Safia Khan on getting involved and leading through communication
April 5, 2017
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“Get out of your comfort zone, and do something that you would never do. Get involved.” says President-elect of Student Leadership Council Safia Khan. Khan has just been elected and has a plethora of new ideas with a focus on communication. Courier News Editor Kitt Fresa got the chance to ask Khan all about her new plans.
KF: If you could explain the SLC to someone, how would you describe it?
SK: That’s actually a really good question. A lot of students don’t know what it is. Student Leadership Council is the organization on campus for students to be able to voice out their opinions and concerns. The offices are simply representatives of the student body, and we’re here to represent them on behalf of us. Basically voice out your opinions and concerns, and get your voice out there, student empowerment, that’s another thing. I really like to stress empowerment because a lot of students, they see college as something you just come to and leave at the end of the day, just to go to classes. Ultimately, yeah, that’s our goal, but student empowerment. Get out there. Get involved. If you don’t like something, speak up. If you love something, let us know.
KF: What do you want to achieve with your new role?
SK: There was a couple of things that we did mention during the campaigning season, and I still am a firm believer of them. My running mate George Beck also, I think he brings up a great point of, getting students real-life ready. So not just coming to college for academics but being able to build a skillset of characteristics that can get you ready in real life, once you’re in the workplace. Another thing is to get more students involved in clubs and organizations on campus. Printing is a huge thing for me. I would love to see either some kind of lower price printing or even free. I don’t know if that may be a stretch or not, but I’m totally advocating for free printing or lower-price printing.
KF: What are your thoughts on implementing a multicultural center on campus?
SK: Yes, I’m totally for it. I’m a huge advocate for it. I’ve gotten asked that a couple times before, and I believe that COD, one of its greatest assets is our diversity on campus. Building a multicultural center would help develop the diversity and really allow students, faculty, staff to really appreciate the diversity we have on campus. I think it would create a more welcoming, accepting environment where students would feel comfortable and look forward to coming to that area on campus.
KF: How do you want to bridge the gap between the students and administration?
SK: The main component I would say, communication is key. Everything starts by having a communication. Whether it be small talk or actually getting down to business, you have to have that conversation. So for starters, when my team and I were campaigning we emailed professors that we didn’t know. We reached out to them and communicated to them what SLC was, why we’re doing it, and a lot of the time we got positive feedback. And through that professors were able to speak to their students what SLC is about. That’s just one example of how communicating closes that gap. I reached out to some professors not knowing who they were, and I’m still in touch with them a couple weeks after the election has ended, because they were able to communicate with me, and we were able to get on a level that we could relate to.
KF: How do you want to build off of Kiley Pooler’s legacy?
SK: So Kiley is one of my biggest role models. She has some great characteristics and skillsets: perseverance, dedication, her work ethic is amazing. Replicating, not entirely, but doing my best to learn her techniques and incorporate that into the work I do. I believe that will benefit Student Leadership Council next year, because she has definitely brought up a lot of work and accomplishments and success through her work ethic.
KF: How will you get the student body involved?
SK: Advertising and communicating. Right now SLC clubs and organizations do a good job of advertising. But, where student life is located is just one portion of the campus. We have roughly 30,000 students. Imagine all of these students that have no idea about this little area of the campus. So aside from just advertising on bulletins, by word of mouth, or through clubs, I think reaching out to students who have no idea about this area of the campus. Whether that be through emails, whether that be through classroom visits if professors allow that. Social media is huge, too. We’re in college. We’re teenagers. We use social media. Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, all of that, utilizing social media to send out information about how to get involved on what SLC is about I would probably say.
KF: Is there anything else you would like to add, if you want to tell the student body as a whole anything in particular?
SK: Yes actually. Get out of your comfort zone, and do something that you would never do. Get involved, because coming in I was a huge introvert, and I was like, ‘OK, I’m just here to get my degree and transfer out. Peace COD, I’m not ever coming back,’ but I met some really great people through SLC. Not just SLC but getting involved. You make these connections, and the Courier itself is an organization, and I’m sure you’ve made amazing friendships and connections through this. Just get involved, don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone and do that extra step to meet new people.