It could be said that Reid Joseph, the student body president (SBP) at Texas A&M University for 2013-14, has always been an Aggie. In fact, when the senior industrial distribution major was born in Dallas, the music playing in the delivery room was the Aggie War Hymn.
Although he graduated from high school in Springdale, Ark., Joseph says he is a Texan, a proud third-generation Aggie and a member of the Corps of Cadets’ Ross Volunteer Company.
It was while attending Muster during his freshman year, however, that he made a serious commitment to serve the Aggie Family. Aggie Muster is held each April all over the world to honor Aggies who have died since the last ceremony was held. As each name is called, a friend or family member answers “here!” and a candle is lit.
“Not only was this my first on-campus Muster, but my beloved ‘Papaw,’ Class of 1947 and World War II veteran, was honored at that ceremony in 2011,” he recalls.. “I realized that I was not just surrounded by my family of Aggies, but by the entire Aggie family. And it was on this night that I committed to serving this Aggie Family in whatever capacity.”
Since that time, Joseph has served as one of the Maroon Coats, who help host Texas A&M Foundation events, as well as having been a member of the Aggie Muster Committee, Fish Aides, Traditions Council, Abbott Family Leadership Conference and the Professional Association for Industrial Distribution – and now as student body president.
“These activities have greatly influenced and inspired me to continually strive to be the best that I can be. The people in these organizations have had an incredible impact on me, and they have helped shape who I am. I am proud to have participated in all of them,” he explains.
As the new fall semester begins, Joseph says he plans to spend the year connecting with students and with organizations. He is encouraging students to participate in service projects such as Habitat for Humanity and 12th Can, a food collection organization. He points out that when an opportunity to serve arises, “this campus just meets it naturally.”
Joseph says providing support for students who are veterans also is an area he believes should be a priority. “We are very excited about all our veteran relations in the upcoming year,” he notes.
Another issue for him is building bridges with the Student Senate and the Student Government Association on different issues.
“I don’t have anything magic,” he says. “When you make it a priority to form relationships, you have a united student government. That’s when it’s best for students and we have a united student voice and are able to go to the administration with issues. There is power in being able to do that.”
While he plans to remain in the Corps of Cadets during his challenging year as student body president, Joseph doesn’t plan to enter the military when he graduates. “I would be more than happy to serve someday; however, I do not feel like I was called to make a career out of it.”
Joseph is not the only member of the corps ever to serve as student body president, though it has been 22 years since the last time an active member of the Corps was elected. Joseph says he is inspired by that individual — Lt. Col. Stephen Ruth.
“I will remain a member of the Corps during my time in office and they (Corps officials) have been supportive and accommodating. They understand I will have to miss things here and there in order to do my job well,” he notes.
With all his other activities and his participation in the Corps, when Joseph was approached by friends and asked to consider running for student body president, it was something he took his time to think about before making a decision.
“This was a question that took months to figure out. I had so many friends and even acquaintances approach and ask me to run for SBP starting the spring of my sophomore year and especially so in the fall of my junior year,” he recalls. “However, I knew that I was the one who had to make the decision and that I needed to know exactly why I was doing it, instead of simply doing it because others thought I should.”
He adds that, after months of prayer and conversations about it, he asked himself if there was a position where he might serve the Aggie Family more. “The simple answer is I realized that this position would best allow me to serve,” he concludes.
Media contact: Tura King, Division of Marketing & Communications, at (979) 845-4670