ACC’s Student Government Association and How You Can Get Involved

Story by Gloria Nguyen

Graphics by Kate Korepova

Edited by Pete Ramirez

The Student Government Association (SGA) is a student organization comprised of members who have been duly elected from the student body of Austin Community College District.

According to SGA’s constitution, their goals are to facilitate understanding of democracy in our college, promote involvement among all members of the college community, and most importantly, to make the interests of the student body heard in our college in academic, institutional and campus affairs.

“A strong, enthusiastic and well-trained SGA, is for the betterment of all ACC students”

Mohammed Elghoul, advisor for ACC’s Student Government Association

In order to fulfill their goals and ensure they are listening to students, SGA recruits students from all 11 campuses and from all aspects of life. 

Mohammed Elghoul, SGA’s advisor, says this approach improves the lives of the student body. “When ACC students have quicker access to an SGA member at their grade reviews or a more immediate place to express their concerns, student lives are better,” Elghoul said.  

A group of students stand out side and smile for a picture in front of a tall clock tower.
Members of Austin Community College’s Student Government Association stand for a picture with their advisor, Muhammed Elghoul, during the recent Conference on Student Government Associations. Photo provided by Muhammed Elghoul

In line with their approach to being an advocate for the student body, SGA is currently focused on a district-wide information-gathering campaign collecting feedback to better understand the needs and state of housing for ACC students. Their short survey has been shared by the school via email and can also be found here.

SGA tries its best to represent ACC students but COVID-19 has made it challenging to find opportunities to connect directly with the student body. 

“One of which, which is a bit challenging now because of the COVID, is to have fellow students come to a selected location and talk to them,” Elghoul said. “That way we can figure out what is important for fellow students.”

One off-campus activity that took a pause due to the challenges of the pandemic was the annual toy drive that is coordinated by SGA with the help of the honors society, Phi Theta Kappa. This event, which serves underprivileged youth in Travis County, is one of the student organization’s largest events of the year.

“We collect toys from boxes on most campuses,” Elghoul said. “Students bring the toys to the sheriff’s office. They have a list of families in need and want toys for the holiday and do an annual donation drive.”

The current president of ACC’s SGA, Isaiah Smith, is working with his team to develop more ideas for events and activities where students can connect with SGA members.

An young African-American man dressed in a suit and bowtie smiles for a photo with an American flag in the background of one side of the frame.
Austin Community College’s Student Government Association President Isaiah Smith. Smith and the SGA strive to advocate for all ACC students. Photo provided by Isaiah Smith

“We’re trying to get other departments at ACC involved in SGA activities,” Smith, said. “SGA is supposed to be representing our school as a whole, not just SGA members.”

Smith is leveraging his position within SGA and his expanding network of connections to improve the lives of all ACC students.

“I’m in the process of building a massive communication channel,” Smith said. “If any of our students have any issues, maybe with safety, we can easily get in touch with the ACC Police Department.”

Apply now to be a member during SGA’s 2022-2023 academic year.

As a member of SGA, students have opportunities to travel and meet other student leaders at other colleges, be invited to local exclusive events and represent their fellow students. 

The application period has started and will end on April 13. 

Find the application here.

Elections run from April 15 to April 25. 

There are many positions that can be filled by students and they are all up for election. A full list of positions can be found here.

Only prior SGA members can run for executive board positions. Senate positions are open to all.

All applicants are required to be enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours and maintain at least a 2.5 GPA.

“We used to [hold the election] over the course of 7 days, so by 10 days, people will have more time to prepare and encourage people to vote for them,” Elghoul said. 

As the student leader of SGA, Smith points out some characteristics that members of SGA should cultivate. 

Smith said members should be assertive, flexible and caring. 

For future members of the organization, Smith’s advice is simple: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” 

A group of students stand inside and smile for a picture next to large letters lit up in lights that spell "COSGA."
Members of Austin Community College’s Student Government Association stand for a picture during a recent Conference on Student Government Associations. Photo provided by Muhammed Elghoul

Elghoul is committed to continuing to guide the SGA to better understand and serve the ACC student body. 

“If you want to represent the students, you have to know the students,” Elghoul said.

For more information about SGA, check out their website and follow them on Twitter and Instagram. If you have any questions about SGA, you can reach out to Elghoul at mohammed.elghoul@austincc.edu.

How To Register To Vote


It’s 2022 which means another midterm election is upon us. While President Biden won’t be on the ballot this year, his ability to further his plans and agenda will be at stake. It is our responsibility as engaged citizens to ensure our voices are heard at the ballot box. 

Story by Ky Duffey

Edited by Pete Ramirez

How Do I Register to Vote?

Voter registration is simple for those who have not yet registered. All you need to do is:

  1. Meet the requirements listed below 
  2. Complete a voter registration application
  3. Submit your completed application to your county election office no later than 30 days prior to the election date

However, if you want to vote in the Texas state primary elections for statewide positions on March 1, 2022, you will need to submit the application by Monday, January 31, 2022

In order to register to vote in the State of Texas, you have to meet the following requirements:

  • Be a United States citizen
  • Be a resident of the county where you submit the application
  • You are at least 17 years and 10 months old, and you are 18 years of age on Election Day.
  • You are not a convicted felon (you may be eligible to vote if you have completed your sentence, probation and parole)
  • You have not been declared by a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be either totally mentally incapacitated or partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote.
People casting their ballots in a row, each covered by privacy cubicles.
Voters casting their votes on Election Day. (Photo: Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)

What Are Midterm Elections?

They are called “midterm” because they happen in the middle of a presidential term. 

Apart from the general and special elections, the midterm election refers to the type of election where the people are given an opportunity to elect their congressional representatives and other subnational officeholders such as the governor and members of the local council. 

Every two years, every seat in the U.S. House of Representatives is up for re-election. In the Senate, Senators serve 6-year terms. This year, a little over a third of the Senate is up for re-election, with 14 Democratic Senators as well as 20 Republican Senators. 

Both Texas Senators, Ted Cruz and John Cornyn will not be up for re-election this year. 

Because most states schedule state elections along the same lines as Congressional elections, Texas’ governor, Greg Abbott, and members of the state Legislature will be on the ballot this year. 

It is essential that you research more on which members at the state level will be seeking re-election as well as the state laws that will be up for a public vote at the ballot box.

Governor Greg Abbott is up for re-election this year. His primary challenger is former US Representative, Beto O’Rourke SOURCE

Why are Midterm Elections Important?

In order for a President to enact an agenda, they need a majority vote in both the House and Senate. Without a majority, much of a President’s agenda can be stalled or blocked completely, which can affect the administration’s standing among the public. 

If a President has a majority of members of their own party in the House and Senate, that President has a better chance of delivering on their campaign promises. 

Unlike the President, the House and Senate are voted in by popular vote. Depending on which party you support, your participation in midterm elections can determine which laws make it to the President’s desk or not.

When Are The Midterm Elections?

The midterms will take place on November 8, 2022

As a resident of Texas, you’ll be able to vote for your respective House Representative, the Governor and certain state Legislature members as well as any laws that may be up for a public vote in your area. 

Use this link to find who represents you in the House of Representatives.

Use this link to find out who represents you in the state Legislature.

Call your county election office for further questions or concerns about this year’s elections.

The late civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis once said, “The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful non-violent tool or instrument in a democratic society. We must use it.”