By: Christina van Waasbergen
She quietly patrols the floor of the Senate, her face bearing an expression of intense focus. Many delegates only notice her when she taps them on the shoulder and politely, but firmly, reminds them to not lean on the railing. What many people don’t realize, however, is that she plays a vital role in the legislature.
Her name is Taaja Foster, and she’s the sergeant-at-arms for the Farabee Senate. Her job is to enforce the rules of the Senate chambers. She says that it’s a little-known but important position.
The junior from International Leadership of Texas, Arlington-Grand Prairie High School didn’t know she’d be fulfilling this role until Thursday of this week. There were not enough sergeants-at-arms, so she volunteered to take up the position. This means she will not be able to present her bill to the Senate, but, for her, it’s worth it.
“I get to see what goes on in the Senate from an outsider’s perspective,” Foster said. “Sitting in the chair, you don’t really get to see the intensity of how other delegates are researching on the sidelines or writing down questions that they need to ask in their journals, so it’s very rewarding in that sense.”
Foster says that the most difficult part of being the sergeant at arms is getting her fellow delegates to listen to her. “As I am a teenager, other teenagers don’t like taking directions from a teenager like themselves, so sometimes I will get a bit of attitude from some delegates,” she said.
However, this has not been a major problem for her. “They’re all great kids in the Senate chambers, so it’s very easy,” Foster said. “Not many rules are violated at any given time.”
Foster recommends that other delegates consider becoming the sergeant-at-arms. “The sergeant-at-arms, while it may go underrated, it’s an extremely important position, and we need more for next year,” Foster said.