Candidate Profiles: Student Government Elections

Student Government Profiles for Spring 2018 Election candidates.

Apr 16, 2018

stu Updated as of April 16. Photo courtesy of Student Government

President

  1. Tami Gjorgjieva

I have dedicated countless hours to StuGov over the past two years -- hosting events as a class rep, co-organizing the first Spirit Week, working on the new constitution -- and I do not intend to stop there.

I want to combine my experience and motivation to build a strong, committed and open Student Government that will continue to improve our community in the future.

I could give you a 150-word summary of everything I want to achieve as president, but I don't think that's the point: a president should represent our collective voice as a student body, and not merely their own. Instead, I will promise you two things: to invest in strong team dynamics and support structure within StuGov, and - even more importantly - to keep an open door and an open mind to always hear your concerns and ideas first and to transform them into positive action with collaborative effort.

  1. Victor Okoth

Greetings! I’m Victor, and I’m running for President.

Being sociable, I’ve gotten intimately acquainted with diverse circles of students and staff, and developed working relations with different offices as citizen leader. That and service as Senator have given me a firm grasp of our school’s organisational culture. My experience, high-energy persona and commitment to advocacy make me an excellent fit to serve you.

I’ll continue advocating our interests, liaising with other Global Network student leaders and strengthening platforms for more involvement through emphasising mass mobilisation. I’ll keep you informed and involved because your participation legitimises what I’d claim to do in your name, ensures accountability and cures the dullness surrounding StuGov.

I emphasize mobilisation as a proven way to create belonging; to infuse into our school the culture of saying what’s up to everyone, of inviting everyone to the dance, and asking them to contribute to the playlist.

Bless up!

Vice President

  1. Chris Wheeler

Put simply, I wish to serve on Student Government again because NYU Abu Dhabi is my favourite community on the planet, and I want to continue making it better for everyone.

With a track record of delivering as freshman class rep, spending three years working away quietly with Campus Life Policy Committee and now helping build our new constitution, I hope this drive for helping our school improve is clear to see.

Similarly, this previous experience has shown how I will continue to actively and thoughtfully listen to students' interests next year, as well as use the trust and working relationships I have built with senior administration to actually deliver tangible changes.

In 150 words it would be impossible to articulate everything I want to do next year. But strengthening our tight-knit, supportive community and amplifying student voices in university decision making as we grow are top of my list.

Chief of Staff

  1. Nela Noll

If you know me, you know that I love to organize, am always early to things, and will definitely send you a calendar invite for plans. I want to make use of these skills and combine them with my passion for our community to create a representative, effective, and magnificent Student Government.

For the past three years, I have been Chair of the Campus Life Policy Committee, organizers of the two Forums last Fall, and have helped bridge the gap between administration and students. I believe communication is key, and I hope to continue the flow of communication between admin and students, and students and StuGov until the terrifying day on which I graduate.

My passion for StuGov, connections to admin and my attentive personality are skills that can be of great use as Chief of Staff of StuGov but most importantly I hope to serve you as a community.

  1. Joseph Kalarickal

In my final year at NYUAD, I would consider it a privilege to be able to serve as a liaison between stuGov and the diverse & passionate student body, that is, all of you!

I am running for Chief of Staff because I believe that I my past experiences qualify me for this position but, more importantly, because I desire to engage with the people of NYUAD and both identify and address different concerns within our body.

I can promise concise communications from the stuGov that inform readers of what is being talked about in the various meetings. I am interested in innovating existing methods of communication – this could look like a greater emphasis on graphics and videos to communicate information.

My experiences in communication range from interning in a digital agency to serving as the head of communications for BEN and Water for Life, a student-charity.

Programming Board Chair

  1. Christine Dah-In Chung

My name is Christine (apparently aka Stugov Christine), and I have an addiction. That’s right, I’m addicted to Student Government.

Officer of Student Activities, Senator, Junior Class Rep, Chair of two committees and an active member of four others. Stugov is my life, and I want to continue my work as an advocate for quality student life at NYUAD.

My favorite part about Stugov has always been programming for the student body - planning and coordinating really fun events like SIG Fairs and Spirit Week. But oh, how I wished for a team, passionate about hosting events like me. This semester, my wish began to turn into reality as I developed the role of the Programming Board in the newly established Rules and Procedures. It would be such an honor to lead this team, but I need your help for me to finally fulfill my dream. Vote Stugov Christine for PBC!

  1. Kirk Mariano

TL;DR: I like to spend money, so allow me to spend money that isn’t mine on you.

My name’s Kirk Mariano; I’m running for the position of Programming Board Chair. If elected, I’ll be responsible for appointing the members of the Programming Board and planning various events for the Student Body. Now, I have the reputation for spending money on spontaneous food trips and outings. Although I may not have the reputation for hosting parties or events, I assure you I have the potential to. Firstly, my three years here have allowed me to gain great connections with people; I know the best DJs on campus and a phenomenal lighting person. Secondly, I’ll make sure you’ll always be fed at every event. I may not be sponsored by KFC (yet), but Russo’s and I are tight. Finally, I’m an extremely approachable person who’s willing to listen to your suggestions!

Treasurer

  1. Mohammed Baig

As a rising sophomore I'm looking forward to seeing freshmen step in next year with their new ideas. I'm a budding economist and so the position of treasurer helps build skills I'll need to be in charge of financial institutions. This passion for ideas and economics has led me to stand for Treasurer. After serving on the Executive board of 2 SIGs this semester, one of which I founded, I had to deal with funding several times, each time with considerable anxiety. A major cause of this anxiety was the lack of any official funding guidelines to help students materialise their ideas. Therefore, it's changes like this that I plan to bring to help rid students of their anxiety and to bridge deserving ideas with funds. Lastly, I consider this my way of giving back to the support system that we enjoy here at NYU Abu Dhabi.

  1. Aleksandra Markov

As an Economics major with various experiences in my field, I have both the knowledge and skills to serve you well as a Treasurer of Student Government. I have worked with several departments and SIGs on campus, so I am very familiar with the campus atmosphere. But most importantly, I am very committed and passionate to make the most our of this position. I am running for Treasurer so I can (a) contribute to our NYUAD community, (b) assure solid management of SIGs and StuGov budgeting, since I am good with numbers, I love things organized and I am very systematic in my work, and (c) assure that money is allocated efficiently to both StuGov programming and SIG programming to maximize the benefit on all sides. I am passionate to work towards establishing a solid structure to assure both systematic allocation and monitoring of funds.

Council positions

Senior Class Representative

  1. Mahd Asghar

Applying as a wee freshman to MUN’s e-board, I attached a photograph that sparked immense ridicule. Though since then I have appeared in more optimal pictures, I will once again reveal it to the broader audience to demonstrate why I am the ideal candidate for this role: I don’t mind embarrassing myself. As president of MUN and casing director of Beyond Borders Consulting, I came to understand that the key to success is a passion for your work and a conviction in its importance. This empowered me to organize conferences hosting hundreds of students and lead award winning delegations against all odds. I’ve always felt compelled to contribute in NYUAD’s community, and this year I wish to contribute in the purest form: representing your voice. As your class representative, I promise to organize kick-ass class events and work tirelessly for your interests, even if I end up embarrassing myself!

  1. Theros Wong

"I am so excited to see all of you back in where we first met! Can’t wait to see the new friendships formed during study abroad and laugh about crazy things we did during freshmen year. But what I am looking forward more to is listening to your experiences and get to know what you’re thinking about our last year here. Perhaps a “welcome back seniors” yacht party? Or some casual class photo gatherings with food from the Fish Souk? Maybe you want more directed workshops by the CDC? Is there a legacy we want to build for our underclassmen?

Being a senior will be hard, especially with that adulting life, but it will be worthwhile if we can get through this as a class together. I promise to listen to your needs, and that of course includes KFC."

Junior Class Representative

  1. Hafsa Ahmed

Typing up this platform right now, I’m hit with a wave of nostalgia for the people who’re studying back home, and the ones scattered across the globe. Semesters away are a breath of fresh air but I’m an NYUAD-girl at heart who found her place in the community as a member of the E-Board in September of freshman year, two years ago. Since then, I’ve served in the capacity of Communications Officer, Sophomore Class Rep, Health Advisory Committee and in the formation of a new constitution this semester from abroad. It’s no secret that Student Government is close to my heart- I always have and am always prepared to prioritize it above all else, to serve as a link between the old constitution and the new, for effective transition, and to commit my time for the Junior class to have an unforgettable semester, no matter where they may be.

  1. Mariam Raslan

There’s so much about this campus that I've come to love and so many people that I've come close to over the years. Before many of us study away in the spring, I want to be able to make our semester together memorable and to connect even more — be it through class trips or even simple get-together events on campus! As our class rep, I will further prioritize SIG funding to provide the best opportunities for us to learn — the same way that I've come to learn from my involvement in various SIGs like TheGazelle, WeSTEM, and Attitude. Last year, working with the End of the Year planning committee to create the Gala, I realized the importance of the StuGov and its impact on our community, and I would cherish the opportunity to create even more engaging events that bring our community together!

  1. Youssef Azzam

Being at NYUAD for two years now, our class has been through a lot. Whether it’s the FYE dialogue groups, endless assignments or j-terms and study aways, they all had one thing in common: bringing this class together— my main goal as Junior Class representative.
Since Freshmen year, I’d been fond of StudentGov and their ongoing efforts to make this campus our home. Over this past year, I got more involved with Campus and Student Life by founding NYUADMAL. Through that, I gained experience, became familiar with Student Life and interacted with StudentGov representatives to get involved with how it operates and functions.

As Class Representative, I aim to tirelessly voice your opinions whether you live in A6 or across the world; my priority would be making sure all class members are heard and would do every and anything in my capacity to make sure Fall18’ is a memorable one.

Sophomore Class Representative

  1. Wahib Kamran

As a hesitant first-year student fearful of not fitting in, I was astonished to see how embracing the tightly-knit community at NYUAD was throughout my first year. However, it’s just a matter of few months till spring 2019 after which this community, one that enabled me to confidently express myself, will disperse all across the globe. During the treasured time at NYUAD till that happens, I wish to further strengthen the sense of community within our class through interactive events, gatherings and meaningful social projects. By building up on the community engagement and management skills I’ve accumulated as the Chairperson of StuGov’s Athletics Advisory Committee and the Events Coordinator of the Muslim Students Association, I aim to formulate a safe space to voice your concerns stalwartly; so that for the one last semester our class is together before senior year, we can effectively create a sense of home at NYUAD.

  1. Aakriti Ghimire

It was during the Candidate Weekend, when a candidate asked, “What do you love about NYUAD the most?”, I didn’t have to rethink, I had a prompt answer, “The people.”

After two semesters of doing FOS, the very reason that I made it through was because of the friends I had. Despite the stress of assignments, exams, home-sickness that we go through, at the end of the day, it’s our friends who become our stress-relievers. Hence, being a class representative would be my way of thanking our friends.

Considering my prior engagement in weSTEM and Advocacy, I believe that I have acquired a broader social perspective to our presence at NYUAD. I shall channel this perspective and my never-ending enthusiasm into our community with your collaboration, by organizing various engaging social-events and exhilarating class trips; such that our friendships shall become more meaningful, deeper and stronger as time lapses by.

  1. Hind Ait Mout

"I believe that organizing weekend events is important for entertainment. Yet, there are plenty of academic and life concerns which Class of 2021 is waiting for to be addressed and faced with concrete solutions.

As a prospective representative, I will be committed to look beyond what a regular person may perceive to be the needs. My bi-weekly attendance at the Spring 2018 General Assembly meetings have motivated me to specifically desire a better allocation of financial resources in different departments of our university.

My awareness of the functionalities and operational structure of the Executive Board of the Student Government will allow me to better integrate and achieve change. Besides, my experience as a News Editor at the Gazelle has allowed me to develop and maintain relationships with students and staff. This network will be valuable when calling for action to ensure the greatest 4-year experience of our lives."

  1. Amina Bašić

Recently, I got the opportunity to interact with NYUAD alumni, including the first president of the Student Government. While listening to his story and becoming aware of the student government’s previous growth, it dawned on me that I wanted to contribute to the further prosperity. Using my experience as the president of Student Council in my previous school, as well as my sociable and reliable personality, I aim to devote my time and commitment to the NYUAD community, which has embraced me and given me a place to call home. As the voice and representative of the sophomore class, I plan to use my knowledge of the university to employ new ideas and facilitate effective integration between different student groups. I believe this will increase the unity of our student body and allow for collaboration in addressing relative issues. I truly hope to help build legacy for the future generations!

  1. Teodora Hristovska

I should introduce myself in these 150 words, so here it goes: I like french fries. Now that I've told you a bit about my background, let me talk about what's important - my passion for being your class rep.

Being here has taught me the importance of persistence, and the value of peoples' time. Although I can't promise you to change the way the school functions, I can, with confidence, promise you my time and my persistence to put your ideas into action. After all, the main purpose of a class rep is to encourage students to voice their ideas and improve the community together.

As the largest class so far, we have the capacity and responsibility to leave a great impact on the community. But greatness comes from small beginnings, so we might as well start here.

Engineering Representative

  1. Alexander MacKay

I am putting my name forward because I believe that there exists a disconnect between students, faculty, and administration within the engineering discipline that needs addressing.

Abrupt curriculum changes, prohibitive academic requirements, and unmet expectations of incoming students exemplify negligence on behalf of the engineering department in terms of student engagement.

I largely relate these issues to the lack of a strong, integrated engineering community on our campus. As a representative, I seek to build connections across administrative levels and class standings to promote effective communication and ideally the subsequent incorporation of student input into academic decisions.

More importantly, I aim to support mentorship between upper- and lower-classmen, especially in highlighting projects and opportunities, sharing experiences, and simply acknowledging the challenges encountered in our degree.

Science Representative

  1. Hala Aqel

I am a rising senior and a Biology major from the U.S. Over my time at NYUAD, I have seen how critical it is for policies and curriculum to be shaped by student input. I have been active in Student Government through my work on multiple Student Government Committees including the Student Health Advisory Committee (SHAC). I served as an intermediary between the student body and Health and Wellness Center on campus to ensure students’ needs and concerns were addressed. In this capacity, I gained valuable experience navigating administrative bureaucracy and advocating on behalf of students.

Therefore, I am well-equipped with the experience to continue to mediate relations between students, administrators, and faculty. I am excited to advocate for all science majors in an effort to use student input to improve and refine existing programs.

Social Science Representative

  1. Miren Aguirre Salazar

¡Hola!

My name is Miren and I’m a Political Science Junior from Spain. I am concentrating in international security within the EU context. Outside of the classroom I play volleyball at intercollegiate level and I crew at a sailing team off campus and I am very passionate about sustainability, equality and the arts, so I always try to contribute to those fields.

As a Social Science Rep, I will be at your disposal to address any concerns with the faculty and administration. I believe that my close relationship with a number of professors across the department and my debating skills could be very useful for this role. My two semesters abroad were very enriching experiences where I grew academically, personally and professionally. I feel very strongly about underclassmen and future classes having the same opportunities and as a Social Science Rep I will be committed to advocate for it.

  1. Firas Atwa

I’m Firas, and I am expressing my candidacy for the Social Science Representative. I’m a senior majoring in Economics with a Finance specialization and a Legal Studies minor. I am a student who truly believes that the possibilities for a strong social science department is endless. This being my last year in NYUAD, I feel I can leave having made this department a more convenient place for the coming classes.

Having had the opportunity to study in London and New York, I was exposed to a variety of different courses that I feel are very significant in one's bachelor degree. I believe I can serve as a great liaison between my peeps and the department, where I will do my best to advocate for the development of more specialised courses as well as stronger minors. Anyone who knows me, knows I will always be there to help

Peace and love!

  1. Diego Sandoval

My name is Diego Sandoval, I am a rising senior studying social research & public policy. Some might joke that my qualification for this position comes from the fact that I’ve hopped through most of the social science majors. They wouldn’t be entirely wrong, I understand many of the struggles students encounter when choosing which path to take or how to best strategize the degree, but personal experience of that struggle motivates me to make your life easier.

As your Social Science representative, I will work to ensure your academic journey runs smoothly by listening closely to your concerns and ideas and cooperating with administration to make this program more efficient and stress-free but also more enjoyable. Always free to chat and I look forward to discussing how to continue improving our department and programs.

Arts & Humanities Representative

  1. Lina Elmusa

I love very few things more than the Arts and Humanities. When I am passionate about something, I give my 100% to it. This is why I am a literature and creative writing major but have only taken two classes outside of the arts and humanities at NYUAD. I also wrote a little poem: The Arts and Humanities// is where it’s at// and if you love poetry// music, languages, philosophy// and culture, vote for me// let’s make sure the department// only grows, becomes more grandiose// let’s help each other, become better// thinkers, artists, and individuals// vote for me, for a better// society//… Okay, maybe making all of society better is a far stretch, but I’ll do my best to improve communication between the students and our needs and the dean, and heads of the departments.

  1. Diana Siu

Hey friends, Diana here! Apart from having my fingers tightly crossed for my literature theory Capstone to be finished by this time next year, I hope that I can represent y'all as your Academic Representative for Arts and Humanities. The student voice I had on the old Academic Advisory Affairs Committee (AAAC) was extremely limited, being admin and faculty-led, but this new position seems to be a great opportunity to change the status quo. I really want to give StuGov a more active role in discussing academic affairs and offer Arts & Humanities students more specific representation on related issues. Having sat on the AAAC for 1.5 years has given me significant liaising experience with baes like Chuck, Katya and Mary to clarify academic issues pertaining to academic integrity, the new Core and Study Away, which ensures that I can represent you well in a similar, but enhanced role.

Senator’s council in NY

Senator

  1. Sara Pan Algarra

I call NYUAD family. The love and commitment I feel towards NYUAD sustain my desire to represent our entire family in the Student Government Assembly (SGA). SGA aims to improve our student experience. Hence, I’d assume with responsibility working on behalf of our NYUAD’s interests in NY. I’ll support you to not only have joyful experiences in NY and AD but also across the Global Network. Wherever you are, I’ll listen to your needs addressing them to the best of my ability. I’ve previously taken representative roles back in Venezuela as a youth mayor and in India as a school’s rep. At NYUAD, I’ve served on the Sustainability Committee and as a Volleyball Team captain. These experiences have taught me how important active listening, communication, and organizational skills are to better-represent my communities. I deeply care about NYUAD, and I thank you for the honor of sharing community with you.

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