Omar Khan and Ryan Morris took the student body presidency and vice presidency into areas that had previously been off limits.
Specifically, in their pursuit to overturn international student registration requirements that targeted students coming from a list of countries while excluding others, Khan and Morris have been extremely active. The National Security Entry-Exit Registration System database, the system that tracks such students, has been the focus of several of their campaigns. It is commendable that student leaders took it upon themselves to take a stance against what they perceived as unfair practices.
For reasons that remain unclear to this day, a number of SG senators took it upon themselves to attempt an impeachment of Khan and Morris. And while the outcry from students that followed practically forced SG to put the dispute to rest, Khan and Morris kept cool heads during the whole procedure.
Not that every student body president and vice president team should take on such issues just to be controversial, but in the case of Khan and Morris, it showed that USF spirit can include humanitarian and civil causes and can be more than bland “Go Bulls!” chants.
Keeping both feet firmly rooted in reality and a close connection with the students they represented, Khan and Morris took on the federal government, deeming its guidelines on international students as well as state government with the FCAT-like tests proposed for universities as inappropriate. While many critics said their ventures were uphill battles that had no chance of succeeding, both put in the hours, kept an optimistic outlook and said their efforts would “at least increase awareness” about the issues raised.
But the new duo taking over need not be intimidated by such accomplishments. If anything, it makes it easier for new student body president Bijal Chhadva and vice president Andrew Aubery because the stage is set for them to continue — not mimicking the previous administration, but building on its accomplishments.