Interview and analysis: Basel Shihabi – SRC VP Student Activities

Published

Georgina Hayes
Editor

Basel Shihabi, running for the paid, full-time SRC position of VP Student Activities, has experience that would suit him well for the role.

Having been on SRC council, Shihabi boasts impressive experience with co-organising events, from international students’ celebrations to Cultural Exhibition. This is particularly welcome from a VP Student Activities candidate when a common criticism of the University is that international students feel left out.

Having previously been a member of different clubs and societies (VP of Middle Eastern Society and Vice Treasurer of Robotics society), he seemed knowledgeable of the kind of engagement that clubs and societies would like and expect from the SRC, and accepted that it could be improved.

Shihabi also proved knowledgeable of the duties he would be undertaking should he get the role, and his suggestion of adding some categories to the annual VCS awards seems like a practical step to get clubs and societies better involved and excited by the SRC. He answered questions in detail, and was mostly comfortable elaborating on some of his vaguer manifesto points (such as how clubs and societies could be better supported specifically). His idea to streamline the process for clubs and societies to get SRC support is particularly welcome.

Some of his ideas, such as “Club of the Week” or “GU’s Got Talent”, seem a little optimistic, with “Club of the Week” in particular offering monetary prizes seeming unrealistic. Still, Shihabi seems to understand where the issues lie with SRC/student engagement, and seems genuinely enthusiastic to address them, and his experience can only work in his favour.

Read Basel’s manifesto here.