TAMIU capital funds reach nearly $45 million from A&M System
By Gabrielle Prather
Published Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2021
From the A&M System funding, TAMIU recently received nearly $45 million.
The Texas Legislature funded $3.35 billion dollars in specific capital projects for higher education. The capital projects at the universities of the Texas A&M System totaled $727.4 million under SB52, which amounts to 22% of the total authorization.
The COVID-19-related appropriation bill invested $20 million dollars toward supporting at-risk students at state’s regional universities, including those associated with the A&M System. Gov. Greg Abbott approved the two bills.
Texas A&M International University President Pablo Arenaz spoke about this funding.
“We are truly grateful for the Legislature’s generous support of capital construction assistance projects, and the strong partnership of our local legislative delegation,” Arenaz said. “We’ll be discussing [the] next steps for TAMIU with our Texas A&M University System Board of Regents over the next several months.”
With these new funds, the administration sought out opinions from students, faculty and staff on what TAMIU’s future should look like.
TAMIU student and worker Jasmine Delgadillo expressed her concern regarding good uses of these funds for the campus community. Despite the funds’ clear designation for capital projects, some students believe the administration should apply the funds in other, undesignated ways.
“I think that they should raise up wages and salaries or invest in scholarships to raise salaries and wages,” Delgadillo said.
She also believes raising wages will benefit workers, adding that she loves to work with students.
Another student, Celeste Hernandez, believes the funds should be used toward free tuition or toward providing more options to students.
“I think the free books were a good first move though,” Hernandez said. “If not free tuition, at least [add] more grants and scholarships. I am on scholarship and it’s only for a certain amount and that prevents me [from] qualifying for any other scholarships.”
Others, on the other hand, did understand the designation for capital improvements, such as graduate student Daniel Ross Rodriguez. He said there should be more study space, even though the fairly new Academic Innovation Center contains additional areas for studying.
Along the lines of the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, he also said there should be a building dedicated to study, since that space in other buildings is limited. Rodriguez added that it is important for students to have resources that help them become professional in the future.
“Study rooms and tutors are critical to sustaining students and producing professionals,” Rodriguez said. “If they’re not going to hire more professors to make classes smaller, then they need more study areas and tutors.”