By Aaron J. Derton
In a country plagued by partisan politics, disillusion toward government and good football teams, Texas State is quite different. Not many students pay close attention to the goings-on inside the LBJ Student Center, where the Student Government President and Vice President toil away.
After a bill that would have allowed the administration to hire an immigration attorney failed to pass the Senate by one vote, Mr. Clegg said he was “upset.” He says that even if the bill had passed, there are “people at the highest level of the administration saying that it’s not going to happen” because of bureaucratic and legal roadblocks. In the meantime, he says, student government is working to inform immigrant students of their rights and increase access to resources.
Organizations such as SCOPE – the Student Community of Progressive Empowerment – are working to bring pro-bono immigration attorneys to San Marcos. “There’s so many ways to go about getting the things you want to get done done without going through the 10, 20, 30 step bureaucratic process of institutionalizing it,” says Mr. Clegg.
The president says he has also been focused on providing good and affordable textbooks to Texas State students with what he calls the “Open-Source Textbook Initiative.” The initiative looks for alternatives to “$200, $300 textbooks,” that are written by experts and “don’t cost a dime to the students.” Mr. Clegg says the entire English Department has switched over to these textbooks, at least for introductory writing courses. He says he will propose the initiative to other student governments in an Austin meeting on Saturday, and from there propose a statewide initiative for the Texas legislature to take up in 2019.
Mr. Clegg says that while he is proud of everything his administration has been working on this semester, the most important thing for him is “making sure college is affordable for students by lowering the cost of textbooks.” He says it’s one cost student government has control over, and their efforts to lower those costs are seeing “great success.”
Featured image by Aaron J. Derton.