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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 Senate confirms diversity commissioner

Diversity+commissioner%2C+James+Palacios+being+sworn+in+by+the+Senate.
Photo by Provided

Diversity commissioner, James Palacios being sworn in by the Senate.

Texas A&M’s Student Senate confirmed a diversity commissioner, welcomed new committee members and passed multiple resolutions Wednesday night.
The vote on diversity commissioner follows last semester’s denial of Student Body President Amy Sharp’s original nominee, political science senior Ricardo Mercado. The denial left Sharp’s executive cabinet without a commissioner during the summer and the first part of the fall semester. Public administration graduate student James Palacios was Sharp’s candidate for diversity commissioner this semester and was unanimously elected.
Palacios said his vision and values when coming into the role included selfless service because he wants to make a difference to students of every background.
“As cliche as it may sound, if I can make the world a little bit better than when I found it then I have done my part to help this world,” Palacios said. “I truly believe I have been blessed with so much and so many great opportunities that it is only my duty to make sure that I can do that for other students as well.”
Palacios said he plans to establish a diversity commission that aims to represent all people at A&M. The commission looks to hold 12-15 members of varying backgrounds.
“I will be soliciting members through sending emails to student organizations across campus to hopefully get their students involved in our diversity,” Palacios said. “The Hispanic Presidents’ Council, the Asians Presidents’ Council, the NAACP, the Panhellenic Council, the Fraternity Council, anyone that makes A&M unique.”
Introduced in the last meeting, “The Diversity and Inclusion Representation Bill” now renamed“The Unity Representation Act” was passed by the Senate. The “Reapportionment of Senate Caucuses Act” and the “Operations Committee Rehaul Act” were also passed from being introduced in the last meeting.
The Senate also passed the “Encouraging Students to Vote in 2018 Midterm Elections Resolution.” Introduced by student services chair Ashali Chimata, off-campus senator Zach Huebschman, and college of liberal arts senators Perla Lopez and Regan Thompson, the resolution encouraged students to make an informed vote.
“The Texas A&M University Student Senate believes that the 2018 Midterm elections will be an important opportunity for voters to participate in our nation’s democratic systems and have an influence on the future of our local, state and national politics,” Chimata read from the resolution. “The Texas A&M University Student Senate encourages students to do their own research on issues and candidates that will appear on the 2018 midterm election ballot.”
The “Formula Funding Resolution” was passed, showing opposition to all Formula Funding cuts.
“Formula Funding is the template for the distribution of monies per school from the State of Texas general fund for Higher Education Instruction Financial Aid and Research,” the resolution reads. “The student body and its student leaders take an informed, unified stand against all funding cuts to higher education.”
During open session, senator Luis Moreno introduced the “Hispanic Heritage Month Resolution,” which was approved by Senate.
“Overall, we are just really excited about our culture and pretty proud of our heritage,” Moreno said. “We are really excited to also lend some sort of welcoming to the incoming [Hispanic] freshman class who as of now make up 30% of the incoming class.”
The senate operations committee and the finance committee chairs were also sworn in with no debate and members of the University Committees were confirmed by the Senate.
Chimata presented senator Perla Lopez as the chair of the interpersonal violence subcommittee and the Senate confirmed her as the chair.
Political science senior Katina Economides was unanimously approved as development commissioner. Now overseeing all fundraising activities, Economides said these activities make sure student government doesn’t have to rely on student fees to operate. One method SGA will continue to utilize is their brick campaign, in which current and former students, organizations, departments and families purchase engraved bricks to be displayed in front of the John J. Koldus building.
“A good idea of one of our fundraising methods is the path to success brick campaign,” Economides said. “That’s a fundraising method that goes straight into the SGA endowment. I’m setting an ambitious goal with completing the brick campaign by the end of our football season.”
Other fundraising ideas Economides brought to the Senate included a newsletter, auctioning off naming rights to certain rooms and a Chick-Fil-A relay race.
“I want to create a newsletter subscription for SGA that we can sell to former SGA members and donors so they can kinda keep up with what’s going on with SGA and how they are having an impact on us,” Economides said. “My job will be showcasing all of our accomplishments and advocating for our donors to invest in this organization.”

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