Head Turning & Eye Opening – The Student Government Association Experience

Giann Munar, Feature Writer

Among the small hub of green chairs and funky patterns, lies a room where a special kind of like-minded individuals gather together. Each from different backgrounds and stories, these particular students of Oakton Community College refuse to turn their ways to the parking lots or bus stops. Rather, they spent their time sitting in conference rooms or working in the offices making a difference for their fellow students.

Student involvement is considered a challenge for community college students, as student life staff work to include every single of walk of life within the campus. Obligations beyond school have become a restricting factor for the students and the community to stop by and participate in events or engage in co-curricular activities. It’s ironic to find out that a “community” college is hardly known for its benefits of connecting people as a community and reaching out to others.

The Student Government Association’s main goal is to break that stereotype by enriching the lives of the student body experience. It’s more than just convincing them to turn their heads to another direction to notice what’s going on. It’s all about addressing the needs of as many students as possible. One of the main activities that allows this to happen is the Questions and Answers with President Smith, which opens the opportunity for any and all students to address their concerns or comments about the college and its activities to our college President, Dr. Joanne Smith. Our next session will be on Wednesday, November 14 at 11am-12pm in the Student Center on the Des Plaines campus. If you would like to submit questions, please email [email protected] or stop by the Student Center.

The initiative of achieving the goals of the student government stretches out way before the new semester even starts and through the very first day of classes. Officers and representatives of Student Life, clubs, and organizations take their time to help those who are seeking to reach their classes and adjust towards the new school year. The “Students that Guide and Assist” project of SGA allows these good Samaritans to roam around campus escorting and leading people to where they need to go. This kind of initiative releases the anxiety of feeling lost on campus, and allows students to feel at ease and to welcome Oakton as their new home in a comfortable manner.

The student voice serves as a powerful force and impact that persists beyond studying and achieving grades. Addressing concerns in a welcoming environment is what the “Student Fee Increase” Committee allows to happen. A significant amount of the student body was interviewed and surveyed regarding the possibility of an increase of payment for the Student Fees. These payments play a vital role towards the allocation of SGA’s resources that are used to enhance the student experience.

Moving forward with the serious business, the SGA also knows how to serve the fun and games. Organized by the Clubs and Organization committee, and in collaboration with the Office of Student Life and the Fine Arts program, the introduction of the Lip Sync Battle challenge provides an area of entertainment and self-expression surrounded by the supportive community of Oakton. Individual talents were showcased in style with each students unique interpretation of each song that provides awe and laughter for the audience. Getting people out of their comfort zone supports the motivation of achieving your dreams as long as you have the strongest drive and will to do it. Round 2 took place this past Tuesday, and round 3 (the final round of the semester) will take place on Tuesday, November at 11am-1pm in the cafeteria on the Des Plaines campus and Skokie (live streamed from Des Plaines).

Another avenue that showcases the creativity of the community will arise from the graves as the Halloween Games will be returning after its successful debut last year. Throughout the day there will be an abundance of activities for the enjoyment of all students. From trivia to fortune telling to costume contests and to the finale team games, there is always something for everyone to enjoy.

Being a part of the governing body should encompass the opinions of every kind of student, and the student government team proudly represents a diverse collection of intellectuals. Non-traditional students, international students, and students with unique life experiences. Everyone is welcome from our team of senators, delegates and committee members.

As these noteworthy students go beyond the distance in every aspect of the community college student life, all these elements of important topics, inclusiveness and fun activities come together every Wednesday at Room 2139 from 3:00-5:00 pm (occasionally in the Student Center). With the combination of willful, fun, open-minded and welcoming hearts, the Student Government Association extends beyond the misconception of a “class only” environment, to being a “community centered” learning experience. Only at Oakton will you see the integrity of these creative and intellectual minds mold together as one team, one family and one community college. If you would like more information, please visit oaktonocccurrence.com or email [email protected].