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Eastfield elects student president, senators

Carmen Guzman
Student-elect officers celebrate their SGA election victory.

A band of sweat formed around Abigail Gene McGee’s brow as she took the stage and raised her hand for a presidential oath. McGee felt pressure from the eyes staring, watching her swear into the role of Eastfield’s president of the Student Government Association.

As McGee stood shoulder to shoulder with elected council members, they all felt the nervous energy fade into excitement, reminding her and the other students why they ran for their positions.

“I can feel the responsibility, that’s for sure,” McGee said. “My shoulders are pretty heavy, but it’s great.”

Dallas College students took part in an inauguration ceremony to congratulate newly elected SGA officers on Sept. 28. Among them, Eastfield students voted biology major Chioma Nwaji for vice president and political science major William Rippetoe for senator at large for community.

“I feel like we can do something better and make Eastfield grow,” McGee said.

McGee’s first order of business is to generate interest in the Student Government Association.

The organization has consistently struggled to keep students engaged  since the pandemic, said SGA adviser Kelly Sonnastine. Eastfield’s chapter especially had trouble seeking students to fill vacant positions.

Although the candidates ran uncontested, it mattered more that there were students running the show.

Abigail Gene McGee and Student Life coordinator Luis Sanchez attend the inaguration ceremony. (Carmen Guzman)

“We started off this election with three people on the ballot,” Rippetoe said. “Before this election, there was no one.”

Other campus  SGA chapters had students running against each other. To Rippetoe, fostering competition in Eastfield’s SGA would mean a positive development.

“We’re forced to become the best we can be,” Rippetoe said. “Nobody wants anyone who does half-measures.”

For now, the current elected officials pledge to bring SGA back into relevancy.

“I’m going to focus on getting the community more involved, and that requires advertising the SGA,” Rippetoe said.

Dallas College Chancellor Justin Lonon took the stage to a wave of excitement, which he returned to the elected students, thanking them for “being the voice for over 125,000 students.”

Next in line to speak was State Rep. Ana-Maria Ramos, who leapt out of her seat and darted onto stage.


“It’s so exciting to be home,” Ramos said. “I’m so proud of you all, and I commend you all for your great work.”

Ramos presented a certificate from the Texas House of Representatives honoring the student election.

Praise was high in the room that night, which meant more responsibility in the hands of McGee and her team.

Although McGee is extroverted herself, being one to randomly approach students and include them in conversation, she knows she can’t work with every student alone.

“My team and I will grow and learn new ways how to manage,” McGee said. “Eastfield has not had the greatest few years in a while.”

On the contrary, Rippetoe struggles with being an orator. He’s hoping to turn that around in his new role, and it starts with taking McGee’s approach.

“We can actually represent the student body,” he said, noting he’s the SGA’s middleman for communicating with students.

When the Performance Hall began to clear, McGee’s first action was to get acquainted with fellow students in SGA.

“They’re dependable and they’re here. I mean, they showed up to this [ceremony],” McGee said.

To keep Eastfield’s SGA afloat, McGee and her associates want to raise awareness that Eastfield has a student government.

The desired result is students occupying officer positions, building up structure. For now, accomplishing that goal starts by filling planners with student meetings and action charts.

“You’ll never know what life will throw at you, so stay organized,” McGee said.

Students interested in joining SGA can contact Kelly Sonnanstine at [email protected].

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Carmen Guzman
Carmen Guzman, Editor in Chief

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