News & Culture Director
This week on KTSW News’ weekly update, we are covering the Texas State University student government elections, the new San Marcos City Manager and a proposed bill to ban polling places at schools.
Texas State University’s student government voting results for the Spring 2023 election were announced this past week.
Kiersten Florence and Jaynes Shaelyn were voted in as Student Body President-Elect and Vice President-Elect, respectively.
Florence and Shaelyn were running to serve and represent the student body to better the Texas State campus life and college experience.
“What I want the student body to know about me and Student Government is that I care, and we care and that we are here to serve students, our university and our alumni,” Florence said. “We are all part of a large team, which is this great university, and we believe that all people associated with our university would like to see the university thrive and continue to grow.”
Two of their main campaign initiatives are promoting school spirit and increasing campus safety for Bobcats.
“Texas State is one of the largest schools in Texas. Not many people know about us because of our lack of school spirit,” Shaelyn said. “I want to implement more school spirit and connect with our alumnae. Safety is one of our top priorities. Kiersten just started a student-led safety program that I hope we can broaden from only a couple days to 24/7. Hopefully, this can prevent drunk driving and help students get home safe.”
The election was held on Feb. 20 and closed at 5:00 p.m. on Feb 23. The open seats were Student Body President, Vice President and At Large Senators.
The student body government’s main goal is to voice the opinions and concerns of the student body to the administration, and to help the administration make informed decisions. They also manage events, policies, activities and more that they believe will benefit students.
“I want students to know that student government has more power than they might think,” Shaelyn said. “Our name was changed from Southwest Texas to Texas State because of student government-based legislation. Student feedback is crucial to make a difference.”
For more information about student government and the election results, visit: https://studentgovernment.dos.txst.edu/branches/judiciary/electionboard/election.html.
Updated Feb. 28, 2023 at 12:20 p.m.
Stephanie Reyes was voted as the next San Marcos City Manager last Tuesday.
Reyes has been working for the city for the past 22 years. She has been the Assistant City Manager, Assistant Director of Human Resources, Chief of Staff and Assistant to the City Manager. For the past year, Reyes has been working as the Interim City Manager after former City Manager Bert Lumbreras retired.
“Stephanie’s work as Interim City Manager over the last year has shown the value she offers to the City of San Marcos and has proven her continued dedication to this community,” said San Marcos Mayor Jane Hughson in a press release. “I am confident she is the right person to oversee the City of San Marcos organization, and that her leadership will continue to have a positive impact on our community for years to come.”
Officially, Reyes’s new role began Wednesday morning. She said she is honored that the City Council has chosen her to lead and hopes to continue the city’s progress in communication and collaboration with the San Marcos community.
“Taking on the role of City Manager feels natural to me. I truly love this amazing community and believe in our employees,” said Reyes. “Together, and with the support of our City Council and an amazing Leadership Team, I know that we can accomplish a lot as we strive to serve all members of our community to the fullest.”
Reyes also has taken part in community involvement with local organizations. Her 20 years of service have been recognized by the International City/County Management Association and the Texas City Management Association. Reyes looks to continue working with the community through her new position.
“As a San Marcos native, I have deep roots here and am heavily invested in preserving the character of our beautiful and beloved community while also positioning us to make decisions about the growth we want to attract,” said Reyes. “Collaboration and communication with our partners as well as unity and healing are very important to me, and I feel it is a great start toward moving our community forward. In addition, as the City’s first female City Manager, it is important to inspire other young people to get into the profession and to serve their communities in this important way.”
During the meeting, several council members expressed enthusiasm and eagerness for Reyes to take on the role. The vote was unanimous, besides Councilmember Saul Gonzales, who was absent during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
“I’m super excited; I think we all are,” said City Council Member Mark Gleason in Tuesday’s meeting to Reyes. “Thank you for stepping up to take this. You are going to do a fantastic job, and I know the community is super excited about it. Thank you very much.”
The City of San Marcos will be holding her swearing in ceremony on Feb. 28, 2023. For more information, visit: https://www.sanmarcostx.gov/801/City-Manager.
Texas State Representative Carrie Isaac introduced a bill to prohibit polling locations at “institutions of higher education”.
The bill, House Bill 2390, also said, “The commissioners court of a county may not designate as a polling place a location on the campus of an institution of higher education located within the county.”
The proposed 124-word bill was filed this past week and would go into effect Sept. 1, if passed.
“We must do everything we can to make our school campuses as safe as possible,” Isaac said in a statement. “I have experienced firsthand the heightened emotions that often occur at polling locations, and I will not wait for more violence to act.”
Isaac represents District 73, which includes parts of Hays and Comal Counties.
Democrats have proposed bills like SB 118 that would mandate polling places in certain institutions of higher education. There has already been pushback to the bill from individuals and organizations. MOVE Texas released a statement condemning the filing of the bill on Friday.
“Policymakers should be remedying this problem by guaranteeing an adequate number of polling locations on college campuses every year,” MOVE Texas said. “Instead, HB 2390 does the opposite. It disenfranchises young Texans not just from voting but from carrying out civic responsibilities in a bold-faced and targeted manner.”
STATEMENT: MOVE Texas condemns the filing of HB 2390 by Representative Carrie Isaac of Texas House District 73, one of the most insidious attempts to silence young voters in Texas. pic.twitter.com/r5zhVI5qsM
— MOVE Texas (@MOVE_texas) February 16, 2023
For more information, visit: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/88R/billtext/pdf/HB02390I.pdf#navpanes=0.
Written by: Preethi Mangadu