Vice President-elect Faran Abbasi knows taking over the office of student body vice president won’t be an easy task, but with a little collaboration from Student Government and a variety of organizations around campus, he said his goals for next year should be easily accomplished.
“By building up student life you have to start by building up student organizations,” Abbasi said. “(We hope to create) a lot more accessibility for student organizations to recruit members and then using these student organizations to get more collaborations and traditions started on campus.”
Abbasi said he hopes to make students more aware of SG’s impact on students by becoming more accessible to individual students and organizations.
“We’re going to have an open-door policy,” Abbasi said. “Anyone can come in and talk to us whenever they want. Beyond that, though, we’re going to go out to various organizations and as many events as possible. All the big events on campus we’ll be at. We’re going to basically live on campus; you’re going to be able to find us on campus.”
Abbasi, a 20-year-old junior majoring in political science with minors in psychology and leadership studies, has been active in the SG senate, the Muslim Student Association, the Pakistani Student Association and the USF Ambassadors.
“Most people don’t know that I am Pakistani and was born in Pakistan,” Abbasi said. “Most people think I’m Spanish, but I am Pakistani and I love being from Pakistan.”
Even with all of his involvement around campus, Abbasi said he still makes time to work alongside student body Vice President Sameer Ahmed to learn what it takes to do the job on a daily basis.
Ahmed said his lessons with Abbasi range from “simple things like how to use your calendar on Outlook to what’s going on with this committee or that committee.”
Abbasi said he is also learning how to handle the responsibilities that come with the office from Ahmed.
“We’re not working on anything so specific right now but more general things as far as how to carry yourself and how to act when certain situations come up,” Abbasi said. “There are a lot of leadership abilities that (student body President Maxon Victor and Ahmed) are teaching me. Sameer specifically has given me a lot of information on how to manage the cabinet and the hiring process of the cabinet.”
Abbasi said this year’s hiring process for executive branch Cabinet members will be different than in years past, because he and President-elect Frank Harrison will form a team that will actively recruit students who might not otherwise know the position is available.
“Year after year you see the same people in Cabinet,” Abbasi said. “It’s the same people that are connected to SG that get Cabinet positions; we want to go out and find fresh faces who haven’t been involved in SG. It’s not to say we’re limiting the Cabinet to those that haven’t been involved in SG. We’re going to take the most qualified people but we also want to extend the application pool to people who may not know about it. Usually every year people find out (about the Cabinet positions) word of mouth and Oracle ads. This year we want to go beyond that.”