UT Senate aims to be voice of the students on academics

Austin Reynolds and Sergio Cavazos

What starts here changes the world. 

Our motto is repeated in every orientation, ceremony and commencement. We hear it on a daily basis across campus, and we strive to apply its optimism to our endeavors. 

However, it is more than just a philosophy — it describes the culmination of each contribution that students, faculty, staff members and administrators make when they step on the 40 Acres.

Longhorns strive to make the world better with every action and inaction, every test we study for and every assignment we turn in. We strive to be leaders of innovation and experts in our fields of study. Longhorns have been the first lady, Oscar-winning actors, Pulitzer Prize recipients and much more.

As the Official Voice for Students in Academics, the Senate of College Councils ensures that every student has the opportunity to change the world. Whether it be through the creation of majors, the implementation of the One-Time Exception for dropping a class after the Q-drop deadline, or most recently, the implementation of readily-available PDF transcripts, Senate is ready to tackle obstacles that students face.

Founded in 1966 and representing students for nearly 40 years to this day, Senate has enhanced the academic experience of students by soliciting feedback, coordinating with administrators and implementing University-wide legislation. Senate is composed of 20 diverse, far-reaching councils that work on a college-wide level in order to address student issues. By bringing together the representative bodies of each college, Senate has been able to engage with the needs of Longhorns on a personal level – ensuring that each student has a voice during their academic career.

So how can you get involved? Well, there are a few ways. Senate’s At-Large program is composed of a select group of passionate students that actively seek to improve the world around them through university-wide initiatives. In the past, At-Larges have helped to better accommodate transfer students, increase research opportunities on campus and better connect students with their professors. Additionally, students within the program collaborate to bring their own initiatives to fruition while bonding over Starbucks and university catering.

Another way to become involved in the umbrella organization of Senate is by applying to your college’s student council. Each college council is charged with seeking student input and producing legislation that would enhance academics in their college. College councils represent colleges in times of struggle and in times of success. Each council is a community of colleagues, students and friends.

Collectively, the leaders within Senate meet every week and openly discuss matters concerning student and academic life. Our legislation is sponsored by administrators and our impact resonates for years. What starts in a Senate meeting changes the University. 

Welcome home, class of 2020. You are now part of a long legacy of Longhorns, so don’t miss out on your opportunity to make a difference.

Cavasos is a government senior from Brownsville. Reynolds is an English and sociology senior from Texarkana. They are the president and vice-president of the Senate of College Councils.

For more information on how to get involved with the Senate of College Councils, visit utsenate.org.