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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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The Northgate district right adjacent to the Texas A&M campus houses a street of bars and other restaurants.  
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The Aggies react after clinching the national championship after Texas A&M’s win against Georgia at the NCAA Women’s Tennis Championship Game in Greenwood Tennis Center in Stillwater, Oklahoma on Sunday, May 19, 2024. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
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The No. 13 Texas A&M women's tennis team took on No. 7 Georgia and served up a score of 4-1 to clinch its newest title: NCAA Champions.  The...

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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

Brian O’Hara: ‘Be a leader of character’

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Brian O’Hara will graduate this week with a degree in political science. O’Hara

served as the 2016-2017 MSC President, and will be succeeded by Annie Carnegie.

Texas A&M seeks to develop leaders of character, dedicated to serving the greater good. Through transformative experiences — from the Corps of Cadets to the Memorial Student Center to undergraduate research and many others — Aggies tout leadership as one of the defining qualities of who we are. But how do we define the success of a leader? What is the greater good that we are called to serve?
More often than not, we will reflect on what we have done as evidence of leadership. Whether it is legislation, initiatives or programs, we define success as the number of achievements we have collected. Or worse, we define leadership by the positions we carry. Despite all the accolades or recognition a leader receives, I believe they are as much defined by what they fail to do. The moments that we hope will fade away, hope that nobody noticed, those are the moments that should weigh heavily on a leader. Because what kind of character does a leader have if they do not stand up for others in need? It’s the moments where nobody is watching, where there is no personal benefit, where it’s easier to not do anything, which should define our leaders.
Determining the direction forward is arguably more important. If we are not realizing a future that includes every person, regardless of their background or differences, then there is not real change. There are students, now more than ever, who need leaders to build an Aggie Family that includes them, because many have never been part of that vision. We need leaders who are empathetic, who are listeners and who are empowering those around them. The path to this collective good is not one that any individual, staff or student, can set. We need to be more responsive as an institution to the voices of all students when charting this direction. Through referendums, forums and the encouragement of student expression in all forms, these are the ways in which the greater good is reached.
As we say goodbye to Aggieland, I am humbled to have served this institution, its students, and to, more importantly, be part of the Aggie Family. There are a great number of things that we have to do in order to build a better university ­— from financial transparency to accessible student services to campus safety — but I know that we have leaders who will rise to the challenge. This charge is not for a select few, instead it is for every student on campus. Be a leader of character, who stands up for others and doesn’t back down. Be a leader that works toward the greater good, who is inclusive and understands that diversity doesn’t divide, it strengthens.
Thank you for your commitment to leadership, in both big ways and in small ways. These past four years have been a blessing, from traditions to friendships, I couldn’t have imagined how my life would be changed by Texas A&M. If there is any advice that I have it is this: Treasure every moment that you have on campus while there’s still time. Gig ‘Em.
 Brian O’Hara is a political science senior and 2016-2017 MSC President

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