Meet Student Body President Case Harris ’23
Student Body President Case Harris ’23 grew up in Austin, but says his mom, a 1994 Texas A&M University graduate, helped steer him in the right direction – straight to Aggieland.
Harris, a senior majoring in finance and business honors, plans to graduate in May and hopes to pursue careers in business and politics. Texas A&M Today spoke with Harris about his priorities for the academic year, his advice for fellow students and how Texas A&M redefined leadership for him.
What are the priorities for your term in office?
Currently, I’m focused on four major goals. The first is tradition: I want every Aggie to have the full A&M experience to know just how special this university is. We’re different from other universities in terms of our Core Values and the Aggie spirit of service. Everyone should feel welcome through our traditions and our culture of service; those are things we can all rally around.
Second is involvement. We want to make sure we’re connecting students to the opportunities they have on campus. We have more than 1,200 student organizations and so many other ways for students to learn and explore. The trick is getting them plugged into those opportunities, so we’re working hard to communicate on that.
Our next priority is advocacy. This includes many things such as supporting students with their day-to-day challenges, making them aware they can get access to free textbooks through our Open Education Resource Program, connecting them to mental health resources if needed, sexual assault awareness and prevention – and those are just a few examples. These things can have such a huge impact on students’ lives and we want to make sure we’re there to help.
And fourth, we’re focused on improving student government. Obviously the purpose of student government is to represent all students, and I think we need to do better at ensuring all student voices are heard. We ask that students provide us with their input and feedback. We’ll be tabling in the MSC, Rudder and different places around campus this fall; stop by and ask questions, tell us what you’re experiencing. We want students to feel welcome and represented – student government shouldn’t exist in a bubble, it should be collaborative.
How had you been involved in the years leading up to your presidency?
I’ve been involved quite a bit with the business school: Mays Business Fellows, Reveille Fund, Business Honors Recruitment Committee, Business Honors Peer Leader, Aggie Investment Club and Horizons Finance Guild. Other organizations I’ve joined are the Gilbert Leadership Conference, Fish Aides and Abbott Family Leadership Conference; I’m still a member of Aggie Men’s Club.
Why did you decide to run for Student Body President?
During my freshman year through Fish Aides, I was able to shadow the SBP at the time, Mikey Jaillet, and it was such an amazing experience. I remember thinking “maybe I could do that one day.” When I started getting more and more involved, it felt like I got to know the heartbeat of campus. I met students from so many different places and learned about what they’re feeling and experiencing. And from that grew this idea: wouldn’t it be great to be able to represent all these students?
Later I was in charge of putting the speakers together for the Gilbert Leadership Conference. I saw how students were learning and growing, and they were asking such good questions, and the conference was so impactful for them. And it just hit me because that was the first time I was in a role where I was actually giving back to students, helping the Aggies coming up after me. I loved it because there are people who have done that for me, and I wanted to spend my senior year giving back.
What are some of the unique challenges Aggies are facing today?
Coming out of the pandemic, I think there’s still a disconnect in some ways. With COVID we saw a big decline in involvement and participation in traditions, and I wouldn’t say it’s a trend, but I think some of that may have stuck around. Also we’re a large university and the number of opportunities can be overwhelming; some students may get lost in the noise and not find their place. We want to be sure we bridge those gaps and connect students to what they want to do and will benefit the most from.
Also mental health is a big concern. We’ve all been through tough times with the pandemic; it was my freshman year that we went away for Spring Break and couldn’t come back to campus. It was a really challenging climate to be in college. We want students to know there is help and support for them from peer mentors to Counseling & Psychological Services, and so much more – it’s just a matter of finding the right resources and making those connections.
What is your advice to students?
First thing: buy in. Buy in to our traditions, our culture, your involvement and your potential. Aggie culture is for all of us and there’s so much to experience that you can’t have anywhere else – take advantage of all A&M has to offer.
Second, put yourself out there. Try different things, learn as much as you can, meet as many people as you can. The Aggie Network is real and it’s strong. It’s a lifelong bond, so meet your fellow Aggies and make those connections because it will pay off later.
And don’t be too hard on yourself. We’re college students, we’re going to make mistakes. We don’t have it all figured out and that’s fine, we’re here to learn and grow.
What’s something you learned at A&M that has positively impacted you?
My definition of leadership was very different than what it is now. Before, I thought of leaders as people who were self-centered, focused on their own success. But being an Aggie, I learned that’s not what it’s about at all. Leadership is about giving back, not giving orders. It’s about serving those you are leading so they can do the best job for the team.
Who are the Aggies in your family?
My mom, Carrie Harris ’94, earned her degree in sociology; my brother, Cole Harris ’25, is currently a sophomore in the Mays Business School; and two cousins, both seniors, John Nelson ’23, majoring in ag business, and Talaya Frazier ’23, a communication major.