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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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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Student Senate considers high-speed train, passes veterans resolution

Then-sophomore+JaCory+Clark+addresses+the+Senate+about+efforts+to+revise+the+excused+absence+policy+at+a+Student+Senate+on+November+1%2C+2017.+Since+then%2C+Student+Senators+have+continued+to+advocate+for+revisions%2C+and+the+Faculty+Senate+recently+approved+a+rule+adjustment+that+would+include+some+of+the+Student+Senates+proposed+changes.
Photo by Photo by Jesse Everett

Then-sophomore Ja’Cory Clark addresses the Senate about efforts to revise the excused absence policy at a Student Senate on November 1, 2017. Since then, Student Senators have continued to advocate for revisions, and the Faculty Senate recently approved a rule adjustment that would include some of the Student Senate’s proposed changes.

Filling the student government meeting room to maximum capacity, Student Senate’s meeting on Nov. 15 featured two presentations and unanimous passing of the Texas Aggie Veterans Appreciation Resolution.
For this session of student senate, Texas Central, a Texas-based private company spearheading construction of a high-speed bullet train, presented for the first 30 minutes of the meeting about their project, followed by Transportation Services and the passing of the Veterans Appreciation Resolution.
Passing unanimously, the Texas Aggie Veterans Appreciation Resolution formally issued a statement to recognize the numerous student veterans enrolled at the school, according to economics senior and senator Olivia Krog.
“Given the timeliness, I think it would be great if we could all express [gratitude for the veterans],” Krog said. “There are 1,232 currently enrolled Aggie veterans who have gone above and beyond selfless service, not only to our university, but also to our country.”
The high-speed bullet train will connect Dallas and Houston and aims to be competitive with both driving and flying between the cities, according to outreach manager Rebecca Cowle. Cowle said the railway will boost the Texas economy and reduce traffic and fatalities along I-45, all of which she says will positively affect students.
“Populations in DFW and Houston are expected to double, and what are not going to double are the lanes on I-45,” Cowle said. “This train is also incredibly environmentally friendly, it will help take cars off the road which will reduce harmful emissions in the air and also it will help keep Texas safe. I-45 is the second most dangerous highway in the entire country.”
The railway would streamline travel time between the two major Texas cities to be close to 90 minutes, according to Cowle. The project is set to begin in early 2019, and take between four to five years to complete.
“This is a completely private project, completely investor-owned,” Cowle said. “We know this is going to be a 10 billion dollar piece of investment on Texas Central’s part, but what that does is we found out over the next 25 years, that initial investment on Texas Central’s part will yield a direct economic impact of 36 billion dollars. That is the economic equivalent of 180 Super Bowls happening in Texas.”
Following the company’s presentation, senators asked the representatives questions for over 15 minutes, voting unanimously three times to extend the company’s floor time. Questions ranged from how much fares for the train would cost to how the railway would affect Southwest Airlines’ business in Texas.
Transportation Services followed Texas Central’s presentation, asking senators to refrain from making bills that request new routes or buses.
“It costs 500,000 dollars to add each new bus,” said Kenneth Kimball, director of Transportation Services. “The budget we have now cannot cover both operating expenses and new purchases.”

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