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

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
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Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Student Senate rejects ‘Fee Neutrality Bill’

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Tim Lai — THE BATTALION

The Student Senate docket Wednesday included the Fee Neutrality Bill, which proposes the student body president election endorsement by The Battalion editorial board was an inappropriate use of student fees and advocates the outlet’s fee allocation should be stripped.
Before it could reach committee, a vote was passed to postpone indefinitely the bill.
Academic Affairs Chair David Sonka said no student fees should go to a news source that endorses a candidate.
“Student fees were used to bolster the campaign of one candidate in particular, and a student-funded news source should not be taking sides,” Sonka said. “We shouldn’t have our vote of dollars taken from us.”
Rule and Regulations Chair Aaron Mitchell said he agreed The Battalion should not endorse candidates, but said the campus needs a student newspaper and proposed speaking with The Battalion staff instead.
“A daily paper exists to report daily news and to give students journalism experience,” Mitchell said. “We need Aggie journalists. There are t-sips out there running the world of journalism. It’s rude to ask to defund somebody’s organization.”
Senator Joseph Hood said defunding The Battalion would set a dangerous precedent of defunding other student organizations that endorse a candidate.
“Many other organizations that endorse candidates do receive student fees in one way or the other,” Hood said. “If this bill passes, it sends a message to the rest of the student body.”
Sonka also drafted and co-sponsored a bill by SGA Academic Affairs Vice President Jason Wood to address the drain on campus resources by the influx of incoming freshmen. The bill calls for Student Senate to ask administration to freeze freshman enrollment to admit the same amount of students or fewer as were admitted in 2015.
“This is something that would really help us catching up with the building of new dorms, new transportation initiatives and help control some of the traffic around campus,” Sonka said.
The bill was met with resistance from Student Senator Daniel Bosworth, who said passing the bill would dramatically lessen enrollment in smaller colleges.
“People are going to be applying to the top majors that obviously pay big once you get out,” Bosworth said. “For smaller colleges, we’ll see lesser and lesser amounts of enrollment because of this cap on students. In turn, funding won’t go to smaller colleges.”
Student Senate also voted on a bill honoring former philosophy professor and associate director of undergraduate studies Scott Austin, who died in December.
“The bill is asking that the bench he hung out on in front of the YMCA Building be named in his honor,” Hood said. “[Austin] was a very good friend to students and faculty alike.”
The bill passed with an overwhelming majority.

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