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Kheireddine ‘understands the student experience’

The Student Government presidential candidates — Ryan Soscia (right) and Moneer Khiereddine (left) — offer different approaches to similar issues. ORACLE PHOTO/JACKIE BENITEZ

Moneer Kheireddine believes he and his running mate, Shaquille Kent, are the perfect fit for roles of USF student body president and vice president. 

Kheireddine was a Senator for Student Government (SG) for nearly two years, an orientation team leader, president of his fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, and a USF ambassador for the alumni association.

Kheireddine said he chose Kent as his running mate because Kent had a passion for being a servant leader versus being a boss, and had the right experience to make him perfect for the job. 

Kent was a resident assistant for USF Housing, a Senator for SG, as well as an ambassador for the alumni association.     

“I believe, without a fraction of a doubt, that we understand the student experience and what it means to make a positive impact on this campus better than anyone,” Kheireddine said. “Kent and I bring two unique perspectives to the table. An international student from Trinidad and Tobago who has experienced economic hardships and who has had to fight every step of the way to attend USF. 

“A Muslim man who has experienced racial and religious discrimination and injustice. Both attending this university on scholarships, both understanding the plight of students who have had to work to overcome prejudice, both dedicated student leaders.”

Kheireddine said the major platform points of he and Kent’s campaign are to increase student involvement, revamp parking and have access to better quality dining along with many other issues.

He plans to implement self-reported parking, which was showcased to him at Florida State University.

“This university feature will push USF to the next level in terms of innovation and efficiency,” Kheireddine said. “Self-reported parking essentially allows students to report and check the status of parking spaces for garages and lots on campus. I know I’ve spent precious minutes that I’m running late for class driving round and round, looking for parking. Self-reported parking will save students time, gas and their sanity.”     

Kheireddine said his leadership style is heavily influenced by Ryan Newton, a supervisor from the Office of Orientation. According to Kheireddine, what formed his foundation for being a leader was a conversation held with Newton, whom he often sought for advice, in which he told him the goal of any form of leadership

“Being a servant leader means being the least important person in the room at any given time. Whether you’re president of a fraternity, of a university, or of a nation. Your goal is to always be caring about the opinions and lives of every other person, because that is why you’re in that role. To care for others.”

Kheireddine plans on adopting that mindset in his role as president. He said listening to students’ opinions would be the basis of his administration’s decision making. 

He said taking mental health seriously and ensuring students had proper care was one of the things he would immediately begin working on if he were to win the election.

“What I hope to start day one once starting in office is advocating to the Florida Legislature about increasing mental health counselors on campus and ensuring they are both funded within the program, and if any student on campus who needs assistance or needs mental health counseling will have it,” Kheireddine said. “I know it takes a while to get an appointment… We also will be starting the first Mental Health Awareness Week, that’s a platform point I wanted to share that we will start up as soon as we get into office.”