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Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

Student Read, Student Written, Student Led Since 1878

The Knox Student

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April 15, 2024
Poll

Student Senate recently passed a bylaw requiring a club representative at senate meetings. They have since paused the bylaw. Are you in favor of it?

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Highlights from Student Senate executive board debates

The Knox Student Senate executive board is currently holding elections for the 2024-25 academic year. Candidates are running for four positions: president, vice president, treasurer, and secretary.

Debates were held on Friday night. While three students are running unopposed, every candidate spoke about their qualifications and answered questions posed by the other exec members. Students also had the opportunity to ask questions, but no other students attended the debates.

Secretary

The only position with two candidates is secretary, with sophomores Meher Khan and Naysha Jain running. Incumbent Secretary Khan is majoring in computer science. Jain is double majoring in computer science and physics and has been part of the Senate for almost a year.

“The reason I applied for Senate is to bring about the best change I can, and I believe that Student Senate is a very important organization, and if I can do my part in trying to make this campus a better space for all the students, I would love to do that,” Khan said.

Khan described her current dedication to the secretary role as evidence that she can perform the necessary tasks well. She followed through on tasks she was given, such as recording the GA meetings and talking with the archivists.

“I’ve had the honor of serving as the Secretary for Student Senate for this year, and I have had the experience and to see what the secretary’s position demands and what its roles are,” Khan said.

Before college, Khan served as secretary for her school’s debate society in her A levels. When asked about an experience that demonstrates leadership skills, Khan described planning successful events with her team for the debate society, where she had to use strong planning, communication, and collaboration skills.

Khan said being the current secretary has given her confidence that she can set aside enough time for the role.

“I am someone who, whenever I’m given a task, I do it to the best of my abilities, and I don’t shy away from how much time I’m supposed to give to it because if I have that responsibility, I am supposed to fulfill it,” Khan said.

One of Khan’s goals to bring to the position is improving the communication between the student body and Senate. She is working to increase awareness of a form students can use to submit comments to Senate since “a lot of people don’t know about the form”.

Jain said her current roles as co-president of aaina, president of Physics and Astronomy Club, and PR chair of Terpsichore Dance Collective have given her the opportunity to become a leader in multiple exec teams.

“I think for me, what I want to do is not just be the person who takes notes for the meeting, but also be able to get some work done other than just being president in GA, because secretary is part of the exec, and I think they should be charged with other work that is just not taking notes or small projects,” Jain said.

Jain explained how being the project scientist and project manager for a two week long research internship last summer demonstrates her leadership skills. She said she had to communicate effectively with teams of people, preventing misunderstandings and conflicts as they worked to develop a satellite under time constraints similar to project deadlines she might face in Senate.

Jain also discussed how her experiences working for the Office of Communications as a social media assistant and having been PR chair for three clubs has given her ideas of how to raise awareness about Senate.

“We can expand on different events or things we do where senate can be more visible, just because I feel like senate for now is just known for budgets,” Jain said. “I think it should be known more for other stuff that we can because it is something where you can raise a concern to bring change. So I would like to have more projects that can be more into outreach.”

Like Khan, Jain also said she feels ready to set aside time for the secretary position. With her three jobs as a social media assistant, physics tutor, and international ambassador, Jain said she has been able to balance her jobs and activities well.

President

Incumbent president, sophomore Sikandar Mateen, is seeking reelection.

“I thought it would be best if I continue to serve the role, and the biggest reason why is because I love being part of Student Senate,” Mateen said. “It’s something I’ve been very ambitious about ever since I came to Knox,Apart from that, I just have a lot of ideas and projects that I want to implement, which I have been since last year, and I hope to have a great team for next year, as well, to do the best we can for this campus.”

Some of his project ideas include collecting and responding to more feedback from students, organizing events, upgrading equipment in Dining Services, and adding games to Taylor Lounge.

When asked how he has dealt with conflict in Senate, Mateen talked about addressing students after the bylaws changed.

“I think there was a pretty big change, or something that the student body was expressing, and obviously understanding that and dealing with them in the best possible way to assure them that we’re on the same side, to make sure that everything happens with a particular process and obviously, everything that’s best for the student body,” Mateen said. “So I think one of the biggest things I’ve learned from all of this would be patience and how keeping calm is the best way to deal with any situation.”

Mateen said he thinks his greatest weakness is punctuality but that he does not think it has been an issue in Senate.

Vice president

Sophomore and Campus Outreach Chair, Manavi Subba is running for vice president.

Subba said she wants to learn and work hard for the position and aims to improve the communication and stability of Senate after “a very unstable fall term”.

“I think we require stability, which is why I wanted to run for this position, because I do want to give my dedication to run for as long as I’m at Knox,” Subba said. “So we require stability, more communication between exec, and more communication between exec and General Assembly, because sometimes the communication we provide isn’t properly delivered or is very miscommunicated. So I feel like we need to work better as a team together, which would help us in the near future.”

She talked about why she appreciates the confession event that Senate puts on every term, where students bring up issues to representatives in exchange for a dessert.

“I’m most passionate about listening to problems and knowing the depths of it, because I feel like there are multiple problems that every student faces in this campus, and I like listening to them, and talking to our exec, and making sure that each and every problem is solved,” Subba said. “And we have a certain idea of what the average population of Knox wants, what it doesn’t like, something we could change, and I really like that process because it helps me connect with students and also to the student body that can help these problems be solved.”

Treasurer

Campus Life Chair, sophomore Khalid bin Abdullah, is running for treasurer. He is majoring in economics and business management.

He said he wants to improve the effectiveness and transparency of communication with the student body regarding activity funds, so that, “we can have a better and greater impact on the social life of students.” Bin Abdulla believes he learned important financial skills during an internship experience.

“I feel like a treasurer needs attention to detail. A treasurer needs to be a great communicator and great at management skills,” bin Abdullah said. “I worked as an intern in an accounting firm, and there, I learned a lot about consistency and being good at management and how transparency actually helps people understand the situation and reduces conflict, so all those skills that I learned there can be applied here.”

As a member of the Knox football team, bin Abdullah said he is confident he can allocate the time the position demands, “with consistency and punctuality,” and will have an even easier time after the fall season.

“What motivates me is my passion for economics, accounting, numbers, and the fact that I am serving the student body,” bin Abdullah said. “And especially recently, I had a conversation with my coach about how there is very less athlete representation in student organizations, and me being in a position that has a huge impact on the student body, I feel like that passion, that motivates me a lot to do the work required for the position.”

Every current Knox student is eligible to vote and can find the link to vote on Engage through an email sent from the Campus Life Office on March 29. Voting will close April 3.

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About the Contributor
Megan Shafar
Megan Shafar, Staff Writer
Megan Shafar '26 (she/her) is a staff writer. She is majoring in environmental studies and minoring in public policy and enjoys dancing, reading, and watching shows.

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