The University Star Editorial Board endorses Anthony Galo and Holly Pavlicek for Student Government president and vice president, respectively, due to their concrete ideas and concerns and willingness to change their organization for the better.
A big issue for the next Student Government leaders will be Senate Bill 11, the campus carry bill. The bill was passed during the last Legislature and will go into effect this fall, allowing those over the age of 21 who have a concealed handgun license to carry on campus.
Understandably, many students and faculty are worried about the application and potential affects the new law.
In order to improve efficient implementation and the potential disaster inherent in campus carry, Galo has proposed a gun registry for people at Texas State. While not the most feasible of plans and potentially outside the chief powers of Student Government, at least there is an attempt to effect change.
One of the main goals voiced by Galo and Pavlicek is implementation of a Safe Ride Home program. While their opposition insists that ride-hailing services like Uber and Lyft already exist for those purposes, they fail to see the potential in designated driver programs.
Safe Ride Home programs offer free and safe rides to designated locations to anyone unsuitable for operating a vehicle or seeking to avoid an unsafe situation. Some students do not want to spend money on ride-hailing services, and aside from the weekends, Ubers are rare to come across during specific times and days.
With successful implementation of the Safe Ride Home program, Bobcats will be able to enjoy general college experiences without the fear that they might not have the funds for an Uber, if one is even available.
Homann and Martinez are focused on trivial issues.
Since 2008, candidates have continued to run on the platform of student involvement and attendance at athletic events. Considering the continued low turnout of Texas State sporting events, those initiatives and plans have failed.
It is up to the athletic department to ensure participation and attendance at their sporting events, not Student Government. If the Bobcats won more games, then interest would follow.
As Pavlicek said during a question and answer session with The University Star: “Student Government is not just another cheerleading squad.” Galo and Pavlicek have concrete ideas that extend beyond Bobcat Stadium and Strahan Coliseum.
The official definition of “student government” according to the Oxford dictionary is simple: “an elected group of students who plan school activities and deal with various student issues”—emphasis on “various.” There are more pressing concerns for students at Texas State, and watching Bobcats lose another game is not chief among them.
Unfortunately, presidential and vice presidential candidates Andrew Homann and Samantha Martinez, respectively, are more worried about game attendance than legitimate governing forces should be.
Meanwhile, at least optically, Galo and Pavlicek are focused on real, meaningful issues. All candidates are a welcomed departure from previous administration, but there needs to be more substance in legislation. And the Galo/Pavlicek ticket seems to be the one’s carrying that torch.
For the first time in recent memory, it feels like Student Government has the potential to do something. Compared to last year, when The University Star could not even endorse a candidate due to the lack of good options, Galo and Pavlicek have potential to be the change many Bobcats need.