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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 proposes adding second elected position to executive branch

Student+senate
Photo by Justice Jenson
Student senate

Concerns raised about presidential appointments during the impeachment of former Student Body President, or SBP, Hudson Kraus still echo in Texas A&M’s Student Senate.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, the Student Senate introduced legislation to make the executive vice president position obtainable only through an election, instead of an appointment. Additionally, the legislation defines the executive vice president as next in line if the student body president is removed.

During the period of new business, Rules and Regulations Chair Jade Williams and other sponsors introduced legislation that would change the way campus elections function for the executive branch of the Student Government Association. 

“In a general sense, what this [legislation] does is it’s going to make executive vice president an elected position,” Williams said.

During her introduction of the bill, Williams said this would not be an unprecedented move, citing that other Texas universities have students elect someone for the position. Currently at A&M, the only member of the executive branch elected by the student body is the SBP. Every other member is appointed by the president.

“We are doing this so that the Executive Cabinet has another elected official,” Williams said. 

Williams said this would also change the current line of succession in regards to who becomes president next if one is removed from office. 

Currently, if the SBP is removed, the Speaker of the Senate takes the SBP position if they choose to accept it. In October, this occurred, and Andrew Applewhite was sworn in as the next president.

“Let’s say, for instance, that the Student Body President resigns, gets sick … something happens, that’s no reason for the Senate to then take over the executive branch,” Williams said.

Williams said the cultural differences between the two branches are significant, and said she believes that these branches need to remain separate in order to ensure the integrity of the checks-and-balances system.

When questioned about what would happen to the executive vice president position if the SBP were to be removed in this new system, Williams said the executive branch would internally choose the next candidate.

“The executive branch will vote on someone to be executive vice president that will be confirmed by the Senate,” Williams said. “However, that person would not be viable for line of succession, it would still be third in line is the Speaker [of the Senate]. This is applicable for the US standard.”

During spring semester elections, Williams said candidates for SBP and executive vice president  would run together on a joint ticket, in contrast to the current split ticket system. Williams was also questioned about whether recent events affected the introduction of this legislation.

“I don’t think that this was necessarily condemning or approving anything that’s happened previously,” Williams said. “All I’m saying is that moving forward we have to make the process better, and this is the way to do this.”

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