt Vonnegut during her closing address.

“You all have certainly poisoned me with humanity,” Williams said. “I hope that we all poison each other with humanity and continue to do so. My dearest wish for all of you is that wherever you go, whatever you do, that you work for change and for the improvement of the human condition. Use whatever power you have to support others and be good citizens and good people. Find what lights your fire and run towards it as fast as you can.”

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