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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 elects unity chair, discusses budget and student savings

This+years+fish+aides+for+the+Student+Senate+were+introduced+during+the+Student+Senate+meeting.
Photo by Photo by Edith Anthony

This year’s fish aides for the Student Senate were introduced during the Student Senate meeting.

Money was on the minds of student senators at their meeting on Oct. 3, as the Student Senate approved the upcoming year’s budget and passed legislation regarding textbook and transportation financials.
Before the senate began addressing legislation, however, it elected Senator Adel Quntar as Unity Chair. Quntar has been engaged in senate talks regarding diversity since he was elected last spring.
The $50,000 budget for fiscal year 2019 distributing student funds to the Student Government Association (SGA) committees, commissions, organizations and branches was approved by the senate. The recipient of the largest sum is Big Event, set to receive $10,462.
In an effort to decrease the cost of textbooks, the senate passed the Open Source Textbook Bill.
The bill calls SGA members to pursue the adoption of campus-wide access to open source textbooks, which would provide students with a free alternative to purchasing or renting books. Presenters of the bill estimated that A&M students currently spend $65 million per year on textbooks.
Lower division biology classes at A&M are currently using open source textbooks through OpenStacks, which presenters said is saving students $600,000 per semester.
The senate put their support behind an increase in funding for Transportation Services, which is partially funded through the university advancement fee. The resolution said Transportation Services has been adapting to accommodate the growing student population, while the university advancement fee has not.
“The University Advancement Fee currently does not have a growth component that models the growth of our student population [and] Transportation Services has had to increase the service and size of their fleet to keep pace with student population growth,” the resolution said.
Addressing the procedural issue of senators speaking out of order at meetings, the senate amended the Senator Recognition Policies Act. The amendment declared senators speaking out of turn will be called to order once, rather than the former policy of twice. A senator loses their speaking privileges after three calls to order. Resolutions honoring the late Reveille VIII and recognizing Domestic Violence Awareness month were also passed.

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