Class presidents lead through council, tradition
Published: Wednesday, October 3, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 3, 2012 02:10
This week, the freshmen class will vote for one of the 15 running mates for class president of 2016 on the online ballots at vote.tamu.edu, open from Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. to Wednesday at 5:00 pm.
An anticipated run-off election will take place Friday between the two freshmen tied with the highest votes for class president on Wednesday’s ballots. Vacant positions in A&M’s Senate will also be filled through this week’s election.
Class president of the Class of 2014 and allied health major Rachel Norman said she hopes that there are freshmen running who understand the class president’s role in keeping A&M’s tradition a priority.
“A lot of [freshmen running for class president] don’t really know exactly what they would do yet,” Norman said. “A lot of people hear about class president, but don’t realized that there is a lot of background work that you do.”
Though many students may mistake the role of class president as being part of the Student Government Association, the two organizations’ purposes are distinctively different.
“I think a lot of people think that class president directly correlates to SGA,” Norman said. “When you are Senator in SGA, you represent your college. With [class presidents], we represent your grade.”
Trent Segers, class president of the Class of 2013 and industrial engineering major, said the Class President’s chief responsibility concerns Class Councils, a group of 40-60 students who represent their class.
“The biggest role is the executive role in Class Councils,” Segers said. “We are in charge of making sure that all of the various events and traditions that Class Councils do are successful.”
The class president works directly with the Class Councils in situations requiring students’ opinions, such as the recent policy requiring freshmen to buy a meal plan and the possible changing of the Aggie war hymn.
Additionally, the class president guides the Council in fundraising their Class Ggift through tradition-centered events such as Maroon-Out, Elephant Walk, and Junior Elephant Walk.
“Every year we do one or two events to try to raise money for class gifts so that we can leave our impact on A&M,” Segers said.
The Class Council presents their class gift to Texas A&M upon their graduation, and past class gifts have included the Class of 1912’s flagpole in the Academic Plaza, and a baby grand piano from the Class of 2011.
As far as time commitment is concerned, the class president meets with the Class Council every other week, as well as attends executive meetings with all Class Presidents and directors.
The class president also participates in the Student Body President’s round table meetings twice a month.
“Every two weeks, I sit in on the Student Body President’s round table meetings,” Norman said. “We all get together to talk about everything that’s going on at A&M. It’s great because we all get to hear different aspects of campus and how to integrate everyone at A&M.”
Segers, who has served as class president of the Class of 2013 said that the most difficult part of his job has to do with balance.
“Our biggest internal struggle every year is the struggle to make sure we are frugal with our money so we can give our class gift, but also to make it an awesome event so that people want to come and enjoy the traditions,” Segers said.
Meghan De Amaral, class president of the Class of 2015 and political science major, said she is certain the freshman class will do great things, and she passionately summed up her role as a leader.
“Leadership is empowering others to do their best,” De Amaral said. “There is nothing more rewarding as a leader than being able to empower others to enact change.”
The reward of seeing a job well-done makes Norman honored to have played the role of class president.
“It is really great to see your hard work pay off,” Norman said. “When students are excited about events like Maroon Out, it’s really cool to know that each tradition wouldn’t be there if Class Councils weren’t there to put them on.”