The Student Senate held a lively debate while discussing several topics at their meeting this Wednesday, Oct. 14, covering resolutions about appreciation of the University Police Department., Silver Taps and LGBTQ+ History Month.
The first resolution considered was the “Texas A&M UPD Appreciation Resolution,” which was met with extensive discussion over the removal of the authors’ names and requests to postpone the resolution indefinitely.
“The Student Senate appreciates the progressive policies and standards that have been implemented by Texas A&M University Police throughout the years, including, but not limited to: banning of neck restraints since 2014, de-escalation training since 2018, accreditation since 2014, comprehensive reporting and community outreach programs,” the resolution states.
Student Senator Fawad Syed expressed his concerns over postponing the resolution indefinitely considering the amount of time spent creating it.
“I’m against postponing this resolution indefinitely because I know that the Student Services Committee has worked extremely hard for two whole meetings to create a resolution that would be presentable to Student Senate and to revise the resolution that was given to us, and I am sure that they would appreciate their work at least being voted on,” Syed said.
The original author, Senator Blake Martin, was requested to explain his reasoning for wanting to withdraw the legislation.
“Essentially, the bill itself has deviated from the initial purpose that I had,” Martin said. “It was not only just to recognize Texas A&M police but police officers in general. There were multiple whereases as well as points of information that addressed certain aspects that I wanted to happen there, but they were moved inside the committee. There were a lot of things that the committee did that I didn’t necessarily appreciate or moved away from the initial meaning of the bill.”
The names of the original authors, Senator Martin and Senator Cole Allen, were removed from the resolution, as well as the names of several others. The resolution passed with a vote of 39 in favor, 15 in abstention and four against.
The next resolution covered was “The In-Person Silver Taps Resolution,” introduced by Speaker of the Senate Zach McCue, Student Body President Eric Mendoza and Traditions Council Chair Michael Osborne, which aims to change Silver Taps into a hybrid virtual and in-person format.
“This has been a very collaborative piece that we have worked with not only Traditions Council and exec, but we’ve also worked with administration to make sure that if we get this piece passed we will be able to provide the resources necessary to Traditions Council,” McCue said. “That’s kind of the purpose of writing this resolution and working collaboratively: to make sure that we voice the voice of the students who want to have Silver Taps back in person and make it possible by providing the resources necessary.”
The resolution passed with a vote of 52 in favor, four in abstention and two against.
The final resolution discussed was the “LGBTQ+ History Month Resolution,” which recognized the month of October as LGBTQ+ History Month and expressed support for the LGBTQ+ community at A&M, written in collaboration with multiple senators.
Senator Iman Ahmed addressed the difference between this resolution and one previously passed about Pride Month.
“LGBT Pride Month was made in honor of the Stonewall Riots that happened in 1969,” Ahmed said. “The history month was actually started in 1994… They’re [LGBTQ+] the only underrepresented group that didn’t have a heritage month dedicated to truly educating students about LGBTQ history.”
This resolution passed with a vote of 50 in favor, six in abstention, and five against.