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 supports bringing Sul Ross statue stop back to E-Walk

Photo by Photo by Edith Anthony

The 71st Student Senate passed multiple resolutions in their Nov. 28 meeting, including a condemnation of Class Councils’ removal of a stop at the Lawrence Sullivan Ross statue from the 2018 Elephant Walk. 

At its last meeting of the fall semester, the Texas A&M Student Senate weighed in on the controversy surrounding this year’s Elephant Walk.
With a vote of 27-18 with one abstention, the Senate passed a resolution condemning Class Councils’ decision to remove a stop at the Lawrence Sullivan Ross statue from the walk’s route. The resolution requests that the stop be reincorporated into future Elephant Walks. Ross was a former A&M president, Texas governor and Confederate general, and his statue in Academic Plaza has been a focal point for traditions  and protests.
Those supporting the resolution argued the stop should be included because of previous traditions and out of respect for the good Ross did for A&M during his time as president.
“Lawrence Sullivan Ross oversaw the beginnings of The Battalion, the Aggie Ring, the Ross Volunteers, the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, the first intercollegiate game against t.u. and took deliberate action to ban all hazing and encourage the instruction of the first woman on campus,” the resolution reads.
However, many senators argued Ross’s history as a Confederate general makes minority students uncomfortable.
“There are still students on this campus that feel uncomfortable because they are historically marginalized groups,” said Freshman Caucus Senator Iman Ahmed. “We’re not bashing Sully. We still recognize the good things he did for this university, but we have to keep in mind that he was still a Confederate Army general. This resolution only supports students who are not affected by that history.”
Student Body President Amy Sharp expressed her disappointment that the Student Senate passed the resolution.
“Although I respect the authors and the sponsors of the bill, I am disappointed it passed,” Sharp said. “I’m curious whether any of authors, sponsors, or anyone who voted on behalf of their constituents tonight took the time in the last to weeks to meet with their constituents. It’s our job to represent student voices, and I find it difficult if not impossible to do that without actually talking to the students we represent.”
The Student Senate unanimously passed an act that will make it easier for the student body to add ballot referendums to student body elections. Vice President of Communication Dylan Manshack presented the act, which will require one percent of the student population to add their names as signatories to add a statute change or university constitutional amendment to the ballot instead of the previous requirements of 5,000 signatures for statues and 7,500 for constitutional amendments.
The Student Senate passed a resolution recognizing “the courageous efforts” of the families who spoke at the Nov. 13 “Love, Mom and Dad” panel about losing their children to hazing.
“These families … truly embody the Aggie Spirit and have the bravery and the courage to come and relive the deaths of their sons due to fraternity hazing by informing us and fighting for stronger anti-hazing laws,” said Caroline Moore, Off-Campus Senator and author of the resolution.
In light of Bonfire Remembrance on Nov. 18, the Student Senate passed a resolution honoring the 12 Aggies who died in the 1999 Bonfire Collapse. The resolution also thanked Student Bonfire, Inc. — a non-university affiliated group that hosts an annual bonfire off campus — for “their work in stoking the fire of the Aggie spirit.”
The Senate passed two resolutions that recognized Aggies who had been re-elected in the 2018 midterm elections. In the U.S. House of Representatives, the resolution acknowledged the election of District 1 Congressman Louie Gohmert, Class of 1975, District 17 Congressman Bill Flores, Class of 1976, and District 23 Congressman Will Hurd, Class 1999. The second resolution congratulated 27 Aggies that have been re-elected to public office in Texas.
On Campus Senator Jett Black was confirmed as Director of Archives ex-officio officer, and Off-Campus Senator Cydney Johnson was confirmed as Associate Director of Archives ex-officio officer.

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