In the first meeting of the semester, the Student Senate got straight to business, confirming new Justices to the Texas A&M University Student Government Association Judicial Court and passing four resolutions.

The Student Senate confirmed four justices to the SGA Judicial Court, despite concerns that the process was not conducted according to SGA Code. Some members of the Senate argued that the process was unconstitutional because the members of the selection committee were not all members of the Student Rules and Regulation committee.

Hunter Martin, off-campus caucus, said it is frustrating to see the process of confirming justices rushed, without respecting the protections built into the SGA code.

“The Judicial Court is our third branch of government that is a lot of times just steamrolled,” Martin said. “We don’t use it very often, but when we do it’s really important. Out of respect for the people who we appoint … we should be able to take the time to look at the candidates.”

However, Evan Berger, rules and regulations chair, disagreed. He said due to the delays in the process during the final weeks of the 2018-19 school year, he was instructed to find senators outside of the rules and regulations committee to interview candidates.

“Judicial confirmations were supposed to happen before school let out.” Berger said, “The [Rules and Regulations committee] wasn’t assigned until April 30, and most of the interviews were done before that date. … By no means were we trying to brush this under the carpet or manipulate the situation in any way.”

Ultimately, the Student Senate agreed with Chair Berger and voted to confirm Shane Bentke, agriculture and political science senior; Brynn Martin, accounting junior; Karissa McIntosh, accounting sophomore; and Ritika Bhattacharjee, chemical engineering sophomore.

The Student Senate also passed a resolution welcoming the incoming Class of 2023 and all returning students to campus.

In conclusion, the Student Senate passed three resolutions honoring individuals who have recently passed away nationwide through various incidents.

The first resolution expressed its sympathy for those who were affected by the mass shootings in El Paso, Odessa and Dayton, Ohio.

The Student Senate passed a second resolution offering its condolences for the families of the Aggies who were honored at the September Silver Taps. The students honored at Silver Taps were graduate student Vladimir N. Yelkhimov, graduate student Alisa Ross and senior Nathan Wesley Matos.

The Student Senate also honored John J Koldus III, the namesake of the Koldus building. The resolution praised Koldus’s “passion and commitment for Texas A&M University” and said his memory would “continue to inspire all generations of Aggies.”

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