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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One step away
June 8, 2024

A more perfect Aggieland

Voting+in+student+elections+begins+on+Feb.+20+at+9+a.m.+and+closes+on+Feb.+21+at+12+p.m.
Photo by FILE

Voting in student elections begins on Feb. 20 at 9 a.m. and closes on Feb. 21 at 12 p.m.

We are in a critical time of change in Aggieland. Almost 144 years since classes began at Texas A&M as an all-male military college, the appearance of the university has obviously transformed. However, so has everything from the instructors that lead our classrooms to the students that grace Military Walk. Despite the progress which has been made thus far, none of that matters if Aggies don’t go out and vote in the student body elections.
It is a chronic concern that so comparatively few students vote in student elections for a student body as big, diverse and socially engaged as we are. Turnout in the spring 2019 elections was about 23.5 percent, and that number hasn’t changed much from year to year.
Some students may feel they don’t have enough time to vote. However, voting is not a time-intensive process. All you have to do during the two-day election period is go to the A&M “Elections Online” website, put in your UIN and the system automatically directs you to all the relevant ballots based on your major, classification and residency.
Other nonvoters may feel that the student government does not affect their lives, but this view is also mistaken. We have seen recently what can happen when people choose to have their voices heard in the polls. Case in point, every student who has used an excused absence to go to an interview for a job, graduate school or internship since Student Rule 7 was modified last spring owes the change in large part to the advocacy of these elected student leaders. Voting makes a difference.
When you choose not to vote, you’re putting your life and future at A&M in the hands of people who probably don’t care about the same problems. Casting a ballot is the only avenue that many of us will ever get to have sway on which issues get taken seriously or how our complaints are addressed by the university or our money is spent. The right for students to have their say should be as fundamental to what it means to be an Aggie as Muster or Midnight Yell.
The most significant obstacle to our collective power as a student body is our sense of apathy and disillusionment. Voting is a profound statement about what we all believe A&M should be. Do you care about the Matthew Gaines statute effort? Vote. Are you dissatisfied with other student rules? Vote. Do you believe the university should be doing more to make the campus inclusive for all students? Vote.
There are few things as admirable as working for the betterment of your fellow Aggies. All the candidates who have taken it upon themselves to dive into the arena for a chance to improve the lives of their fellow students as best as they believe how — whether as student body president, senators, class presidents or Yell Leaders — should be commended for embodying the highest ideal of the Aggie Core Values. The rest of us should strive to match their commitment by casting our vote on Thursday and Friday. So I say to you: Gig the vote!

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