SGA Leaders Reflect on the Past Year, Looks Toward the Future
Former president Maheen Ahmed and new president Israah Ansari discuss goals for the upcoming academic year.
Israah Ansari hit the ground running in April as the newly-elected Howard Community College Student Government Association (SGA) president, assembling her support team and meeting with students, campus leaders and elected officials.
The general studies and social sciences student replaced Maheen Ahmed, who led the SGA through the 2021-22 academic year and graduated in May 2022.
Below, Maheen and Israah discuss SGA’s recent accomplishments and share what’s ahead for students and alumni for the 2022-2023 year.
What did the SGA do well during the 2021-22 school year?
Maheen: We built a really amazing team, and in the first month of school, we did Club Rush, which is a huge event. Now we’re doing town halls every month and we have SGA meetings every month. And this year, for the first time in a couple years, we had an SGA election where candidates ran against each other instead of unopposed. We recorded the highest number of votes ever for an SGA election.
Are there any goals you didn’t reach that you’d like to see the new SGA leaders tackle?
Maheen: Yes, I’d like the SGA to do more outreach, especially to our student athletes and groups like Howard PRIDE and Ambiciones. Dr. Willis just said, “There's 21,000 students enrolled at this school, and there’s so many cool people to meet.” All these people they should be meeting each other.
Israah: It’s been tough because of the pandemic... We want students to be engaged, and we want them to be excited about HCC.
What are your top three goals for this school year?
Israah: I definitely just want to make it easy for the students to succeed, and make it comfortable. This should be a place where students are coming to not only learn, but enjoy themselves. I also want to make sure mental health is recognized. HCC already does a great job, we could all do better … Then the last thing, which I’m so excited for, is Homecoming in the fall. I want to start it and set it in stone for our school.
What will an HCC Homecoming include?
Israah: We definitely want it on campus. It will be a whole week with different activities each day. And alums will be included.
What do you like most about HCC?
Maheen: Student life. It’s a terrific division and a place a lot of us can call home. The staff always supports students’ creativity and ideas.
Israah: The Wellness Center and the food pantry. It amazed me to come in here and see the way staff just wants students to feel comfortable and stable and really thrive.
Is there anything else you’d like to tell the student body?
Maheen: I'm just thankful for the community here – especially the students. There’s so much variety in the way HCC students think. Whether it's a student who is a mother or a student who is homeless, taking classes out of their car …You get so many outlooks of life that I don't think you could anywhere else.
Israah: Whatever your story is, you're here, and that's something to be proud of.