The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


Torres travels to A&M

SMU Student Body President Jake Torres spoke in front of Texas A&M’s student government about his disagreement with their passing of a bill that would deny in-state tuition to undocumented students yesterday.

“I think it’s the first step in a slippery slope of trying to get involved in national politics in a way that I don’t think is beneficial to the students at Texas A&M or to the students of Texas or the United States in general,” he said.

A&M’s Student Senate voted 48-21 in favor of the bill, S.B. 63-11, on Nov. 3, though Student Body President Jacob Robinson vetoed it. Robinson said that he believes it’s up to the state legislature to address the problem of illegal immigration, not Texas A&M.

At last night’s meeting, backers of the bill attempted to override Robinson’s veto, but were unsuccessful. An override would have required two-thirds of the vote of the Senate, and the final tally came in at only 34-25.

Torres told The Daily Campus that he would be speaking in from of the Senate “as Jake Torres,” and not as a representative of SMU. When introducing himself to the Senate, he did introduce himself as student body president.

Many students took issue with the fact that Torres spoke about the legislation.

“It is wholly inappropriate for the student body President of SMU to be imposing his political views which are not endorsed by the students he represents on another school,” said Charlie McCaslin, a junior history and political science double major. “It is terrible diplomacy.”

Jake Torres said that he disagreed with the idea that introducing himself as student body president meant he was speaking for the school.

In an email, he said, “I do hold that title. And I did so to tell them who I am and let them know I understand student [government], but I did not say I want to express the opinions of SMU.”

David de la Fuente, junior political science and sociology double major, agreed that Jake was expressing his own views. “I applaud Jake for always being a voice of acceptance and unity amongst the SMU student body, and I think the A&M Student Senate should look to how Jake and SMU run things for guidance after their embarrassing incident,” he said.

Illegal immigrants have been eligible to receive in-state tuition in Texas since June of 2001. Texas was the first state to pass such legislation, and it has not been without controversy.

Justin Pulliam, one of the authors of the bill, said that the bill opposes a state law which violates federal law. “Right now, Texas law rewards criminal acts of being here illegally,” Pulliam said in an interview with Texas A&M’s student newspaper, The Battalion.

“It didn’t seem fair that out-of-state Americans were struggling and having to pay $15,000 more, while people here illegally were getting the tuition break,” said Pulliam, who leads the group Texas Aggie Conservatives.

Last year, about 12,000 students claimed residency under the 2001 bill statewide, Texas A&M had about 300 of them. In-state tuition at the University runs about $5,200 a year, while out of state tuition is around $19,600 a year.


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