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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 BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: Ben Crockett for student body president

A vote for experience and problem-solving
Curious+which+candidate+has+a+proven+track+record+of+problem-solving%3F+Opinion+editor+Ryan+Lindner+says+you+can+count+on+Crockett+when+it+comes+to+producing+tangible+changes.++%28Adriano+Espinosa%2FThe+Battalion%29+
Photo by Photo by Adriano Espinosa
Curious which candidate has a proven track record of problem-solving? Opinion editor Ryan Lindner says you can count on Crockett when it comes to producing tangible changes. (Adriano Espinosa/The Battalion)

It’s easy to claim you’re the voice of change. It’s easy to say you want to advocate for students. It’s easy to give the usual talking points about how much Texas A&M means to you and your desire to give back. 

It’s difficult to possess the tenacity to make a difference. 

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with saying you want to change A&M for the better, but if you’ve been around long enough, it’s easy to see how formulaic it is. Year by year the candidates sound exactly like the ones from the year before, making the same promises and vague aspirational statements. 

So, when this year’s round of Student Government Association, or SGA, elections starts on Feb. 29, I want everyone to ask themselves this one question before voting for student body president: Who has already made the largest impact on campus? Who offers more than just SGA experience, but also tangible results benefiting students? 

If you care about the most significant issue facing students at A&M — affordability — then the obvious answer is Ben Crockett

As Vice President of Municipal Affairs for SGA’s Executive Cabinet, Crockett led the charge against the “no more than four” city ordinance that fines students for living with more than three unrelated roommates, regardless of the number of bedrooms in a home. Despite rent being higher in College Station than 89% of Texas, the city is punishing students for seeking affordable solutions, adding to the normal college financial struggles of tuition, textbooks and basic living expenses.

Not only did Crockett help compose and spread the “No More ‘No-More-Than-Four’” petition, signed by more than 1,700 residents, but he organized the student pressure campaign at City Council meetings. Finally, Crockett, along with student senator Luke Morrison, negotiated with the City Council for the creation of a High Occupancy Overlay, which created a pathway for students to live with more than four unrelated roommates.

If one of the main functions of student government is advocacy, then it seems Crockett knows a thing or two. 

For too long, the election of student body president has been little more than a glorified popularity contest. The winner is usually who can get the most Instagram story reposts or the coveted endorsement compilation video from different A&M athletes — not the candidate who would be the most effective at the job. This year, we have a chance to elect someone who has a proven record of advocacy and a policy mind that cares for real solutions to real problems. 

The question facing you, the voter, isn’t who is the nicest or most popular guy on the debate stage. It’s who is going to go all in on producing real results to better the lives of students. For Crockett, he already proved it before entering the race. With the other candidates, I can’t say half as much.

Ryan Lindner is a political science senior and opinion editor for The Battalion.  

Editor’s note: The Battalion does not endorse candidates in any SGA elections. Writers’ views are solely their own and do not represent the viewpoint of the publication.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Lindner
Ryan Lindner, Head Opinion Editor
Ryan Lindner is a political science senior from Hutto, Texas, minoring in history. Ryan joined The Battalion as an opinion columnist in June 2022  until he became the Assistant Opinion Editor for the Spring 2023 semester. Since July 2023, Ryan has been The Battalion's Head Opinion Editor. Ryan has covered a range of topics, from local politics and campus culture to national issues, such as school choice and drug policy. After graduation, Ryan hopes to pursue a master's degree in international affairs.
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