Get Involved with the Student Senate
Want to get involved? Students at Texas A&M University are strongly encouraged to get involved with their Student Senate and their Student Government Association. The legislative branch is charged with serving as the "voice" of the student body, and student involvement is essential for ensuring this is the case. Senators need your voice to educate them on student opinion, and to hold them accountable.
Students can get involved with their Student Senate in at least a dozen ways, including:
1. Utilizing the Student Senate Website for Information and Research
The Student Senate website you are currently viewing exists to provide you with all the latest information on the Student Senate's operations and proceedings. Pages of interest include the legislation page, where students can keep track of current legislation, and the calendar page that includes the Student Senate's calendar of upcoming meetings. Furthermore, students can access information about their Student Senators on the senators page, and access information about the Senate's legislative committees on the committees page.
Students are encouraged to utilize the website's resources to educate themselves about the Student Senate and its proceedings. Additional information on previous sessions of the Student Senate can be found in the archives. The latest copy of the Student Government Association's governing documents can be found under the documents tab on the SGA Code page.
2. Following the Student Senate on Facebook and Twitter
3. Attending or Watching Student Senate Meetings and Committee Meetings
Students are welcome to attend all Student Senate general assembly, special session, and committee meetings, as they are open to the public. Students or student organizations can even address the Senate at these meetings by signing the open forum sheet by the front door. All Student Senate general assembly meetings take place in the Koldus Governance Room on the Texas A&M University campus. Details on upcoming Student Senate meetings can be found on the calendar.
Can't attend a Student Senate meeting? You can watch us online LIVE on Ustream or after the meeting by visiting our Ustream Archives or our Youtube page, which include recordings of our meetings. Currently only Student Senate general assembly and special session meetings are video recorded. Committee reports for committee meetings can be accessed by clicking here. Written minutes for Student Senate general assembly and special session meetings can also be accessed by clicking here.
4. Filing to Run as a Student Senator
One of the most fundamental ways for a student to get involved with the Student Senate is to run for a seat in the next session of the Student Senate, or for a freshman seat. Students elect their Student Senators by plurality annually during the spring semester, and freshman students are allowed to elect two (2) senators in the fall semester. All residency and academic area seats are open to undergraduate as well as graduate students.
Elections are conducted by the SGA Election Commission of the executive branch. Details on upcoming filing deadlines for Student Senate seats can be found on the election commission's website.
5. Applying to Fill a Student Senator Vacancy
The Student Senate inevitably has vacancies throughout the year, as students graduate, join other branches, or resign from office. Students are encouraged to apply for Student Senator vacancies throughout the year. Vacancies are announced at the first and fourth general assembly meetings of the fall semester and at the first meeting of the spring semester. Details on Student Senator vacancies will be posted on the home page of this website.
Questions regarding vacancies should be directed to the Speaker Pro-Tempore of the Student Senate, Amanda Hatheway.
6. Applying to Join the Operations Committee
The Student Senate's Operations Committee serves to assist the Speaker Pro-Tempore in coordinating Student Senate's general assembly and special session meetings and in administering the Senate's internal processes. Students can find out further information about serving on the Operations Committee by contacting Executive Director for Operations Caelyn Stephens.
7. Applying to Serve as a Liaison for the Student Senate or its Legislative Committees
The Speaker of the Senate has the power to create liaison positions between the Student Senate and other student organizations and entities. Questions about possible liaison openings should be directed to Speaker of the Senate Tanner Wilson.
Senate's legislative committees also have certain liaison positions. Questions regarding the availability of liaison positions on the Senate's legislative committees should be directed to the committee's chair. Contact information can be found under the committees page.
8. Joining a Student Senate Legislative Committee
The Student Senate's legislative committees are also open for students to join as non-voting members. Interested students should attend the committee's meetings and contact the committee's chair for further information on joining the committee. Contact information can be found under the committees page.
9. Drafting Legislation to be Sponsored by Student Senators
The Student Senate's rules and procedures also allow students to draft bills to be sponsored by Student Senators. Students interested in drafting legislation should consult the legislation templates found on this website and should contact at least one of their Student Senators to sponsor the legislation via their contact information on the senators page. Sponsored legislation is due to the Speaker of the Senate by 5PM the Friday before a general assembly meeting. Sponsored legislation may be submitted to the Speaker at studentsenate64 .at. gmail.com.
It is important to also note that sponsoring legislation is a purely discretionary decision for Student Senators, so students are strongly encouraged to clearly articulate their legislation to Student Senators to convince them of its merit.
10. Contacting their Student Senators About Pending Legislation or Student Issues
Students can also ensure that their voice is heard in the Student Senate by contacting their Student Senators about pending legislation or other student issues on campus. Contact information for Student Senators can be found on the senators page. Students are encouraged to clearly articulate their requests for Senators to support or oppose pending legislation.
Students are represented by academic and residency area Senators. Students may utilize either of these representatives, or any other Student Senator within the Senate.
11. Collecting Signatures to Call Referendums of the Student Body
Students can also enact measures independent of the Student Senate through a referendum or initiative petition signed by 10% of the student body. Information on filing a referendum or initiative petition can be found by visiting with one of the SGA Advisors in the Student Government Association Office in Koldus 125.
Referendum and initiative petitions must be completed within ten (10) class days of their issuance. Completed initiative petitions must be followed by a vote within fifteen (15) class days. Completed referendum petitions are placed on the ballot for the next general election, unless the petitioner requests for an earlier vote within fifteen (15) class days. Source: Article III Section III Sub-Section (h) of the SGA Constitution (June 2011 Bound Edition of the SGA Code)
12. Collecting Signatures to Recall Student Senators
Finally, Students can hold their elected representatives accountable by utilizing their power to recall Student Senators who have failed to uphold the honor, dignity, or duties of their office. Information on filing a recall petition can be found by visiting with one of the SGA Advisors in the Student Government Association Office in Koldus 125.
Recall petitions require the signatures of at least 10% of a Student Senator's caucus or 300 students, whichever is smaller, and must be completed within ten (10) class days of their issuance. A recall vote of the Senator's constituency will then be held to remove the Student Senator from office within ten (10) class days. Source: Article III Section II Sub-Section (f) of the SGA Constitution (June 2011 Bound Edition of the SGA Code)
Other Student Government Opportunities
Want to get involved in a different branch of Student Government? SGA has over 19 committees and commissions within the Executive Branch, and SGA also has a Judicial Court. Details on the various branches, committees, and commissions of the Student Government Association can be found at http://sga.tamu.edu.