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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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Saying Howdy to Harris

Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

Finance senior Case Harris will assume the role of student body president on April 21 for the 75th Session of the Student Government Association.

After being elected on March 4, finance junior Case Harris will begin his role as Texas A&M’s student body president for the 75th Session of the Student Government Association, or SGA, beginning Thursday, April 21.
Harris’ platform focused on connecting students to on-campus opportunities, advocating for the student support and increasing tradition education, which he said is a huge goal of his going into this next year as the student body president. After voicing his goals during his campaign to the student body, Harris said he is looking forward to being a servant to the student population as he follows through on campaign promises.
“What I want to focus on is just having follow-through; it’s easy in a campaign to go up there and make a bunch of promises and say what voters want to hear. Follow-through is so important to actually be effective, and there’s a lot that goes into follow-through,” Harris said. “It’s continuing to brainstorm and have good ideas, it’s listening to students, it’s work ethic and really just being determined and having a mission.”
Having the long-standing goal to become student body president, Harris said he is honored to have been selected to serve the university and its students.
“It’s been a goal for a long time, just to be able to serve [A&M] and give back to [the university] that has given me so much, just learning so many lessons and getting to know so many incredible people and find community,” Harris said. “I’m so excited now to be able to turn around and help try to create that for for other students because that’s one of the things that makes A&M so great is we [have] students that come in and gain and learn so much.”
With many campus connections through his membership in various student organizations, Harris said he believes he has been able to get many perspectives of what students are looking for on campus. Additionally, with his involvement in Fish Aides and Gilbert Leadership Conference, Harris said he has been able to see the inner workings of SGA.
“I’ve been involved in a lot of different organizations across campus and really have gotten to see a lot of students [and] get to know a lot of different perspectives,” Harris said. “The most important thing for an SBP is that they know the heartbeat of Texas A&M, of our campus and they can understand and relate to students and represent them.”
After seeing all of the work the team put into the campaign, Count on Case campaign manager and psychology senior Annie Wagner said it was exciting to hear Harris’ name called at the 12th Man statue at the election announcements.
“It was one of the most exciting days of college for me to watch [Harris’] name get announced as the new SBP. It’s exciting, and I’m really proud of him, and I know that he will do an incredible job,” Wagner said. “It’s a really sweet and surreal thing that he is fulfilling the dream that he’s had for a long time, and that was one of my favorite parts of working on the campaign team was just getting to help someone achieve a dream of theirs.”
Throughout the campaign, Wagner said she saw Harris relate with those in the campus community, and believes his ability to bond with his peers will help him be a strong leader.
“Case is a relator and that’s a huge part of being the student body president is just relating, while also leading in humility,” Wagner said. “He is probably one of the most humble, hardworking and relating people that I know, and I am just excited to watch him work really hard and also listen really well.”
Harris said he hopes to further inform students about A&M’s traditions and history, and help find ways to ensure all students feel welcome every step of the way at all Aggie traditions.
“Those motivations are really to enhance traditions, and just the Aggie Spirit here on campus and just cultivate that and see that increase even more, especially on areas [on]campus where it may or may not be as present,” Harris said.
Wagner said she was especially impressed with Harris’ focus on tradition education as one of his campaign promises.
“Knowing how unique that [traditions are] to Texas A&M and how it binds everyone as an Aggie together and is a very inclusive point. I just love that because you can connect with literally anyone [with] the traditions of A&M,” Wagner said. “Making sure that everyone knows [A&M traditions] and understands the importance of them [makes] them feel a part of the Aggie family. I just think that one is just so special and near and dear to Texas A&M specifically.”
With another class of freshmen getting ready to step foot on campus this summer for their new student conferences, Harris said a huge part of his role as student body president is to advocate for new students and make them feel comfortable on campus.
“That’s a huge thing for me, and there’s two ways to do that. One through traditions, we have a lot of ideas with traditions, like implementing more tradition education,” Harris said. “Then the other thing is A&M has so many organizations and opportunities, and things to be a part of. Anything you’re interested in or passionate about, there is something for you to join and get involved in here at our school. I really want to connect students to those opportunities. All the goals are to try to get students more involved and plugged in if they want to be and just make sure they’re aware of all the opportunities that are out there.”
Over the past academic year, 2021-22 Student Body President Natalie Parks said the 74th Session has focused time and energy on outreach and visibility on how SGA works with different councils, representative bodies, organizations, administration, faculty and staff. Parks said she encourages Harris to continue this as he takes the reins of student body president for the upcoming year.
“If I were to give advice to [Harris], it would be and has been in our transition meetings, focus on continuing to build those relationships because having authentic levels of trust in any relationship is going to help you achieve your goals, and accomplish whatever your vision is,” Parks said. “I will always harp on the importance of relationships, and especially in this role, it is critical to continue to grow those in the best way possible.”
In order to bridge the gap between the 74th and 75th sessions, Harris said he hopes to continue to build on the objectives Parks has worked on, including mental health initiatives.
“It would be a shame if [each year we] stopped and completely went to other things and ignored all the work the last SBP did because you can only get so much done in a year,” Harris said. “If we can keep building off of each other . . . that could be huge, we can make a lot of progress.”
From the outside looking in at Harris’ campaign, Parks said she could see how hard he worked while formulating and running his campaign.
“For anybody putting themselves out there to serve in this role, you have to have a profound amount of dedication, drive and commitment to not only the students, but also whatever you’re running on. You’re trying to convince them that your vision is the best for the students and I think that he did a fantastic job of that,” Parks said. “I think that his passion, his determination and his dedication — toward the goals that he was running on and the goals that he has set for his vision going forward — are going to benefit the student body.”
To help create a sense of open communication with the student body, Harris said he plans to have an open door policy for this office in the John J. Koldus Building, and he also plans to partner with other student leaders to host town halls where students can come to discuss and provide input on important issues on campus like parking and other student services.
“The whole purpose of a student body president is to take the students’ opinions and voices and communicate that to administrators or people who are actually making decisions,” Harris said. “My job is to advocate on behalf of students and that’s what I’m gonna do. I think we need [a] student body president who’s willing to stand up for students and student rights and that’s something I’m so excited and more than willing to do.”
No matter what he does in his time in office, Harris said he wants to ensure every student can be successful and the university is improving to meet the needs of current and future students.
“I am looking forward to serving Texas A&M, serving our students, advocating on behalf of our students, that’s all so exciting to me,” Harris said. “The two overarching goals I had throughout this whole thing, the two driving factors, was to set up every student here at A&M to win and then to advance Texas A&M however I can — those are the two motivating factors still.”
As he gets ready to take on the role as student body president, Harris said he hopes to inspire students to create the A&M experience they want as he has done for himself along the way.
“I’m so proud and excited to be an Aggie. I just love this place so much and I want to see [students] continue to thrive,” Harris said. “[I am] so humbled and honored to be able to serve A&M and serve the students. I’m here for the students, that is why I’m in this role. I’m not not in it for myself. I’m in it for Texas A&M University, and then for the students that are here. I want them to always feel like they can approach me with whatever thoughts or opinions they have. I just want students to feel free to use student government and use me as the student body president to be able to communicate what they want for the university, and then we can communicate that through administration.”

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