Senate questions Claybrook on column
Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013
Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 01:02
In the midst of campaign week, Student Senate met Wednesday night to vote on several bills. On the docket were four bills spanning a wide range of subjects from admissions to first aid. One bill that was met with some controversy regarded admittance strictly based on merit.
The meeting began at 7 p.m., however the actual voting did not begin until almost two hours later. During the question and answer session of the debate, senators debated about senior finance major and Student Body President John Claybrook’s column The Battalion published on Wednesday.
“I got over 40 texts today from students saying I hit the nail on the head,” Claybrook said. “Our number one job should be interacting and representing the students here. If anyone of y’all wrote an article about me, I wouldn’t complain about it.”
After the debate died down, The Assurance of Equality in Admissions bill was introduced and put to a vote. The bill states that, “only UIN, state of residence, high school attended and academic information shall be used for identification of an applicant before acceptance.”
“Admissions can’t look at socioeconomic status,” senior political science major and co-author of the bill, Thomas McNutt, said. “It is 100 percent based on your academic performance.”
A prospective student’s name would not be displayed on their application. Instead, a UIN would be given to them.
“This is impractical,” said senior telecommunication major, student senator and contributor to The Battalion, Joseph Puente. “A students name is vital to their application and for scholarships.”
The text of the bill also reads that, “Texas A&M Admissions has an obligation to the taxpayer to admit the most qualified applicants based on their merit and non-academic information used for identification can give some applicants an unfair advantage and
merit should be the sole reason for a student’s acceptance, not identification.”
Despite a few disagreements, the bill passed the Senate and will be sent to University President R. Bowen Loftin within five days.
“This is a very simple vote,” McNutt said. “We want the best students to be admitted regardless of socioeconomic status.”
Another bill proposed would allow students increased use of MSC rooms. Currently, students pay $100 for use of the MSC and other complexes each year. However, rooms in the MSC are only available for groups, not for individual use. The MSC Utilization bill would allow students to reserve study rooms in the MSC until 5:30 p.m. on a first come first serve basis.
“We’re paying $100 for it. Why not use it,” said sophomore political science major and student senator Chris Woolsey.
The last two bills addressed the Executive Branch and first aid boxes in the architecture building. All four bills will be presented to the administration within the five days for approval.