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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

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Senate against finance major limitation

The Texas A&M Student Senate passed emergency legislation at a meeting Wednesday in response to a concern from business students about recent limitations on degree plan possibilities.
Mays Business School sent an e-mail April 29 informing students that they would no longer be allowing double majors in finance. Senators were quick to draft a bill showing support of the finance double major option.
“This is completely unacceptable,” said Rules and Regulations Chairman Mike Simmons. “This is something that we need to address now. This is something that affects students now.”
The policy affects current students in the finance department who desire a double major outside of the department and students in another field wanting to get a double major in finance.
Senators said the policy was extremely limiting to business students, who wait to declare a degree concentration until junior year. Under the established double major limitations, students who entered A&M with the goal of a finance double major are facing an altered academic course schedule.
Senators said communication needed to be opened to hear the explanation for the decision.
“Take a step back. Talk to us first,” said Matthew Wey, a senior accounting major and academic affairs chairman. “Send an e-mail explaining why [Mays Business School] made this decision.”
The Mays Double Major Support Bill passed unanimously through the Senate.
Senators also debated emergency legislation regarding the Sustainability Survey on the April election ballot.
In the referendum question, students were asked if they supported greater efforts by the University to increase sustainability measures using existing budget funds. Seventy-six percent of participants – 10,560 students – voted “yes” to the question.
Recently, however, senators have shown concern that the positive results from this referendum have been used in a different light. The Texas Legislature is considering a bill that would allow Texas universities the option to implement a fee of up to $5 for sustainability practices. Under the bill statutes, such a fee would be applied at a university after approval through a student referendum.
Senators worried that the referendum could be used as evidence that A&M students supported such a fee.
“We need to make sure that we clarify as Student Government what this referendum was for,” Simmons said. “This was not a preapproval of that fee. It was a preapproval of sustainability programs.”
The Environmental Issues Committee, EIC, who originated the referendum, also echoed the fact that the question was not meant to reflect student opinion on a sustainability fee.
“EIC initiated the referendum in order to gage student input on sustainable services, in order to propose to the campus administration asking them to give higher priority and an investment so students can have access to these services on campus,” said Amanda Grosgebauer, senior English major and EIC chairwoman. “And thus far, that is exactly how the referendum has been used.”
Student Senate did not take an opinion regarding the possible future enactment of a sustainability fee. Senators and bill authors desired to clarify for the Texas Legislature that the previous referendum did not specifically address a fee.
“When a student votes on a referendum, there should be no worry about what this vote means; that should be explicitly stated,” said Tanner Wilson, junior applied math and science major and student services chairman. “The purpose of this bill is so that the Texas Legislature knows that this was not a referendum for a bill; it was for sustainability out of the existing budget.”
Vote breakdownThe Sustainability Referendum Opinion Bill passed with a vote of 43 for, 14 against and one abstention.

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