The Texas A&M Student Senate has been torn by partisanship in the past. Much like the actual federal government, legislators tend to disagree with each other, creating a more perfect union through a diversity of opinion.
Yet, in its most recent legislative session, the organization has begun to actually pass bipartisan bills. These stellar agreements include pacts to have fewer typos in their bills, to remind themselves not to consume alcohol before or during meetings, and even finally asking senators to take a sexual assault training like every other student on campus. However, it doesn’t appear the leadership is ready to take an obvious step that this community needs: distancing itself from Nicholas Cage’s character in National Treasure and National Treasure II.
The Aggie Honor Code is very explicit. “An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal, or tolerate those who do.” And what did American history buff and treasure hunter Benjamin Franklin Gates do? Steal the Declaration of Independence. We cannot tolerate him.
I’m not trying to imply that he didn’t have good reason. Ian Howe (played by Sean Bean) clearly betrayed Gates, who has a quasi-legitimate claim to the treasure buried by our nation’s founding fathers. I mean, Gates descends from a long line of code breakers and treasure hunters who have been seeking the answer from clues lying in plain sight for generations. But does that justify blatant theft of one of the most significant documents in American history?
It’s clear that Gates has a strong presence in pop culture. Take a second to stop reading this column and ask your neighbor whether or not they like National Treasure. The vast majority of them will say, “Yes. I love Nicholas Cage. He is the real National Treasure. Get it?”
But this columnist most certainly does not “get it.” Stealing is not an Aggie value. We are a university guided by our traditions, clear indicators that define right and wrong. So, when is Student Senate going to finally rid this campus of its moral decay and distance itself from Ben Gates? For the sake of Rick Perry’s legacy, let’s hope it is sooner rather than later.
— Howdy Boo Boo