UT Senate elects new leadership as SG executive alliance heads to runoff

Sara Schleede

The Senate of College Councils revealed election results soon after Student Government announced a runoff for the executive alliance election.

English junior David Jenkins and Raphael Jaquette, a Middle Eastern studies and Arabic junior, were elected by internal voting as president and vice president, respectively, for the following academic year.

“All of the things I’m proudest of in college have been done through Senate,” said Jenkins, Senate policy director for the 2017–18 academic term. “I really wanted to run for president so I could give first-year members the same kind of experience I got to have.”

Jenkins’ platform focuses on more collaboration between council representatives and administrators as well as outreach to the student body for increased transparency. Jenkins said he also intends to reform advising policies.

“Advising has been one of the things that has come up the most since I’ve been in Senate,” Jenkins said. “Every year someone will talk about how frustrating advising can be.”

“I have always been impressed with David, and I am especially impressed with the early stages of his campaign and the big ideas he has for the student body of the University of Texas,” Epstein said in an official withdrawal statement. “I have great trust in David’s leadership abilities and … I think he will do a fantastic job.”

Jaquette said he wants to use his new position in Senate to provide a welcoming community while lobbying for academic change for unheard student groups.

“Administration frequently has interactions with affluent, straight, white, privileged individuals,” Jaquette said. “Running multiple forums through the Multicultural Engagement Center and the Gender and Sexuality Center to find the best way to advocate for LGBTQIA+ folks and people of color can allow the administration to enact change that benefits those people.”

Jaquette’s platform also includes a plan to update the UT map application to include more features, such as updated construction information, building floor plans and entrances and exits compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“New students, whether they be out of state or international or students who are differently abled, have the opportunity to navigate campus as effectively as possible,” Jaquette said.