The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 28, 1983, Image 16

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Influential, complex organization
Student Government changes
staff photo by Bill Schulz
The Student Senate studies the contents of a few bills at its March meeting.
by Pamela Haisler
Battalion Reporter
From eight members in 1910
to more than 450 today, Student
Government has grown with
Texas A&M to become one of
the most influential and com
plex organizations on campus.
From its start in the early
1900s, Student Government has
tried to be an effective voice for
the students at Texas A&M, said
J. Wayne Stark, special assistant
to the president for cultural de
Stark, Class of ’39, said that
from the early 1900s until the
mid-1960s, student concerns
were handled through the
Corps of Cadets.
These students were con
cerned with the activities of the
Corps and most of them were
friendly and well-liked, he said.
Many had been involved in the
Future Farmers of America
where they had gained leader
ship skills, Stark said.
Jeff Anthony, Student Gov
ernment freshman programs
adviser, said the first form of
Student Government was a stu
dent council in 1910 that con
sisted of one representative
from each class and the four
class presidents. The council en
forced the honor system and su
pervised individual conduct, but
because it was outside the Corps
of Cadets it had no real disciplin
ary or advisory powers. It was
dissolved in 1916, he said.
Anthony said a new student
council was formed to serve civi
lian students in 1945. The coun
cil advised the dean of men and
the Student Life Committee on
matters concerning student acti
vities. Council members in
cluded the four class presidents,
the cadet colonel and four re
gimental representatives, he
In 1948, the Student Govern
ment Constitution passed and
the Student Council was trans
formed into a Student Senate,
Anthony said. Representation in
the senate was based on living
areas, he said.
James Hannigan, Student
Government adviser and dean
of students from 1959-1973,
said that in the late ’50s and early
’60s, students involved in Stu
dent Government were in
terested in government but fo
cused their activities on generat
ing funds for student organiza
Student Government primar
ily allocated money from the ex
change store — better known to
day as the bookstore — among
the different student organiza
tions, he said.
Hannigan said three diffe
rent groups of students — the
Corps of Cadets, dorm or civi
lian students and off-campus or
married students — had their
These groups met during
constitutional meetings and
eventually evolved into one
body, he said.
“Enrollment at Texas A&M at
that time was around 5,000 stu
dents,” Hannigan said. “Since
there weren’t many students,
everyone had a chance to be in
volved in Student Government.
But as enrollment increased, the
number of students involved de
creased proportionately.”
Kent Caperton, student body
president from 1970-71, said
Student Government’s primary
goal in the early ’70s was to bean
effective voice for the student
One way the organization
tried to do that was to get its 200
to 300 members involved with
University committees, he said.
For instance, Caperton said
that betore the Student Govern
ment initiated the pass-fail prog
ram, the dean could kick a-stu
dent out of school.
After the pass-fail program
was initiated, we revised the
University Rules and Regula
tions in order to give students
some rights,” Caperton said.
Dr. Carolyn Adair, current
Student Government adviser,
said that in recent years Student
Government has experienced
tremendous growth.
In 1972, Student Govern
ment formed three branches of
government: executive, legisla
tive and judicial. Four standing
committees were formed to sup
port the legislative branch:
academic affairs, external
affairs, rules and regulations
and student services.
“Now we have between 450
and 500 students involved in
Student Government,” Adair
said. “We have student repre
sentatives who are members of
the University committees, stu
dent government committees
and sub-committees. Some com
mittees have two or three stu
dent representatives.”
Adair said that students in
volved in Student Government
today are professional and busi
“The students are not only in
terested in the welfare of the stu
dent body, they are also in
terested in the welfare of the
overall university and commun
ity,” she said.
Adair said that although Stu
dent Government has changed
in the past years, its primary goal
is to be an effective voice of the
students at Texas A&M.
Polling places
open Tuesday
Student elections will be held
here Tuesday and Wednesday.
Eight polling places will be
open, including: Zachry En
gineering Center, the Memorial
Student Center, the MSC bus
stop, Sterling C. Evans Library,
Kleberg Animal and Food Sci
ences Center, Heldenfels Hall,
the Academic Building, the
Academic and Agency Building
and Sbisa Dining Hall
Students must show election
officials a current Texas A&M
I.D. card. Seniors are eligible to
vote in the elections.
Election commissioner Les
Asel said election officials will
make sure that ballots are prop
erly filled out and that each bal
lot is coded to insure election
security. He also said election
officials will make sure there is
no campaigning within 100 feet
of polling places.
Asel said he expects voter
turnout to be approximately
20,000 students.
“That’s 8,000 students more
than last year,” he said.
Asel said the Corps of Cadets
is the largest voting bloc in the
student elections. He said that
more than 15 percent of all votes
are cast by cadets. Underclass
men cadets are required to show
upperclassmen that they have
voted, he said, but are not re
quired to vote for particular can
on the cover
The Voters ’ Guide is a special sup
plement to The Battalion. This
guide was prepared by the Batta
lion staff to assist Texas A&M stu
dents in choosing candidates in
this week's student elections.
Journalism 203 and 204 students
assisted with the production of
this supplement.
The System Administration Building has long been a
landmark on the Texas A&M campus. Built in 1932,
it houses the offices of University and System offi
cials. Once the site of the annual Aggie Muster, the
building is the symbol of the Texas A&M administra
tion. Photo by Diana Sultenfuss.
Class presidents 10
Class officers 11
Graduate student council 11
Off Campus Aggies 12
Residence Hall Association 12
Senators 11
Student body president 4
Vice presidents 8
Yell leaders 6