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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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Student body president candidates field questions from students, moderator

SBP+Candidates+speak+during+a+debate+in+the+Flag+Room+on+Thursday%2C+Feb.+23%2C+2023.%26%23160%3B
Photo by Ebba Turi

SBP Candidates speak during a debate in the Flag Room on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2023. 

The four 2023-24 Texas A&M student body president candidates gathered in the Memorial Student Center Flag Room to answer questions from students about their campaigns and argue their stance on issues regarding the student body. 

The Feb. 23 debate was hosted by the Student Government Association and moderated by Frank B. Ashley II, Ph.D., executive associate dean of The Bush School of Government and Public Service. The debate consisted of three rounds of questioning, including an initial round of questions regarding the legacy of their campaign, a questioning period among the candidates and a choice of five student-submitted questions, as well as a period of time for opening and closing statements. The event allowed students to learn more about the candidates and their platforms before voting takes place on March 2-3. 

This event is a unique opportunity for students to get to know the candidates better, said current Student Body President Case Harris. 

“The students can benefit from this because you really get to hear what the candidates [are] passionate about and that helps a lot with voting decisions,” Harris said. “As a candidate, it’s a cool opportunity to get to voice your priorities and what you want to this student body. It’s the first time you’re publicly talking about, in person, your platform so it’s a big night for the candidates.” 

Following an opening round of introductions, candidates were given two minutes to share what legacy they plan on leaving at A&M following their time as student body president. 

With hopes of leaving a legacy of service, finance junior Hudson Kraus said his work as president of A&M Interfraternity Council, or IFC, included a $26,000 endowment that provides scholarships for IFC members. 

“It’s something that’s going to be here, it’s going to continue to leave a legacy far beyond when I’m gone,” Kraus said. “It’s the same Texas A&M spirit that I want to bring into being student body president.” 

Kraus said his favorite Core Value is Selfless Service and hopes to effectively and tangibly serve the student body if elected. 

“That’s one of the things that I’m talking about all the time, is because, frankly, the majority of students on campus do not understand what student government does,” Kraus said. “So what I want to make sure that happens is that … It’s very evident that in the lives of students what student government is doing for them, they make a lot of positive impacts and a lot of positive things happen as a result of the Student Government Association.” 

Marketing junior Cate Craddock said her campaign is based on leaving a legacy of caring for and serving the 12th Man. 

“I care about community for every Aggie,” Craddock said. “I want to advocate for mental wellness, addressing these rising student costs, upholding Aggie Core Values and traditions. I want to see every Aggie find their place, their community and making College Station their home.” 

With the 12th Man as her motivation, Craddock said through her various involvement on campus she has learned how special the student body is. 

“Specifically, that what has been successful, I’ve seen in the past, is servant leadership,” Craddock said. “That also goes along with Selfless Service, and that making sure that we, whoever is in charge, puts the student’s needs above their own, and as student body president that is important to me, and it’s important that the student body is taken care of.”

Through serving as the 2022-23 junior class president, biomedical sciences junior Christian Newton said he has already begun leaving a legacy at A&M by building a sense of community on campus. 

“That sense of community is really what drives student success,” Newton said. “As class president, I’ve gotten to do things like fundraise for a class gift, and so leave a physical imprint on our campus after we graduate here, but also keep our class connected years after our time at Texas A&M.”

With hopes to establish a Lyft initiative which would provide free or subsidized rides to students, Newton was questioned by Craddock about how he plans to execute this program. 

“Through conversations with some of those campus partners like TAMU UPD, as well as those Northgate district [businesses] and equity colleges, they’ve all been open to the discussion potentially funding those projects,” Newton said. 

University studies junior Bailey Greenwood said she hopes students remember her as someone who leaves every room better than she found it.

“If you look at my involvement across the board, I have served in a leadership position in every single one of those and in every single one of those I have taken on a challenge that was told couldn’t be and yet here we are, they were done,” Greenwood said. “I think that the legacy that I would like to leave [is] … the impossible is not impossible.”

Kraus asked Greenwood about the tangible aspects of her campaign and what concrete results students can expect to see from her initiatives. Regarding her campaign initiatives, Greenwood said conversations have already started to begin to make campus more accessible for students with disabilities.

“I have had the opportunity to meet with the necessary offices for that,” Greenwood said. “I’ve met with the Disability Resources center once a week and I’ve been meeting with TAMU EMS to find and pinpoint the places on campus that are just not super friendly to those actions.”

Students can vote online at vote.tamu.edu from March 2 at 9 a.m. to March 3 at 12 p.m. Results will be announced no earlier than 7 p.m. on March 3.

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