Students embrace their own power in student government

Vanessa Passo, Staff Writer

“The roles for any S.G. member or position is similar in that we all represent the Elgin Community College student body and possess a strong voice.”

Student body Vice President Adil Jahangir gives a slight hint of a brief mission statement of members of student government.

Student government among the Elgin Community College campus aims to “primarily get candidates that are interested in politics and [who] want to grow from this area and who want to make connections to improve the school and also expand their networking skills,” said Kazia George, student government secretary.

The governing body consists of four executive officers, including a student member of District 509’s Board of Trustees, and 17 senators, all of which are elected annually.

Student government goes beyond standards of being solely focused on Elgin and it’s students.

“We serve on specialized ECC committees and have stronger networks with the higher ups at ECC. We frequently discuss IL policy, as well, as we all have networks with State representatives and senators, as well,” Jahangir said.

Events held within this Spring semester were held in order to make great strides towards broadening the focus on worldly, political experiences.

“For this year, S.G.’s main goal was to encourage ECC students to be more politically involved in the 2016 Presidential Election.  We held informative events such as a Mock Debate and Mock Elections as well as held voter registration days. For next year, we want to encourage students to express their concerns and ideas regarding ECC and our campus community,” George said.

Although members of student government differ in positions, all maintain pride within their role of helping the student body  at ECC.

“As Vice President, my main duties were to be the face of S.G. and it’s P.R. such as giving interviews-like this one, I’m honored- and attending special invitations. I also am in charge and head a large panel of student senators with which we work closely to meet S.G. objectives. I represent the President when he is unable to attend certain events-which I was looking forward to but never ended up happening because Jesus never missed any single day”, Jahangir said, with a slight laugh.

Position nominations are based on a set process, however, may pose slight differences between each position.

“[Individuals] need to fill out an application–I believe you need 50 or 100 signature and a 500 word essay–and the E-Board will set up a voting day, for students to come cast their votes on who should win the spot that they are running for. I know that if you are running for the Secretary position, then the president just chooses. There’s no voting ballot for that position,” George said.

In order to be a member of student government on the ECC campus, a few requirements are upheld, according to George.

“[One must be] an E-Board member- 3.0 GPA, minimum of 12 credit hours, and 1 semester experience with the club or an adviser can approve. [As a Senator I am required] 2.5 GPA and minimum 6 credit hours.”

As for the impact the student government has on it’s members itself, “It has been transformational and no, I don’t mean to be cliche here,” Jahangir said.

Jahangir shares a bit of his personal experience as both a student and an important position among his fellow peers, announcing that he has the honor of being the graduation commencement speaker this year. “It has only created positive memories and experiences for me. After joining S.G., I was pushed to the limits with an average time commitment of 6 hours a week, sometimes much more during busy season. I scored a 4.0 GPA and was on the President’s list after one semester with S.G. Right now, I am enrolled in 6 credit classes and 1 non-credit class here at ECC, I work a minimum of 34 hours a week as well at Chipotle Mexican Grill that helps pay for my college. I then serve as the VP of S.G. and I am able to manage my time quite well.”

It is quite possible to juggle many responsibilities while being a part of student government, according to Jahangir, himself.

Be sure to stay in touch with the many student government events that continue to take place around campus.

“We have Student Government elections coming next week from April 18th to 20th and it’s all electronic, you may be able to learn more. We have a Town Hall meeting scheduled on Monday, April 17th 3:00-4:30 where the prospective candidates will speak in front of a large audience sharing why they deserve to be elected,” Jahangir said.