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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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June 8, 2024

Representative Edwards pledges ‘supportive partnership’ to A&M

Rep. Chet Edwards told student leaders and the Texas A&M University Board of Regents that he wanted to work with the University to make sure it receives adequate funding for research programs at Rudder Tower Wednesday.
“I’m not here at A&M to tell Dr. Gates or the chancellor how to run their school,” said Edwards, Class of 1974. “It took 26 years to be able to represent my alma mater in political office, and I’m honored to be serving its interests in Congress today. I’m here to be a supportive partner for Texas A&M.”
Edwards and the Board of Regents discussed problems, such as difficulty in attracting foreign professors due to lengthy VISA processes. Edwards said the professors would add experience and knowledge to A&M research projects. The Board also discussed the securing of future funding for the world-class projects conducted at A&M.
“I found out that the Nuclear Engineering Department is currently doing testing to see if Andrew Jackson was poisoned or not, and I find that fascinating. I want to make sure A&M can continue with research of that caliber,” Edwards said. “Now that the election is over, it’s time to put the partisan hostilities between Texas Democrats and Republicans behind us and that working towards the goal of achieving the best interests of Texas,” he said.
Edwards said Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison has been helpful in securing funds for Texas universities and their research programs and that he plans to continue working with her to get money for the research at A&M.
“This is the second meeting when Congressman Edwards came down to hear what the Student Body had to say. I think it was very productive,” said Executive Vice President of Texas A&M’s Student Body Chris Diem.
Students at the meeting expressed their concerns, including potential tuition hikes.
“It makes me feel reassured that Congressman Edwards came and listened to us. Tuition increases are something important to the student body and to all Aggies, and we’re expecting (his) help on tackling this issue,” said Student Body President Jackson Hildebrand.
“This is the second meeting when Congressman Edwards came down to hear what the Student Body had to say. I think it was very productive,” said Executive Vice President of Texas A&M’s Student Body Chris Diem.
Edwards exchanged ideas, discussed issues and imparted political strategies for Aggies to better lobby the Texas Legislature.
“Voting, lobbying and building student-parent coalitions on issues important to both, such as tuition increases, are highly effective in getting politicians to address issues. When you have students in Austin opposing a bill, that will raise concerns amongst politicians who want to keep their jobs, but when you have students and parents standing against a piece of legislation they believe detrimental to them, that is something elected officials simply can’t ignore,” Edwards said. ” I’m not saying A&M students can win every fight, but they can win some key battles.”
Edwards remained optimistic about getting smaller tuition hikes for college students. “I learn from students every time I meet with them and I enjoy it. I’ll be continuously having informal dialogues such as this one with them,” Edwards said.

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