Student government president gives State of Students Address

Vice+President+Tucker+Thompson+%28Left%29+and+Student+Government+President+Corey+Benbow+%28Right%29+during+the+State+of+Students+Address+on+Monday%2C+Feb.+25%2C+2020%2C+in+the+LBJ+Teaching+Theater.

Gabriella Ybarra

Vice President Tucker Thompson (Left) and Student Government President Corey Benbow (Right) during the State of Students Address on Monday, Feb. 25, 2020, in the LBJ Teaching Theater.

Gabriella Ybarra, News Reporter

Student Government President Corey Benbow gave his State of Students Address where he acknowledged Texas State’s achievements within the past 10 years and issues concerning the university’s black community on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020.

Benbow said the president’s State of Students Address is a way for students to observe Texas State’s past, present and future.

“(State of Students Address) is a chance to celebrate our past, acknowledge where we are today and look together to the future to envision how Texas State can and will flourish at its best,” said Benbow. “I believe that Texas State is a place of innovation and change that aims to take on challenges of the 21 century and beyond.”

Among the list of achievements, Benbow said Texas State has opened 20 new buildings, including seven major expansions, and has grown its student population to 38,187 with record-breaking freshman class numbers.

Benbow said within the last decade, Texas State has rewarded 76,450 bachelors, masters and doctoral degrees and has had the largest graduating class in history with over 5,000 students.

However, although academics at Texas State is thriving, according to Benbow, student life at the university has taken a major hit.

“(Students) require a certain level of support and engagement from the university, support and engagement that I think the university does really well in some aspects and lacks in others,” Benbow said.

Benbow said the actions of Texas State do not always reflect the university’s value for diversity and inclusion, then saying Texas State focuses too much on diversity efforts and less on inclusion.

Benbow said although black students have had an increase in their graduation rates, support for them from the university has declined.

“We are in a place where, as black students, we are not sure where we fit in here, how to belong, if there is a place for us, and, if there is, where it is, how do we get there and who is responsible,” Benbow said.

He encouraged people to stop using the phrase “people of color,” referring to it as a “cop-out” because lumping different populations of students together can take away from the unique experiences and problems that exist within the black community.

Benbow called for the increase in black faculty members and the development of plans to ensure every Texas State student is supported and feels like they are being heard.

In Benbow’s closing statements, he challenged members of the student government to “build bridges across the aisle” and embrace change when the new administration begins in April.

Student Government meetings are open to the public and are held every Monday at 7 p.m. in the LBJ Teaching Theater. The meeting agenda and resolutions can be found on the Student Government website.

If you liked this story, consider supporting student media through a donation or by signing up for our weekly newsletter.


Did you like this story? Share it on Flipboard

Flipboard share
Viewed 120 times, 1 visits today