Richland’s Student Government Association (SGA) took top honors in three categories and second place in three others as they competed against the other DCCCD colleges during the Texas Junior College Student Government Association (TJCSGA) Region II Spring Convention held March 1. The competition was like a sporting event with all the sweat and rapid-beating heartbeats one might find on the basketball court with a sense of tension, hope and a passion for victory.
Tensions where especially high between Richland and Brookhaven who nearly matched head-to-head in the SGA competitions. Richland’s SGA competed in six categories including student of the year, adviser of the year, event, community service, memorabilia scrapbook and chapter. Each submission required written essays that numbered as many as 20 pages. Creativity was required in order to impress the judges. With teamwork and a lot of persuasion by their adviser, Richland’s SGA members managed to submit exemplary work that balanced lively presentation with a professional theme.
As a front runner for Student of the Year, Haya Qazi, SGA president, accepted the nomination with the support of her fellow teammates. SGA adviser Kelly Sonnanstine was nominated for Adviser of the Year. As the pièce de résistance, the SGA team held great confidence for the “RLC Votes with America” event held on campus last October with the purpose of encouraging eligible young students to vote during the mid-term elections.
“It was successful. We got Alicia Keys [America Ferrera and Liza Koshy] to come to Richland and got a lot of people to vote for the elections. I call that a success,” Edward Sesay, SGA vice-president, said.
By the time the awards presentation was over, Richland took first place for best community service, scrapbook and event. Richland took second place behind Brookhaven in the categories of Student, Adviser and Chapter of the year.
“They got it done,” Sonnanstine said. “We got feedback from region and we are making improvements.”
The top contender was Brookhaven College, just a marginal distance away from Richland on the score sheets. Sonnanstine and the SGA team are showing keen interest in doing well next time as they review the judge’s comments and polish new entries.
The Richland SGA will compete in the state convention April 11 to 14 at the Marriott Quorum in Addison where they will compete against community colleges from across the state.