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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: Robert McIntosh’s campaign manager speaks out in campaign’s defense

Over the course of the past two months, I have had the privilege of working on the Rally with Robert campaign for Student Body President. I have known Robert McIntosh since I was a senior in high school, and I have always admired his upright character and his commitment to the people around him. So, when he asked me to serve as his head campaign manager it was an honor to say yes. Throughout my time spent with the campaign staff, I began to better understand the nature of leadership and the enormous value it brings to this campus and the world at large.

As we came together as a campaign team, we quickly realized that our purpose was not to win an election but to instead leave the Texas A&M student body impacted, influenced, and inspired. In addition to winning the popular student vote, our campaign was successful in achieving what we had set out to do. This was the ultimate sense of accomplishment that our team earned last Thursday and Friday, and we left those two days with an awareness that we had accomplished our end goal.

As a campaign that valued relationships and personal interactions, we understood just how important each student was that passed by our signs, and we made every effort to identify and seek out a personal connection with every student that we could. As the voting days drew near and campaign excitement continued to build, our sign representatives began standing next to the sign, greeting and conversing with students who were walking by throughout the day. For the duration of the final three days, Robert was stationed at sign locations so that he could both thank the supporters holding his sign and personally greet the students he wanted to represent.

The precedent of encouraging our fellow students to vote has been employed by countless campaigns not only in this election cycle but also in previous years. There was not one time during these two days that we harassed or coerced our fellow Aggies to vote. Rather, we greeted all, regardless of their differences, with the humility and excitement that accompanies meeting new faces. We left every interaction feeling encouraged and uplifted because of the individual we had just met.

As for the charges of voter intimidation, one look at the evidence reveals that we were doing what we had set out to achieve not with coercion but with personal interest—in broad daylight— fully upholding all of the rules of the electoral process. Furthermore, on the subject of secondhand reporting of intimidation, it is dangerous practice for us to impose our own perceptions on our neighbors. I believe we have no place for this within a unified Texas A&M University. We value all Aggies on this campus as joint representatives of the Twelfth Man, and our campaign operated from this mindset throughout the whole process.
For a team that valued personal connection and was established on the principle of engaging students in a manner that was impactful, influential, and inspiring, this was a success. This was the culmination of a well-run campaign, and it exemplified everything that we had set out to achieve. We will confidently fight—and hopefully win—in order to move forward to serve Texas A&M.

Thanks and Gig ‘Em,
Sam Alders ‘18
Sam Alders is a non-profit management junior and head campaign manager for Robert McIntosh’s Student Body President campaign. 

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