SBP-elect calls for cabinet members
Published: Friday, March 22, 2013
Updated: Friday, March 22, 2013 00:03
With the release of applications for the 14 positions in the new executive cabinet, Reid Joseph, student body president elect, said he is looking for experienced students who exhibit the core values of A&M to help lead the Student Government Association.
“Those filling these positions will be called to a higher standard,” Joseph said. “We want to see their motives behind wanting particular positions, because we want a group that has a burning desire to serve Texas A&M and serve students.”
Joseph said the application process for the cabinet may open doors to more people and have a wider influence on the overall staffing of SGA than just filling cabinet positions.
“Obviously, every applicant won’t get the position, ultimately,” Joseph said. “However, we do feel that every applicant will have the opportunity to serve in some capacity at SGA, because these vice presidents need teammates. We hope that even if [applicants] don’t get a vice presidency, they will continue to want to serve SGA.”
Current executive vice president Mark Womack said the trend of awarding cabinet positions to individuals regardless of their spring campaign endorsement will likely continue, referencing how Student Body President John Claybrook’s cabinet is not overwhelmingly made up of previous Claybrook campaigners.
“Inevitably, you get people from campaigns that apply because they respect the SBP and have their best of interest, but it is a pretty small number every year,” Womack said.
Joseph said while some positions lend themselves to applicants with more specific experience in certain fields of student government, individuals with diverse backgrounds could be the best people for such a job.
“We are looking for a lot of different things,” Joseph said. “We want to look for experience, not necessarily within the SGA — although that will be looked at — but experience that can directly pertain to what they are doing.”
In line with Joseph’s campaign promises, two new positions have been added for a vice president of veteran affairs and a vice president of community outreach. These positions, along with the 12 preexisting positions, require the same weekly Governance Council meetings and Executive cabinet meetings in addition to job-specific requirements.
To narrow down applicants, Joseph said he would seek outside advice in employing a process similar to that of Claybrook. Based off of written application responses, a number of applicants will be awarded an interview with Joseph, the SBP advisor Amy Loyd and an outside student leader.
According to current cabinet members, the job goes well beyond the selection process.
Election commissioner Allison Krenzien said, after having observed two election commissioners and having served on the election commission as a compliance officer and director, she felt well prepared going into the job this year. Still, she said unexpected difficulties inevitably come up.
“You always think that you are going to be prepared when you’ve seen other people do things, but you’re never really prepared for things until you’ve done them yourself,” Krenzien said. “I wouldn’t have gone in with such a hubris if I knew exactly what was going to happen.”
Krenzien said while she is glad she was able to fulfill her biggest goal of certain election rule changes, sacrifices of time and energy had to be made in other areas, like marketing elections. Krenzien said new members need to be aware of the surprisingly short time constraint of a year.
Vice president of legislative affairs Steven Traeger said, though the job is fulfilling, applicants should heed the warning that it requires long and sometimes unexpected hours. Traeger said because of the travel required for his work with the Texas legislature through the SGA, he has had to limit his class schedule to six hours.
“It is a serious responsibility, and I think that anyone applying needs to consider the gravity of the situation,” Traeger said. “Holding a position on the Executive Cabinet is different than being in SGA at any other school because the SGA at A&M does a lot, and with A&M being such a big school, it’s almost like a job.”