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The GW Hatchet

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Diversity, equity official to leave GW in July
By Jenna Lee, Assistant News Editor • June 8, 2024

SA guide: Zahin Hasan

Age: 20

Year: Junior

Major: Biomedical engineering

Hometown: Elkridge, Md.

Embarrassing freshman year moment:

I lived in Hensley and the first weekend of school we busted out the Nintendo 64 and were playing Mario when a senior called UPD on us.

Next song President Steven Knapp should dance to: “Everytime We Touch” by Cascada

Platform: more study space; fix student organization financial process; reform merit scholarship criteria

Zahin Hasan has seen the problems with this year’s Student Association Senate and, if he is elected executive vice president, he knows how he’ll avoid them happening again next year.

For one thing, he’d ban laptops at SA Senate meetings.

“I love having my laptop there,” Hasan said. “[But] a lot of senators lose focus and re-ask questions that have been addressed.”

As the head of the Muslim Students Association, he banned laptops and said their meetings shrunk from 1 hour to half an hour.

He also wants to hit the ground running-the SA Senate typically spends the first few meetings approving the president’s cabinet nominations and filling their own empty seats before they get down to serious advocacy.

“It’s like a lame duck session at the beginning of the year,” Hasan said.

Instead, Hasan wants to knock out all the housekeeping procedures in a marathon meeting the first time the new senate meets.

Since a large portion of the EVP’s role is to manage the senate, he wants to pair its members up early with other senators interested in accomplishing similar goals and follow up with them regularly. Delegating their activities will leave him free to personally pursue other issues the student body cares about.

First among those concerns, Hasan said, is study space.

“Students need more places to study,” he said. When Gelman gets overcrowded, students should have the option to move to the Elliott School of International Affairs or Duques. While the Student Association started special “study zones” in certain areas on campus last year, they’re not enough, he said.

He also wants to get the University to take another look at the way it awards merit scholarships, rewarding students who excel academically with more aid.

“Merit scholarships are based on our high school grades, but we’re here to study,” Hasan said. “There’s nothing GW’s doing to keep their top students as students at GW.”

Hasan said he knows what the student body’s perception of the SA is, and said it’s not inaccurate. As EVP he’ll know what’s wrong within the SA and what to do to fix it, while not being worried about the internal politics of doing so.

“I still treat myself as an outsider because I’m not used to the whole making myself look really good thing,” he said.

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