Zelaya Denied Confirmation by Student Senate

Trevor Stevens, The Batt, May 2, 2012

For the second and final time, the Student Senate denied Jose Luis Zelaya’s nomination for Student Government vice president of diversity Tuesday night. During the course of debate, several senators said the curriculum and instruction graduate student’s immigration status was a factor in the decision, while others cited Zelaya’s history of activism.

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Zelaya’s immigration status was presented as an issue for the image of A&M, with some senators saying he was the most qualified person for the position but wasn’t the right person because he does not reside legally in the U.S.

“I don’t think his status in this country should play the main part, [but] I think it did play a part. It’s very unfortunate,” Brown said. “I think he was voted down for the wrong reasons.”

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Joseph Puente, senior telecommunication and media studies major, said Senate’s vote will make A&M look bad in the light of national media.

“It’s going to send a message to a diverse community of students all around the United States who are going to reconsider applying to A&M because they are going to feel unwelcome,” Puente said.

Maria Cabello, junior political science major and president of the Council for Minority Student Affairs, said Student Senate made the wrong decision.

“He was the most qualified applicant, and as an undocumented student he is a role model to students across Texas,” Cabello said.

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“From the outside looking in, they’re just going to see us as a bunch of conservative bigots,” Brown said.

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“It’s really confusing because I consider A&M my family, and I’m told that I don’t belong here,” Zelaya said.

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The Texas legislature has provided for students not living legally in the country to attend public colleges despite their immigration status. Zelaya said he has made efforts to gain citizenship in the U.S., which he calls “home” after fleeing a violent home and gang violence in Honduras. Zelaya told the Senate he applied for political asylum to become a legal resident but was denied due to the lack of documented proof of a violent family member.

Texas Aggie Conservative member and junior political science major Cary Cheshire spoke before the Senate and prefaced his statement by saying he wasn’t “going to be politically correct here.”

“His status is a problem for me,” Cheshire said. “I think that it is a huge liability for Texas A&M to bring in somebody who you know, as Cody Davis pointed out at the last meeting, pending the presidential race could be deported next year.”

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Student Body President John Claybrook said he was disappointed that the best candidate he “could have ever put forth” was not confirmed. Claybrook will be without a vice president of diversity until the fall semester. Zelaya is ineligible for nomination a third time, according to SGA bylaws.

“[Zelaya will] serve on the diversity commission next year. He won’t be the director, but he will make strong contributions to what we do to diversity and student government next year,” Claybrook said. “He doesn’t need a position to make an incredible influence at Texas A&M.”

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  • Hunter Morrow

    Texas A & M should expel him and send him to ICE.

  • Oh yeah I’m sure Texas A&M is going to “miss out” on all of that wonderful Hispanic diversity!  Tell me again about all of those amazing Honduran universities built by such luminaries as Jose Zelaya.  

  • Church_of_Jed

    This is just a matter of demographics.  With more illegals, they’ll have the votes and Diveristy will win again, so just Suffer Whitey, it’s your turn.

  • ncpride

    “It’s really confusing because I consider A&M my family, and I’m told that I don’t belong here,” Zelaya said.

    How do you even respond to such stupidity other than to say.. You DON’T belong here, illegal alien!!! And the notion that this ‘undocumented’ student is a role model for all students across Texas is so absurd, I can’t even find the words to express my opinion on that ridiculous statement. I swear, up is down and down is up in this messed up country of ours.

  • Eagle_Eyed

    “It’s going to send a message to a diverse community of students all around the United States who are going to reconsider applying to A&M because they are going to feel unwelcome,” Puente said.

    We can only hope.

  • In a sane world, this illegal invading border jumper would be deported poste haste. However, because diversity now trumps the rule of law (as well as common sense), the only hardship he will suffer is the denial of the sham VP of Diversity post.

  • mobilebay

    My husband has decided not to admit he’s a former Aggie as long as they allow illegals to be a part of that once proud University.

    • The__Bobster

      Does he know any good Aggie jokes?

  • I W

    My local community college Cannot accept ‘foreign students with student visas’ that is to say Legal foreign students, but allows illegal aliens to enroll.
    Whaa?
    Yes. No legal foreign students. Why? Because the government and DHS require extra paperwork and monitoring be done with foreign students on legal visas. With the economy what it is, the school could not afford (at least they say) to dedicate extra staff to the job. So, no legal foreigners.
    Illegal alien colonists however have no such restrictions placed on the college, and are welcome. Even at in-state tuition rates which visa holding foreign students were forbidden. (Our local college has an excellent marine powerplant engineering, and nuclear powerplant technician’s programs so actually does have some small out of state draw.) 

    Sometimes I actually do wonder if something happened in my sleep one night and I woke up in the Twilight Zone; but until I hear Rod Serling’s voice narrating from the sky I will continue to presume upon my own sanity in an insane world…

  • ACE2X

    Things like this make me love this school. I did professional recruiting for a major Corp. in the early sixties just when the filthy hippies were takng over. A&M was a delightful change from the unwashed khakis crowd. Firm hansdshakes instead of limp-wristed, feminine flutters. The worst were in Austin and Madison. These are principled patriots there.  God bless them.

  • ageofknowledge

    Now that he’s been identified, ICE needs to move to deport him.

  • Hirene

    I hope the message is loud and clear.

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Maybe Zelaya should transfer to BYU in Provo, Utah:

    Mustapha El Akkari recently became the first non-Mormon student body president at Brigham Young University-Hawaii. Interestingly, El Akkari is a Muslim who credits the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints-affiliated school with making him a better Islamic adherent.In an interview with The Salt Lake Tribune the business management student, who is at the school on a basketball scholarship, highlighted the ways in which LDS has assisted his faith.I checked the calendar, it’s May 4th, not April 1st.Bon

  • He’s been discovered.
    DEPORT HIM

  • Part of the deal with HB 1403, the law that lets them attend colleges and universities is that after they graduate they get citizenship.