By Kaitlyn Tyra
As the 85th Legislative Session rapidly approaches (beginning January 2017) Huntsville’s District 5 State Senator Charles Schwertner spent a day touring the east side of his district by meeting with local constituents, including a visit to SHSU. Senator Schwertner and staff members, such as SHSU and LEAP alumna Ariel Traub, generously agreed to speak to Professor Yawn’s Texas Government class to educate students about the Texas Legislature.
Thankful for all he was blessed with, Senator Schwertner believed it was his time to give back to his community by running for public office, in 2010 when the incumbent State Representative decided not to run for reelection. After serving in the House of Representatives for two years, Senator Schwertner ran for the Texas Senate and won with a majority vote. Through his firsthand experiences, Senator Schwertner discussed the difficulties of balancing his work as a Senator, his work as an Orthopedic Surgeon, and his family. However, he also stressed the importance of being a public servant.
During his time in class, Senator Schwertner explained the session length and organization of the Texas Legislature. Interestingly, the Texas House of Representatives is comprised of 150 members, established to represent the 150 Psalms, while the Senate is made up by 31 members, representative of the 31 Proverbs. This was an interesting piece of trivia that many students, and even Professor Yawn, were enthused to learned about for the first time!
Senator Schwertner and his staff graciously agreed to answer questions and impart some of their vast knowledge on students. These topics ranged from current issues that will be addressed in the Legislature, to how students can transition from the classroom to their careers after graduation. As always, Senator Schwertner and his staff were humble and helpful to students.
As their visit came to a close, Senator Schwertner, his staff, and students posed for a group picture before departing to their next stop in Huntsville.
Many thanks to Senator Schwertner, Jordan Strauss, Leah Alexander, and Ariel Traub!