Since Sam Houston State University is the fastest-growing state college in Texas, it has become more important to protect its name and ensure its wellbeing. The Student Government Association met on Tuesday to discuss the bill that would safeguard the university’s name. This bill amends Chapter 96 of the Texas Education Code.
Student Body President Chris Whitaker led the meeting and sought assistance from Texas legislators to help make this possible. SGA has received support from Senators Amelia McGlone and Angela Varner, both from the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.
No name-change suggestions have been made, so the school is not currently fighting that issue. University name changes can be associated with system consolidation, which can add one school to another if needed. Whitaker says that issue is not being talked about in society right now because of the upcoming election.
“We’re not trying to change the school’s name; we’re trying to protect it,” Whitaker said.
At the moment, the Board of Regents has the power to change our name if it chooses. By proposing the bill, only the legislature would have this power. Our school is important enough that it needs to be protected from this possibility. The Board of Regents currently signs off on all our building projects.
“We’re doing this because we care about the school. We’re taking this as a precautionary measure,” Whitaker said. “This bill makes system consolidation a moot point. . . We’re still going to be Sam Houston State University.”
Whitaker made a state of the campus address this week that expressed the need for the more important school issues to be heard and discussed. To get the student body’s voice heard, more students need to become involved in sending the messages to our elected officials. Therefore, SGA will have a massive registration drive soon. They will help students become registered in Walker County and hope to have an official polling place put on campus. 3,000 new registered voters are needed to make this happen. There are more than 3,000 students already on campus, and the school’s population keeps growing.
“We will not wait for the Legislature to take up the issues that are important to us. We will draft state legislation right here on this floor and send it to our elected officials,” Whitaker said in his state of the campus address.
The next SGA meeting is Tuesday, Aug. 29, at 6 p.m. in room 304 of the LSC. All are invited.