SGA works to integrate campus constitutions

Kamila Vargas-Gonzalez, Contributing Writer

Student Government Association members are working to scrap, reword or rephrase drafts of their constitution to present a final draft to Dallas College. This is part of an ongoing effort by SGA organizations across Dallas College to advocate for student interests.

Gisselle Lopez, president of SGA at Brookhaven Campus, said an increase in engagement across the seven campuses is the primary reason for streamlining the constitution. Lopez said it works as a base to be in a position where they can advocate for students’ rights, interests and resources.

She said: “Before the pandemic, SGA was very active. They were constantly getting awards from the state. But since then, we lost a lot of engagement.”

In 2018, Brookhaven SGA won seven first place awards at the Texas Junior College Student Government Association Convention.

We are sticking to the student agenda and making sure that students are the main voice of this campus.

— Gisselle Lopez, Brookhaven Campus SGA President

Lopez said a few ideas to get engagement rolling at Brookhaven include surveys and class visits. She said: “The survey gives the ability to voice five concerns, and it is completely anonymous. The idea is to come into first-year classes to advocate for students to voice their concerns and speak with them for five to 10 minutes about how SGA is there to represent the student body.”

Lopez is student-driven when it comes to her goals for SGA. “We are sticking to the student agenda and making sure that students are the main voice of this campus,” she said.

Frankie Ward, director of student life at Dallas College, said: “On Feb. 25, 2023, I, 14 SGA leaders and Dr. Stephanie Hill, the assistant vice chancellor, met to discuss the future of SGA as it relates to the one-college approach. Then we decided that streamlining the SGA constitution is necessary for future growth.”

In 2020, Dallas County Community College District received approval to become Dallas College, which merged all seven formerly independent campuses. This meant the SGA organizations from each campus had to find a way to merge as well.

Previously, Ward worked as an adviser for SGA at Tarrant County College and helped develop their constitution. She said: “I got [TCC SGA] acknowledged by the TCC board of trustees as a student union in the TCC board of trustees policies and procedures. My prior knowledge has helped me launch these changes to better the SGA at Dallas College.”

Jeremiah Stinnett, co-adviser of SGA and the Male Achievement Program lead at Brookhaven, said he foresees the new changes positively affecting student life. He said, “I believe it will help to create a more succinct SGA experience at all seven campuses and allow students to flexibly be involved at any campus in the event that they switch from taking courses at one campus to another.”