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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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The Battalion May 4, 2024

Meet the candidates: Class presidents

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Texas A&M students will have the opportunity to vote for their class president for the upcoming school year from March 2, at 9 a.m., to March 3, at 12 p.m., at vote.tamu.edu.

There are 12 candidates on the ballot, but students can also vote for “write-in” candidates by manually inputting their name. Information about the class president’s responsibilities and eligibility requirements can be found here.

All candidates were invited to comment, via email, about their campaign platform and goals.

Senior class president

Alexander Chaiken is a biomedical sciences senior running for senior class president. Chaiken said he is interested in promoting student well-being, events and connections. 

“For a long while now, the events that other classes got to experience have been things the Class of [2024] missed out on,” Chaiken said. “It’s about time that streak ended.” 

Senior class president candidate Ben Fisher was unavailable to comment at time of publication. 

Junior class president

Ankit Lulla is a mechatronics engineering and computer science sophomore. Lulla said his diverse background allows him to represent communities across A&M.

“Five of my most dear qualities — and what I’d uphold as a representative of the Class of 2025 — are Diversity, Respect, Integrity, Versatility and Empowerment, or DRIVE, for short,” Lulla said. “I’m a social officer for the A&M Tennis Club, went to an all-boys Catholic monastic high school and have familial ties to Buddhism, Hinduism and Sikhism, allowing me to be a voice for every facet of our extensive community and the best candidate for the junior class presidency.”

Grace Touchstone is a marketing sophomore. Touchstone said she is interested in fostering connections and building an inclusive community.

“I am running for junior class president because I am passionate about pouring back into the university and the people that have poured so much into me! I plan to focus on how the Class of 2025 can help pay it forward,” Touchstone said. “My goals as class president are to establish unity to develop valuable relationships and strong connections among our classmates based on Texas A&M’s core values, improve involvement to cultivate an inclusive environment and create new events, fundraisers and opportunities that will exclusively benefit the Class of 2025.”

Ramón Rodríguez, an allied health sophomore, said he is interested in making sure every Aggie can participate in campus traditions.

“As junior class president, I am dedicated to providing equal opportunities and access to the traditions and activities that make Aggieland so special,” Rodriguez said. “I am passionate about making sure that every Aggie, regardless of their campus location and background, is included and can take part in the rich culture of this beloved university.”

Malik Salami, a biomedical engineering sophomore, said his goal is to create community inside and outside of the school setting.

“I believe junior year is a crucial time for us to bond as a class, build ever-lasting memories, and set the foundation for our future,” Salami said. “As your president, I will work tirelessly to create opportunities for us to connect, grow, and thrive both inside and outside the classroom.”

Cecil Lara, a political science sophomore, said he is running to support unity and tradition.

“Through my platform of Unity, Affinity and Tradition, I intend to lead our class toward excellence,” Lara said. 

Junior class president candidate Will Rodriguez was unavailable to comment at the time of publication. 

Sophomore class president

Colton Whisenant, an agribusiness freshman, said he is looking to be a voice for all A&M students.

“I want to have a positive impact on people,” Whisenant said. “I’m willing to put in the time and effort that it takes to be a good class president, and I want to represent everyone here in Aggieland.”

Kathryn Carter, a general engineering freshman, said she is interested in promoting mental health causes.

“I served as a senator for the College of Engineering this year and have really enjoyed representing the student body,” Carter said. “I am passionate about making everyone at A&M feel like they have a voice. I would like to improve communication with students about what issues they would like addressed. I want to promote student involvement and leadership as well as mental health awareness and support.”

Owen Denman, an economics freshman, said he is looking to proceed with carrying out outgoing Student Body President Case Harris’ vision for the community.

“I’m running for sophomore class president to continue caring for the student body, expanding our current mental health initiatives and providing better access to campus resources that students with mental health issues may need,” Denman said. “As class president, I plan on continuing the improvements Case Harris and I have strived for with mental health on campus and taking steps forward into promoting modern tradition and a lasting community for every student by partnering with organizations across all of campus.”

Sophomore class president candidate Erica Jantz was unavailable to comment at the time of publication. 

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