The Knox Student: What accomplishment are you most proud of from Senate this year?
Hiba Ahmed: We just passed our constitutional reform. …It’d been very standard language, applying to things that weren’t what our student body was representative of … now it reflects language that our student body can [relate to] … it touches on things that, at least during the debates, were sensitive issues, like if there was an individual in Senate … [that] committed some sort of sexual harassment, what would you do? So now all those things are stated in the constitution.
TKS: As president, what will your goals be for Senate next year?
HA: A lot of them have to do with transparency, and that’s something that’s very big on campus right now. … I think there needs to be a bigger focus on community. … Senate I feel sometimes comes off as a little exclusive … so Senate hosting events … not your average Senate of ‘come here for money,’ but to get involved.
TKS: What do you think Senate’s role is in debates that have been going on, like the Student Diversity Initiative?
HA: Well, I think Senate’s role is to ultimately be a platform for the students, so the students can come with their concerns … I’m really happy to see that one of the leaders of the Diversity Initiative is now the Diversity Chair on Senate, so once again Senate will be able to provide that platform of student voice, which it should, because Student Senate does have key roles with the administration.
TKS: Do you have any plans for how you think the new chairs should work?
HA: It’s a brand new position, both of them. There’s not really a precedent as to how they act. I think TT [sophomore ChanTareya Paredes], who’s the new diversity chair, has a very concrete goal of what she wants to accomplish within her Diversity Initiative. … As for health and wellness, [at the walkout] a lot of people discussed concerns about the Health Center. … I think those concerns would go through the Health and Wellness Chair.
TKS: You ran on a platform of being the first female president in three years. Do you plan to do anything as president that would reflect that?
HA: While I ran as the first female President since three years, I do not believe it is my sole duty to only represent that platform throughout my term as president on Senate. Instead, I hope to push ideas of equality and diversity on a holistic level. I hope that my role as a female president will further the aim of full campus equity and inclusion.
TKS: What else are you involved with on campus that you feel can help you as president of Senate?
HA: I’ve been on Senate in the past so there’s that. I know how it functions …But also I’m a tour guide on campus, so I know a lot about Knox College in and of itself. I’m currently the president of Model UN [and] in leadership positions in other clubs … I’m dedicated in what I do, which is what I think makes me a little more unique than others.”
TKS: How do you feel Senate is perceived on campus?
HA: I was on finance committee this year, so I allocated all the budgets for clubs. … I think in that sense people get really frustrated, because they see Senate as the institution to fund your club and usually we don’t fund clubs completely. …So I think in that sense people get frustrated. My ultimate goal would be to change the image of Senate … to see it as a platform of dialogue rather than just finance committee.