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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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Second SBP Roundtable keeps leaders in the loop

Bobby+Brooks+Roundtable
Photo by Photo by Luke Henkhaus
Bobby Brooks Roundtable

Student leaders from around the university gathered for a casual, cross-campus coordination meeting Thursday afternoon, discussing special projects and initiatives to better serve and represent the student body.
The second Student Body President Roundtable, hosted by SBP Bobby Brooks, brought leaders together from groups including the Student Government Association, Memorial Student Center and Graduate and Professional Student Council. Among the items on the discussion agenda were student-led efforts to combat sexual assault and progress on plans for a statue of Matthew Gaines.
The format of the meeting provided an important opportunity for greater cooperation between student-led organizations, according to Beni Kashala, communication senior and senior advisor to the Student Body President.
“It just allows us to share information that not every student leader gets,” Kashala said. “It allows us to all be on the same page and then be able to relay the information to the people we represent, so that we’re all well informed of what’s happening on campus.”
Of the plans discussed, Kashala said he was particularly passionate about the ongoing Matthew Gaines statue project. A former slave and Texas State Senator, Gaines supported the authorization of the Morrill Land-Grant Act, which led to the establishment of Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M. The project to erect a statue at Texas A&M in his honor is in its earlier stages with completion tentatively expected for spring 2020.
“When it’s built, it’s going to be really cool for our students to be able to see a representation of themselves in someone who did work so hard,” Kashala said. “People think ‘What does a statue do?’ I think it gives them that sort of ownership of the university that they haven’t had.”
Grace Dansby, chemical engineering senior and SGA chief of staff, said she was very interested in continuing plans to increase awareness of mental health and associated campus services.
“I think a lot of Aggies just don’t know about our resources, and I think it’s a lot more prevalent issue than a lot of people imagine or really understand,” Dansby said.
Another goal of the roundtable discussion was to ensure that voices and perspectives from throughout the student body are understood when responding to violence and hate on campus.
“We are a university that I think has a lot more individuals that are similar to each other and so making sure that we’re aware of other people and the differences and celebrating that is important,” Dansby said.
Brooks said taking the time to keep each other on the same page with future and ongoing initiatives is an important step in serving the student body of today’s Texas A&M.
“It’s just good when you can get student leaders in one room to talk about things,” Brooks said. “Obviously, major decisions aren’t going to come out of this room today, but just making that act of putting information out there, putting initiatives out there and trying to get those different groups in there is really nice to just have that space created.”

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