Student Government Association takes on Washington DC

Photo Story by: Nikoo Vafaee

Hello Washington DC! The E-board members from ACC’s Student Government Association recently took a trip to Washington DC to attend the American Student Government Association conference. The conference was located in their hotel which included daily workshops on how to better their leadership, make connections, and more! After all the training they then got to explore many historical sites. Come along and see some photos of Washington DC!

Student Government Association Serves ACC

Written by Wes Eng

Since this past semester, the Student Government Association (SGA) has been working for you. SGA hosts events such as the talent show, DACA events, the Constitution Debate Day Celebration, book drives and more. The success of these events has been due to student contribution.

This semester brings some change to the structure of SGA. There will be a new Senate, promoting more student outreach to draw in more students. The new structure calls for Town Hall meetings on every campus. This will allow anyone to voice their opinions directly to SGA members. The intent of these meetings is to make easier for anyone at ACC to have their ideas heard. These ideas will then become the responsibility of the SGA.

This means SGA will take these ideas through the appropriate channels to make it a reality. The job of SGA has always been to ensure that every person at ACC has a voice and these Town Hall meetings will allow those who have not been heard to have their opportunity.

An ongoing project for SGA is the Open Education Resources. This project is working with the administration to supply classes with materials such as books and study materials, at no cost to the students. Several classes already offer this. “It’s still in the process, but every semester they add more classes,” says SGA President Richard Vega. “I’ve even taken one of these classes. It was a chemistry class where they used an open stacks chemistry textbook; which saves me $200 to $300. If you put this into the grand scheme of every student, that teacher might teach 4 or 5 sections, all those students are saving so much money. Those students
aren’t stuck working to pay off their textbooks, but instead, they are able to spend that time home studying instead. ”

Another ongoing project is opening of a 24-hour facility on the main ACC campuses. SGA hopes this will allow students an area where they can meet and study. SGA plans find how much an interest this has among the student population through a survey. The committee will also seek suggestions on what the students would like to be provided in these
24-hour facilities, if they do become a reality.

SGA members being sworn into their new positions
SGA members being sworn into their new positions

SGA Shakily Stands Up

Story and photo by Anthony DeVera, repoter

The Student Government Association has had to start from the ground up this school year.

“We started off trying to find our sea legs,” William (Peck) Young, Faculty Sponsor and Director of ACC ’s Center for Public Policy and Political Studies said.

In the absence of an advisor who resigned without any notice in the beginning of July this year, Young believes the organization has handled the situation well.

Along with Keisha Gray, Coordinator for the CPPPS, Young provides administrative support for the efforts of the student-run organization.

“The executive board is filled with some of the best young talent I have worked with in my entire life,” Young said.

The students have taken firm control of the direction of the organization, namely by reconstructing it from the ground up.

“We decided to create our own constitution just to have our voices in it and how we want to structure it,” Carrie Woodruff, an economics major who serves as Vice President, said.

President Alison Judice, who intends to major in Political Science, is concerned with the school community’s awareness of the SGA.

“A lot of people don’t know about [us]. A lot of people are still learning that we exist,” Judice said. “That is quite an issue. The student body has to know we’re here if we are going to be their voice.”

Attempting to maintain SGA representation on all campuses, members held a discussion which seemingly moved nowhere for more than an hour about the selection process for senators.

“We are arguing semantics,” Highland Campus Senator Garrett Grimmett said.

Throughout the discussion, senators provided opposing views in what can be described as back-and forth nonsense.

“There is a process in which we speak.” Ian Slingsby, Riverside Campus Senator, said in an attempt to police the conversation, referring to Robert’s Rules of Order.

Young advises the students to work more on listening to each other, and not waiting to speak next.

“They need to understand a bit better the Robert’s Rules of Order,” Young said. “The smartest thing they can do is listen to each other.”

In an effort to develop the skills needed to operate efficiently, SGA has hired Walter Wright J.D., a professor who teaches mediation in the Department of Political Science’s Legal Studies program at Texas State University. Wright gave a series of training sessions, which was open to all members of the ACC student body, based on a program of negotiation developed at Harvard Law School.

“We needed this yesterday,” Shant Soghomonian, the Constituent Senator for International Students said.

After a few training sessions, the students started to utilize their newly developed negotiation skills. Ongoing discussions on topics such as the senatorial selection process, now only take up to twelve minutes of the 3-hour long bi-weekly general assembly meetings.

In addition to preparing themselves for a career in politics, SGA’s efforts for the local community are currently focused on ACC’s “I CAN READ!” children’s book drive.

SGA Secretary Amy Calhoun recalled a conversation she had with a local police officer who expressed gratitude for the book drive’s efforts.

“[The officer] said there were some Christmases where [the officer’s family] couldn’t afford to get their kids gifts,” Calhoun said. “The drive allowed them to at least get something