The Student Council got elected… Now what?

Escorted by hundreds of votes, they came in to reign over the council – elected by the students for the students. Now that the crown has made its way to the heads of 15 of them, are they simply looking at this prestigious display?

Being, proudly, one of the 15 who made it in the LAU Beirut Student council – ehm ehm and the only independently elected without any political backing- I would like to share with you some inside stories echoing from the council’s meetings.

The meetings take place every other Tuesday at 5 o’clock, I believe that you are all welcome to join us, contribute with your opinion, and share if you have any complaints- I’m not sure all members will agree to this, but I insist on you to show up if you care, on one of these days.

As council members we came up with an initial list of improvements we could bring to our university. This included adding a vending machine, more lab/editing stations and library open hours, limit the TBA assigned classes and improve the quality and pricing at the cafeteria, to name a few…

Divided in groups, we started contacting the ones responsible within LAU, who would ensure the attainment of these needs. Some issues received positive feedback, and some others are still pending.

This might sound somehow promising but it’s only a work in progress.

Yes, there are meetings.
Yes, there is a to-do-list, a long one at that.

However, provided with only these two, would one do the homework?
If students weren’t pressured by deadlines to submit their papers or by exams to review the material would anyone care to get the job done?
My guess is that the list will remain, for a long time, a work in progress.

Inside the council, things aren’t going exactly well. Some of the meetings we held didn’t have a clear agenda, or a proper division of tasks. Neither are all of the members coming with the mindset or spirit of changing the student life in our university to the better. Fortunately all the political bigotry and polarization that surfaces on Elections day disappear and hardly made it to the council. Supposedly the choice of being cool and playing along, is the one that reigns.
The festivities, the chanting, the adrenaline that pumped in the veins of many to ensure one’s favorite elected body will make it to the council, where did they all go? Should they simple fade away?

Such passion and care should transform into action, should lead its way into making changes that all students would benefit from, away from the battle over politics. You, even if not elected, are part of the student body, and you should start holding the ones in leading positions responsible.

LAU prides itself on having many leadership programs. If the student council isn’t yet to be considered a leadership program, then how long should we wait till it becomes one? If we advocate for change and we hope to be its makers, when do we decide to live up to our goals and values… Where does one starts?

I am yet to see, and I expect a lot from my other fellow elected members of the council, from LAU, and from myself.

United, we create the pressure that ensures work gets done. It doesn’t only take someone in the leading position to stir up change, and turn the direction of the ship to a more prosperous and promising one. It’s rather a collective work.

To the Council members, I am expecting more seriousness, hard work, and cooperation.
To the LAU administration, I am expecting more openness, transparency, and coordination, to make from the student council an efficient entity.
And to you my fellow students, I would love for you to care more, to speak up, and hold us and others accountable.

The invitation to join a meeting is still lending itself out to you.

– Ferdaous Naili

Published in Mish Jareedi February 2014 Printed Edition – click here to view original publication