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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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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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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Voting matters

 
 

With the special legislative session completed in Austin, an announcement was made by State Representative Fred Brown (R) that he would be stepping down as representative of District 14.
Brown resigned from his seat after 12-and-a-half years to join his former business partner Garland Shelton in Temple managing a car dealership. Representative Brown also stated that the reason for resigning was due in part for him to spend more time with his family.
With Representative Brown stepping down, the question now becomes, who will take his seat? Local politicians have already put their names in the light to run in a special election in November for the District 14 seat in the Texas legislature. The locals who initially put their name in the race were current City of Bryan Mayor Jason Bienski, Brazos County Tax Assessor Gerald “Buddy” Winn and former Texas Aggie football player Seth McKinney. McKinney and Bienski have since withdrawn their names from the race.
With the economy still in decline, unemployment staying steady at 8 percent, and now funding for education taking a $4 billion hit statewide, this makes the seat that much more important.
You may ask as to why care about this race? It’s just another election, another person to fill in a seat by making false promises to the people. It’s important because not only does this election affect local politics in Bryan-College, but it affects students at Texas A&M.
Students have started noticing (including yours truly) there are fewer grants and scholarships, and more loans in the Financial Aid Portal. Ah those loans! There are unsubsidized loans, subsidized loans, short term loans, Parent Plus loans, sign here with blood loans…oh wait, that one doesn’t exist…yet.
So with loans galore taking over student financial aid packets, students should be concerned as to who will step up to the plate and be the voice of their constituents.
With that said, students must remember that cuts do have to be made. We are in a declining economy where every penny must be spent wisely. The person that the constituents elect should be fiscally responsible because what good would it be to spend money that is not really available. We must pull ourselves up by the bootstraps and really ask ourselves what is truly important and what isn’t necessary.
The elected official must stand up for local businesses and look to try to improve our community. Granted as mentioned before, we may not get everything we want but as long as we receive the necessities, we will be ok.
People everywhere should take a look around and realize that in tough times, we must refrain from a luxurious lifestyle. Some people are already making necessary adjustments to their own personal budgets to ensure that their finances are in order. Many at A&M are making sacrifices just to pay for classes. From joining the military, to working multiple jobs, to taking fewer classes, everyone is trying to figure out how to get out of this mess.
Fear not fellow peers, there is one way our community can make an impact on what happens. Part of the solution is to go out and vote. Don’t just vote for a flashy candidate that looks good on television or is a smooth talker. Take the time to get informed on the upcoming issues. Watch the news, listen to talk radio read the papers, ask questions! Get informed one way or another folks, and use your morals and values to assist in making the best choice that you feel will represent District 14. The clock is ticking till November’s special election and more candidates are sure to put their names in the running. So let the campaigns begin for District 14 and have an ear open for who stands for what folks!
Michael Rodriguez is a senior industrial engineering major.

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