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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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Guest column: ‘I ask the A&M system — proceed with caution’

Cain+Hall
Photo by Photo By: Morgan Engel
Cain Hall

On September 3rd of this year, the Board of Regents voted to move forward with a plan to lease out the land where Cain Hall currently sits for a hotel, parking garage and a new Cain. This October, staff in the departments of Residence Life, Student Counseling Services, Disability Services and others important to thousands of students will begin to vacate Cain in phases and move to temporary sites across campus.

October. Of this year.

Services including Disability and Student Counseling will be moved to modular buildings on the White Creek portion of campus. A three year time frame has been presented in which the understood goal is to have the parking garage completed by Aggie Football kickoff for next season.

In conversations that the Student Government Association and I have had with administration officials, it is clear that the acceleration of the construction of the new facilities has not fully taken into consideration the perspectives of the students these services affect. We have been told that this is a done deal in which we can only sit back, twiddle our Gig ‘Em thumbs and watch as another round of construction begins to “enhance the gameday experience.” This does not sit well, and I am writing to ask for the help of you, the student.

My concerns are not with what will be built. Cain, constructed in 1974, is an outdated building that was never meant for the scope and type of services that it houses, and we welcome efforts to construct a new facility that will support students in Aggieland. Nor is it the construction of a hotel, whose private-public partnership will be used to help fund the new Cain. It is the way in which this process has been accelerated beyond prudency, placing student life — physical and qualitative well being — at risk, which has led to my discomfort.

Already strained with a two-week waiting period in non-emergency situations, Counseling Services will be moved half way through the semester. Most students could not tell you where White Creek is located. Location is crucial for counseling — if students battling anxiety or depression do not know where the service is located, or must go out of their way to receive help, it is far less likely that they will seek what they need. It is difficult enough to ask for help in college without that difficulty being augmented by a bus ride ten minutes away. The central location of Cain is also key for Disability Services. The aforementioned bus ride is yet another barrier for at-risk Aggies.

I ask the A&M system — proceed with caution. The speed at which this project has moved has not allowed for the input needed to ensure that we work together to guarantee that services are as close as possible to being uninterrupted. Let us work together to do this the right way.

I ask you the student — help. If you have experience with services at Cain Hall and are willing to share those with SGA, or ideas for solutions, please contact us so that we can magnify your voice. Our combined effort and input will be invaluable to the process of protecting the lives and livelihoods of all Aggies.

Joseph Hood ‘17

Finance Chair
Texas A&M Student Senate

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