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

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Student Senate passes resolution supporting Draggieland

Photo by Photo by Meredith Seaver
Koldus Building

The Texas A&M Student Senate met on Wednesday, March 2, hearing presentations from student body president and Yell Leader candidates, and passed a resolution in support of Draggieland.

The passing of this resolution came at the end of a three and a half hour meeting and almost did not happen due to the meeting length and so few senators being present that quorum was almost not met. Senate Speaker Iman Ahmed, a public health senior, had to call a recess before the vote was taken. This recess, punctuated by senators calling other senators to show up, allowed for quorum to be exactly met.

Even after quorum was met, the resolution faced another challenge: the lack of time remaining in the meeting. The other piece of legislation set to be considered that night, a resolution concerning recent threats to faculty tenure in Texas, had to be sent back to committee to be considered in the next meeting.

While there were discussions to send back the Draggieland resolution to committee as well, one of the authors, computer science sophomore Jessica Williams, chair of the Legislative Relations committee, argued that this resolution needed to be voted on at this meeting.

“I am very passionate about this piece of legislation going up today as we have lots of community members who are really invested in this legislation,” Williams said. “This legislation is building on years of work that has been done in the LGBTQ+ community.”

With this, the resolution was introduced by its authors, including geology senior Daniel Hou, the president of Draggieland 2022.

“This year, MSC Town Hall was told not to submit an approval form for Draggieland, and there’s been no formal comments or explanations by [Vice President for Student Affairs Ramirez] or President [M. Katherine] Banks,” Hou said. “[Banks] did briefly mention that it was approved by a student organization, but she did not mention the fact that it was told not to be submitted by MSC Town Hall.”

The authors of this resolution also talked about how this piece was influenced by changes outside of A&M. Visualization senior Frey Miller, president of Transcend, talked about recent legislative changes that target transgender communities.

“More legislative bills targeting transgender communities have been passed during the Biden administration than in the past decade, a trend that ignores the staggering statistic that transgender youth are four times more likely to commit suicide than their cis[gender] counterparts,” Miller said. “Texas is at the forefront of this legislative movement targeting trans communities’ access to health care, trans inclusive spaces and insurance policies.”

Miller said, while this resolution does not fix any of these widespread issues, presenting it in this way helps to present the importance of this resolution better.

“While this resolution does not address the statewide legislative hostility directed toward trans communities, this context reframes Draggieland from the viewpoint of LGBTQ+ community,” Miller said.

Besides supporting Draggieland, this resolution aims to establish an organization similar to Cultural Councils for LGBTQ+ students.

“The 74th Session of the Texas A&M Student Senate supports the creation of an umbrella organization for LGBTQ+ students on campus in the form of a[n] independent student organization, charged with permanently putting on Draggieland, connecting LGBTQ+ organizations on campus and advocating on LGBTQ+ issues to administration,” the resolution reads.

With the limited time to pass this resolution, there was very little debate around it and the resolution passed by a unanimous vote.

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