Texas A&M elected its first gay student body president after the original winner was disqualified.
Several charges were leveled against the original winner, including a voter fraud charge that has since been overturned by a student court. The other charges included 14 reports of voter intimidation and finance report failure, according to the campus newspaper The Battalion.
Bobby Brooks of Belton was declared the winner and became the first openly gay student body president. Until 2014, Texas A&M regularly appeared on the list of Top 20 most homophobic schools in the country. And while SMU also appeared on the list, SMU had nondiscrimination policies in place. A&M didn’t.
While Brooks didn’t hide who he was, he didn’t make being gay an issue during the campaign.
Texas A&M had refused to recognize an LGBT student organization as early as the 1970s. In recent legislatures, bills attacking LGBT resource centers on campuses primarily were attacking the one on the A&M campus. The bills never passed.
On his Facebook page, Brooks wrote:
We did it.
I can’t express enough wholehearted thanks to my family who encouraged my dreams, to my campaign team who sacrificed countless hours of free time, to every friend who smiled and hugged me when I shared this seemingly ridiculous idea, or to every person who searched me out to share their vision of how to make Texas A&M the best university in the world.