Senate stands against grad wildcat
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 00:10
Student Senate convened Wednesday and passed a resolution stating their opposition to the creation of a graduate student wildcat with a 37 votes in favor of the resolution, 8 against and 1 abstention.
John Goertz, civil engineering graduate student, said in open forum the story behind the wildcat tradition has changed since he was a freshman in 2003 and the creation of the graduate wildcat should not be viewed as a break with age-old traditions.
“Traditions evolve, they change,” Goertz said. “The thing that makes them traditions is the fact that we are all a family and we do these traditions together.”
Christopher Russo, graduate aerospace engineering student and speaker of Student Senate, said he was against the creation of a graduate student wildcat.
“As a student who went here for my undergraduate and now is in pursuit of my PhD at Texas A&M, my personal opinion is that the privilege of a senior wildcat is the highest level of respect and the highest level of inclusiveness that we can offer within the tradition of wildcat,” Russo said.
Russo said the bill represents the Student Senate’s opinion on the matter and that no organization has any official jurisdiction over the wildcat tradition.
The Flags in Every Classroom Bill, which supports the placement of American flags in every classroom, was passed with 32 votes in favor, 10 against and two abstentions. During a committee meeting last week, the bill was amended to remove a clause that requested a mandatory recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance during the first period of every academic day.
Rebecca Yung, junior chemical engineering major, said she voted against the bill because students from her constituency in the college of engineering saw the bill as unnecessary and would make international students feel excluded.
“I was trying to reflect the wishes of the constituents who have come to me with their opinions,” Yung said. “I don’t believe this bill was addressing a lack of opportunities for patriotism, and was therefore not in the general student interest.”
Chris Woolsey, junior political science major and bill co-author, said the bill was a matter of patriotism.
“Last I checked, this was Texas A&M and not International A&M,” Woolsey said. “It baffles me that we’re going to have people vote against the United States flag.”
The bill authors said it would cost an estimated $500 to place flags in every classroom. Although the funding for the flags is not specified in the bill, during the meeting a member of Fish Aides, who wished to remain anonymous volunteered to donate the money necessary for the project.
Bills that were introduced for a vote in later meetings included the ROACHES bill, which calls on Chartwells to credit students with four meal trades because of the recent closures of dining facilities for health violations.
The Continued Opposition to Mandatory Meal Plans Bill was also introduced and will be voted on in subsequent meetings.
Student Senate meets every other Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Koldus 144. All students are welcome to attend and speak at open forum.