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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 Senate advocates for legislative change, swears in new officers

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Photo by Photo by Edith Anthony
Senate 10/18

The Student Senate’s sights were set on Austin as they unanimously passed three bills to advocate for legislative changes in Texas.
The most widely impactful bill to Texas A&M students is the POLS 206/207 Voter Registration Information Bill, which would require information about voting to be taught in required government classes.
“Voter registration among young people in Texas aged 18-24 trails the national average at 48 percent compared to 55 percent, and Texas voter turnout is lower than the national average at 55 percent compared to 61 percent,” the resolution read.
Jacey Jolly, of the Legislative Relations Commission, was optimistic that this bill would help increase the state’s turnout.
“Hopefully this bill will be able to give more Aggies information on how to register and increase our awareness,” Jolly said.
Speaker Pro-Tempore Tate Banks introduced a bill that will advocate for priority course registration for veterans. Banks said the Veteran’s Resource Center, the Veteran’s Student Association, Aggie Shields and the Registration System administrators all believe allowing veterans to register early would be beneficial.
“A&M has a great history of having our Corps and sending people off into the military,” Banks said. “We don’t have as much of a significant history of taking people back who have been in the military.”
Although Banks acknowledged that campus resources had helped the facilitation of accepting veterans, he felt it was time to “take this next step.”
The Senate also passed a bill that supports rewriting Texas’ Good Samaritan law to extend legal protections for those who call paramedics when they have overdosed or those who call to save someone who has overdosed.
“Most drug overdoses occur in the presence of other users, and the number of calls to 911 is nowhere near that percentage,” said Katherine Stagner of the Legislative Relations Commission. “The Good Samaritan Law Reformation Bill will provide protection to those seeking medical attention due to impairment from drug abuses.”
With a vote of 45-3, with four abstentions, The Senate approved The Retitling of the Unity Committee Act, which will change the name of the Unity Committee to the Diversity and Inclusion Committee. Luis Moreno, Senator from the College of Engineering, said the word “Unity” sent the message that assimilation is necessary for unity.
“You don’t have to change who you are to be part of the [Aggie] family,” Moreno said “You just become one of them.”
The Senate also passed an act to regulate the creation of Senate subcommittees, effectively taking precedent the Senate had set for subcommittee creation and officially writing it into the rules and regulations.
All candidates elected during the fall campaigning season were sworn in as new senators.
The Senate also swore in three ex-officio officers: engineering freshman Ana Lara, oceanography freshman Stephanie Anderson and engineering freshman Grant Kirby.
 

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