Candidate vies for accountability with Regents, Corps of Cadets
Published: Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Updated: Wednesday, February 19, 2014 22:02
Quoting former U.S. President George W. Bush’s 2008 Texas A&M commencement address, Matt Neumann said he is running off the idea that popularity is as fleeting as the Texas wind.
Neumann said he knows he is not as popular as other candidates but he is not running to be everyone’s favorite — he is running to give students an accountable candidate.
While Neumann said he would want a working relationship with University administration and Student Senate, he said his relationship with these two entities is fundamentally to hold both accountable.
Neumann said he would put effort into making sure BUILD succeeds and said he hopes to add a new program to the executive mix called the Silver Taps Initiative, where students can donate money to the families of students honored. Neumann said the idea is to help families afford student loans and funeral costs, but said he did not think the initiative should be need-based. Neumann said the details of the plan are still unclear.
Neumann said the biggest issues facing campus include communication between SGA and students, mandatory meal plans and the likelihood of tuition and fees increases.
Regarding the Board of Regents approval in January of guaranteed tuition and fees, Neumann said he felt the tuition was raised higher than reasonable inflation increase predictions. Neumann said he felt this instance marked just one scene in a larger trend.
“For one thing, tuition’s not going to be lowered,” Neumann said. “The fees won’t be lowered, because once they get it, they aren’t going to give it back. We need to try to halt the increase.”
Neumann said the student body needs someone who will address the Board of Regents.
“So what I’m going to do is go knock on their door every morning,” Neumann said. “I’ll show up and I’m going to bother the heck out of them.”
Neumann said he would carry this persistence to conversations with administrators regarding mandatory meal plans. Neumann said if he is successful at pressuring officials to get rid of mandatory meal plans as SBP, this will drive down prices and result in a higher quality of goods.
Neumann said he would make himself available as SBP by sitting in an announced location for an announced amount of time each day.
Neumann said part of his role as SBP is to showcase students and help address student concerns. One such concern that Neumann said is of particular importance to him is the way the Corps of Cadets chooses leadership, particularly with the way that the commandant decides who can qualify for certain positions in the Corps.
Neumann said he has yet to find any students who have a problem with the Corps leadership, but said this might be because some cadets are intimidated. Neumann said he has not yet tried to address this possible concern without the SBP title and would like to use the position of student body president to communicate with cadets who might dislike the current system.