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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 meeting passes resolution to honor Provost Karen Watson, elects new chair

Wednesday evening’s Student Senate meeting included a presentation from Provost Karen Watson followed by the passage of a resolution in her honor, the election of a new Community Relations Chair and a discussion concerning various pieces of legislation.

After a brief open forum, Watson addressed the Senate, reflecting on her 34 year career at A&M. Watson said she has remained consistently impressed by the balance of tradition and progress at the university.

“What I’ve admired often about Texas A&M University is we love tradition, especially healthy traditions that pull us together, but what we recognize is investments in the future is what keeps us valuable,” Watson said.

Following her presentation, Watson answered questions from the assembled body of Senators and Senate Resolution 69-16, “The Dr. Karan Watson Selfless Service Resolution,” which was created to thank Watson for her many years of service, was introduced and passed unanimously.

Though Watson will step down from her position as provost at the conclusion of the current academic year, she will remain at A&M as a professor.

Finance Junior and Off-Campus Senator Jake Wilson was nominated and ran unopposed for the position of Community Relations Chair, ultimately being confirmed and sworn in shortly thereafter. Wilson, who previously served as director of Gig the Vote, said he looks forward to improving communication between the Senate and student body.

“I’m just excited for the opportunity,” Wilson said. “I’m excited to continue what I did with gig the vote, that was a big passion of mine. … I’m excited to get to try to set up some things for the students to get input into us so we know what it is that people want.”

Senate Resolution 69-17, “Congratulations Office of Sustainability Resolution,” introduced by political science junior and Ad Hoc Diversity and Inclusion Chair Jasmine Wang, was passed unanimously. Wang said A&M’s recently-earned gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education was an achievement worth recognizing through the resolution.

Senate Bill 69-52, “The Student Voter Bill,” was introduced by general studies sophomore and Student Services Chair Ja’Cory Clark, interdisciplinary studies senior and Education Senator Lauren Powers and international affairs graduate student and Director of Legislative Relations Jacob Arnett. The bill expressed support for Texas House Bill 1005, which calls for student ID cards to be accepted for voting purposes.

The bill was passed after a period of questioning, in which Arnett responded to concerns about potential voter fraud.

“There are actually aspects of this bill that specifically talk about addressing voter fraud cases, so if you are concerned about voter fraud, because I imagine at least a few of you are, understand that this bill addresses those aspects very specifically and it should, as far as I understand, take care of those concerns,” Arnett said.

The open session of the meeting saw the introduction of the “Dismount Zone Bill” by Clark which would create a bicycle dismount zone next to the fenced-off construction area near Kruger hall. The bill was moved to the Student Services committee shortly after its presentation.

The meeting also including the swearing in of several new senators who will help make up the 70th session of the Texas A&M student session.

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