Rep. Dan Branch speaks at Student Government meeting

Christine Ayala

Texas House Rep. Dan Branch, R-Dallas helped kick off Student Government’s fall session by speaking at the organization’s first general meeting Tuesday.

Branch addressed the University’s push for higher graduation rates and increased emphasis on technology.

In July, Branch announced his candidacy for attorney general. His representative term ends Jan. 14, 2014. Branch is the chairman of the House Committee on Higher Education and two of Branch’s children are current UT students.

Branch said SG’s initiatives could go beyond campus projects.

“I encourage you to have a big vision and reach beyond President Powers, reach beyond the [UT System Board of] Regents, reach beyond your faculty and administration and think about what you want UT-Austin to be 50 years from now,” Branch said. 

Branch said his vision for the University included students and SG leaders reevaluating campus initiatives.

“If someone takes an online course do they really get the knowledge?” Branch said. “It is for your generation to decide, ‘Are these technologies really making more educated group of students?’ and ultimately the test is if we improve our graduation rates.”

Branch said he encouraged SG to focus on the projects that are achievable to make a real impact on students.

“You all should think of the few things you want to be the theme for your term,” Branch said. “Sometimes when you try to do too many things no one remembers that you did anything.”