Marwa, and Marwa the President.
by All Around CMU-Q
By, Maryam Yousuf
Marwa AlFakhri, your not-so-typical senior double majoring in BA&IS and the former Student Body president, shares her insights and reflections on presidency with All Around.
-What encouraged you to run for president 2012-2013?
In the previous year, as VP of clubs and orgs, when our term was coming to an end I felt like I still had more to offer. I felt like I have more to contribute with Student Majlis. I generally feel that Student Government is a beneficial experience for any student. Both for the executives, they’ll grow professionally and personally, and the student body to have someone that cares about what they want.
-Reflect back to the year you’ve spent as president, what would you say was the one most important decision or change you’ve made?
I think the main accomplishment was building a very concrete link between the Student Body and officials of the university. We’ve had regular meetings with Dean Baybars, Dean Gloria, Dean Mark Stehlik. Maybe its not something that everyone was able to see on the surface, but this gave us the advantage of directing the students’ issues to the right people.
One other major decision that I think somewhat did not receive the credit it deserved. People did not want Bateel, and we gave people what they wanted! Yes, I do agree the new firm is not the best thing in the world, but the decision was not ours. However, you have to realize that we were the first Student Government that got QF Food Services and other officials to actually hear the students’ complaints and took our input into consideration. So looking at the big picture, this gave us credibility, voice and power! Ultimately, it’s not me, or my VP, it’s the voice of the tartans! We had influence. And I believe that this should’ve got more positive credit.
-What did the experience give Marwa AlFakhri?
The experience definitely added a lot! A close friend once asked me: “Do you regret any of it?” and I answered honestly “No!” I don’t regret the year I spent as president, the year I spent as VP, I don’t regret a day off the four years I spent at CMUQ. If I had the option of going back in time, I would redo everything! As cheesy as it sounds: It is a life changing experience. I can see things differently. I think we should all take initiatives to make CMUQ a rich and better place!
-What did the experience take away from Marwa AlFakhri?
At the time, I felt like I lost my own voice. Not that I did not have an opinion, I had an opinion! But whenever I gave my opinion as just Marwa, it was taken as the Majlis opinion! I wanted to make Marwa aside from President Marwa, and Majlis aside from Marwa’s personal opinion. I felt that people were not that forgiving, they were very judgmental. I would understand, I guess, because even my friends fell into the same thing. For a year, it felt that being the voice of the Tartans deprived me from my own! It was one of those hidden contracts that I never knew I signed up for. But when incidents happened, I clearly realized I couldn’t say what I wanted to say as a person, I needed to consider how will this affect Majlis and what people thought of Majlis.
I think the new Majlis is great, and Saleh will be a great president. But what I would ask for from people is to give him a chance to give his own opinions sometimes, as Saleh and not the president.
-Tell us a memorable story, let it be a challenge or a funny coincidence, Anything ranging from people not taking you seriously, Allouba shouting in meetings, frustration with your members or Student Affairs, ANYTHING!
So, almost 75% of the Student Majlis was females was very empowering. I’m very thankful that our community is not stereotypical or judgmental, but there are certain individuals who are! They thought a women could not lead. I took this as a motivation, a challenge, to prove them that I can do what they said I cant. On the other hand, there were others very encouraging and proud, such as Dean Gloria and Dean Baybars.
-Thank you Marwa for your time, any last remarks or something to leave All Around readers with?
I would want to Thank….
Haha, Meme of course! And everyone else. For the good and the bad! They all created moments that I will hold very dearly in my heart. I wish the new Majlis best of luck, as we expect a lot from them. I wish All Around best of luck going online, I think it’s a nice move. I also look forward to maybe writing for All Around soon.