Southwest hosts pep rally

Members of the HCC Eaglets Dance Team perform for students at the People for Purpose Pep rally on Nov 11.

Alyssa Foley and Ajani Stewart

Houston Community College–Southwest Student Government Association hosted their People for Purpose Pep Rally on Nov 11.

The event, hosted by SGA, included a DJ, a performance by the HCC’s dance team the Eaglets, a dance-off competition, free food and a speech by HCC Southwest Interim President Madeline Burillo. The event centered around college students’ ability to become purposeful and play an active role in both their community and school.

The student government aims to provide an atmosphere that was safe for all of HCC’s diverse student population. Regardless of race, creed, or sex, organizations like student government  look  to try and cultivate an active and immersed student body that has a voice – not only to unify as a school but to progress as a community.

Southwest SGA President Charles Tolden said that the purpose of college is to “get an education in a safe environment, and also to have fun while being here at HCC…we want to create a fun environment.”

Dr. Burillo stated that, “This is a safe environment for you, we want you to have fun while you’re going to school,” adding that, “We have a highly engaged student community at Southwest.”

President Burillo spoke to students about the college experience. “College should be one of the best experiences for you, even though some of those classes get to you, it’ll be a time when you’ll look back and think these years are the forming years for you intellectually… it’s going to be a game changer for you – for you, for your children and the future members of your family.”

Dr. Burillo explained that she came from a modest background; her parents were immigrants from Spain and Porto Rico, with only a third grade education. Her parents told her that her only inheritance would be her education. She admitted that her calculus and physics challenged her so much that she thought about dropping college.

President Burillo gave students some advice: “Remember this: there is always somebody looking at you as a role model. You are a role model for other people in your family and around you. Don’t think that the way you act – that the way you behave, that your classes, that you’re coming to college – doesn’t have a meaning for people in your family. They are looking at you [thinking that] if she can make it, if he can make it — then I can make it.”

“Everything that you’re doing today will have a meaning for your life in the future,” said Dr. Burillo.

The Southwest Student Government Association has been collecting student signatures for a petition to tell the HCC administration, chancellor and board of trustees that the student body wants a student life center.

“We want the students to understand the purpose of their voice as being a paying student here at HCC or any college campus. You do have a voice, and your voice is expressed through your executive board of your student government associations,” Tolden explained.