Candidate Profile: Zahra Latif

by

Zahra Latif is a third year English and History student. She has been heavily involved in student politics since joining the university. In her first year she was elected course representative as well as faculty rep. She went on to become the chair of the English society and is currently the vice president of the Islamic society.

Her manifesto clearly and concisely explains why she wants to become president and what her key suggested policies are.

She claims that currently YUSU is not doing all it can do to adequately represent the student body. “I am running for president because I believe passionately that YUSU can work better for you and I want to lead that change. “ She goes on to claim that as we are entering into a new university environment next year we as students need to feel our union is being invested in.

She outlines three main policies: “Open representation”, “strengthening the community” and “supporting you better”.

Under “open representation” she draws on the idea of making the sabbs more accessible and connected to the student body. She suggests doing this by initiating more events that will give the officers more of a chance to make a bond with students.

In “Strengthening the community” she suggests that changes need to be made to counteract the council’s legislation that negatively impacted student housing.

And under “Supporting you Better” she draws upon a popular candidate policy this year, suggesting and improved career service.

Tipsters odd’s 5/1

Zahra has a well-researched manifesto and is able to communicate clearly both why she wants the role and what she will do if elected, however, she faces some tough competition from the university BNOCs.

31 Comments

  • @Anon says:

    I agree with your point, but the college system is an unavoidable aspect of york life. its provides sport, welfare, small campaigns, events and freshers week among many other things. unless she plans to centralise the university, then she will have no choice but to be heavily involved in the ways the colleges run- if you remove colleges and JCRCs, think about how much the average student is actually effected by the day-to-day running of YUSU- very, very few

    Rate: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

  • Yes, really says:

    @really.

    Colleges are not the be all and end all of University experience.

    Not everybody enjoys their college experience, and not everyone sees the relevance beyond their third years.

    Far more people have affinity with societies, sports teams and their courses.

    There’s a reason why YUSUs most successful year in recent times was the year in which it had no College Chairs, obsessed with providing for the minority in colleges, in office.

    Rate: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  • @Yes, really says:

    My point is not that colleges are the be all and end all. I’m not talking about simply club nights which are put on (although some colleges attract 400+ people to their club nights, so not quite a minority…), I am talking about the fundamental way the university is structured. Like it or not, every single student IS affected by their college, even if they do not know it.

    If you take out colleges from university life, the majority would be left with a pretty shit university- no one to campaign about accomodation problems, no one putting on events, no one organising freshers weeks with multiple every day, no one fighting for scraps of money to put into college JCRCs, no one fighting for bar refurbs (or no one fighting to keep them open). YUSU has 5 full time SABBs, and 4 of them fight for specific issues (welfare, sport, societies, academic). the first two do vital work through the colleges. it also means that only one position (pres) is in charge of other issues. So i’d like to see freshers weeks, club nights, accomodation problems, bar campaigns etc be controlled by one single person.

    If colleges were not so important then YUSU would not be considering making it an official affiliation, and they would not get the funding that they do (provosts with 30k+ each per year).

    Like it or not, we’re a college university. I’m guessing you didn’t have much college spirit, but it has contributed to your university experience heavily, even if you didn’t know it. Infact, the strength of the colleges is probably why our union has one full time SABB per 3,200 students

    Rate: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

  • Bemused says:

    At @Yes, really:

    What are you arguing? That the YUSU President should be the levelled-up version of a College Chairship? That YUSU is an extension of JCRCs? Heaven forbid. And er, what? You want the YUSU president to organise events instead of do the paperwork and represent us at university meetings?

    Last time I checked, YUSU was a students union that represented the entirety of its student body. I’m glad you’ve felt oodles of community spirit, but you do realise it, community spirit that is, exists outside of colleges too, right? Our colleges are too flexible in nature and don’t have strong/consistent identities. The manufacturing of this particular strand of community spirit is heavily reliant on the JCRC committee that happens to be around that year. Yes, colleges been evolving in the right direction since my first year in trying to be more inclusive, but I can confidently say my college was nothing more than the place where my room was housed. The JCRC in my fresher year was cliquey and difficult to talk to, and the events they put on didn’t interest me in the slightest. Societies, however, and other networks – now those were more fruitful. My friends are of a similar opinion regarding their own experiences. So, let’s stop this narrowing down of focus on colleges. It’s about uniting the various networks that make up the superorganism that is our student body.

    You’re conveniently overlooking the fact that Zahra has had experience in another area that is a crucial part of the university’s structure: the course rep system (Combined English Lit rep & Humanities rep), which feeds into the academic and welfare aspects of university experience. It also involves negotiating with university staff. If I remember correctly, she was Chair of the English Society and brought it out of obscurity to become an engaging society last year. You don’t need to be a college insider to be involved with and lead the students union.

    Rate: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 5

  • @Bemused says:

    Thanks for the response,

    I was replying to the post by Anon which suggested running the University in a different way, not just through the college system. I 100% agree that there is room for focus outside of the colleges, but the point I was making was that the role of colleges is central and integral to the running of the University.

    The experience Zahra has is fantastic in terms of her ability to represent the Union in meetings, but that is not the entire job. At my brothers University the union has 30-odd full time employees whose job it is to look after and run events for students, taking care of all of their needs. Here at York we have a few full time members of staff and a President taking care of everything not covered in the 4 other SABB roles, which leave alot of responsibility on the JCRCs.

    Your problem with the JCRC is correct to an extent, but as you’ve acknowledged they have professionalised over the last few years, and with the introduction of a new member of staff into YUSU as a JCRC coordinator a constant level should be reached each year, so we don’t get “poor” JCRC years.

    The point of my post was not to criticise Zahra- far from it, she is doing a great job and has a good experiences with academic affairs (although how important this is to a president is questionable). I was mearly highlighting that to not acknowledge her lack of experience in colleges may put her at a disadvantage, as her job will very much involve regular contact and work with all colleges.

    Rate: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  • Anon says:

    Zahra is by far the most enthusiastic and approachable candidate for the job. My vote is behind her 100%. Go team Zahra!

    Rate: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

  • Sine says:

    I must admit, this is the most impressive manifesto I’ve seen by the YUSU candidates and Zahra has my full support :o)

    Rate: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

  • Zahra FTW says:

    Zahra! You will definetely win! wishing you all the best :D

    Rate: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

  • Shafsters says:

    Why are you lot debating on this page? Zahra is going to win obviously. Bumbaclat!!!!!!

    Rate: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

  • Concerned says:

    Would I be right in saying that Zarah was secretary of the Islamic Society at the time when they wanted to have Mufti Muhammed Ibn Adam Al Kawthari speak? I find it strange this hasn’t been brought up yet!

    Comment edited by moderator.

    Rate: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  • Not concerned says:

    Errr, it was Zahra who involved YUSU and she subsequently resigned from the society…

    Rate: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2