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March 4, 2011

Excellence in Student Governance Nets Another Win For Blinn

Bryan campus Student Government Association three-peats for Chapter of the Year

For the third straight year, the Student Government Association (SGA) at Blinn College's Bryan campus received top honors at the Region IV Texas Junior College Student Government Association (TJCSGA) convention.  Hosted at McLennan College, in Waco, a panel of elected representatives from regional colleges awarded the Bryan SGA with Chapter of the Year; Student of the Year — Bree Vasquez; and Advisor of the Year — Charles Swanlund.

Thomas Tydlacka, vice president of SGA, was on hand to accept the chapter’s latest round of awards.  The marketing major, from Rosenberg, stressed the SGA's community-centric approach to student governance and coordinating student/community engagement activities such as blood drives and other projects.

"We are honored to be recognized by our fellow colleges," Tydlacka said. "We have made it our goal to be very community orientated this year, and this recognition gives us a great sense of pride in our accomplishments."

The Bryan SGA has been winning awards nearly every year since its inception almost two decades ago.  Lauded frequently for Advisor of the Year and Student of the Year, the 2011 convention marked chapter’s third consecutive year to win each of these categories and also take the top award for Chapter of the Year.

"In my 12 years as SGA advisor, I grow more impressed every year by the quality of our members and their interest in learning about governance beyond their academic coursework," said Brandon Franke, assistant division chair for social sciences. "At this recent convention, our award-winning student leaders articulated their concerns about the budget crisis affecting community colleges and how they, as student leaders, hope to deal with it.”

One of six regional bodies in Texas, TJCSGA Region IV is made up of 11 college campuses or campus branches that include Austin Community College, Blinn College, Central Texas College, McLennan College, Wharton County campuses, and other community colleges from central Texas.

Bryan's SGA was formed in 1992 and counts more than 60 student members among its ranks.  The organization consists of elected and appointed members who comprise the campus’ Student Senate.  SGA’s advisors in Bryan are Franke, Charles Swanlund, instructor of social science, and Joshua Benn, coordinator of Blinn’s Real Estate Program.

PHOTO: The convention in Waco brought Blinn SGA representatives Sarah LeJeune, Thomas Tydlacka, Tanner Dewald (all wearing blue Blinn SGA shirts) together with colleagues from McLennan College, Wharton County College and other leading colleges in central Texas.