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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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Student body president candidates share their platforms with Student Senate

Photo by Meredith Seaver
Koldus Building

The Student Senate held a meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 24 where several student body president candidates discussed their platforms and concerns about the state of Texas A&M.
Four candidates running for Student Body President shared their platforms with the senate during the open forum period of the meeting, starting with Matt Ryan, followed by Natalie Parks, Blake Martin and Charlie Frawley. Candidates Josh Feldman and Chase Newsom were not in attendance.
Matt Ryan discussed his platform of unity, mental health and tradition.
“As many of y’all know as time has gone on, not only nationwide, but also here in Aggieland, we’ve become a more divided student body. I believe that through my campaign we can work together to have more open communication to bridge this divide,” Ryan said.
Parks, who currently serves as president of the class of 2022, discussed her plan to create a “TAMU by You.”
“Essentially this means that we envision a campus that is made better because of you and your ideas. So, my platform really has been shaped by the input of real student voices,” Parks said. “Our vision is built on action items pertaining to pillars of wellness, because wellness impacts student success, inclusion, because everybody has a place in Aggieland, and tradition, because tradition connects us to the Aggie spirit and to each other.”
Martin shared his three-part platform that focuses on tradition, efficiency and mental health.
“A few things I’d like to see is getting a lower committee involved in the student senate working with y’all to try and bring down the fees and working with the administration,” Martin said. “As one of the richest universities in the country, it’s unfair that we have to pay $500 for parking passes when we have 13 and a half billion dollars in endowment money. I think this is unacceptable and something I would work to improve.”
The final candidate to present was Frawley, who shared his platform that advocates for mental health support, the allocation of resources to all Aggies and advancement of service.
“I know my journey through A&M has been a great one thanks to so many great opportunities that I’ve been afforded, and I also know that there are many students that cannot see the opportunities that I did, whether that’s because of a lack of support from where they came from at home, whether socially, emotionally or financially,” Frawley said. “I know that it is impossible to give the exact same opportunities to every student and it’s impossible to guarantee that every student will be successful, but I think something that is very important is to do our best to ensure that the opportunities are there.”
Many candidates discussed mental health services on campus, offering solutions to problems they have noticed on campus.
“One of the problems facing us is walk-in counseling. We currently do not have walk in counseling and you have to schedule counseling in advance. This can take up to two weeks or a month, or even longer, and this is unacceptable because someone might need counseling at that direct time and they’re not able to get it, and by then it’s too late.” Ryan said.
Martin echoed the need for increased counseling services for students after tragedies that occurred in the Corps of Cadets.
“We’ve experienced it first hand in the Corps of Cadets,” Martin said. “Two cadets recently committed suicide in Squadron 8. This is something that is an extremely unfortunate event and we can’t have this happen anymore. I would like to partner with local mental health institutions in the Bryan-College Station area that would work with the university and work with students to try and find ways we can make them feel welcome, as well as work with the administration and with CAPS to maybe add more counselors and make sure students feel welcome, whether it be on-campus or off-campus.”
Senate additionally passed a Black History Month resolution to recognize the significance of Black History Month at A&M.

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