By Melissa Viana
With any new change in administration, there often comes a feeling of uncertainty as to what the future may look like and how to tackle rising issues. However, after securing the position of Student Government President, Salma Mahmoud (‘19) has fully embraced her new role and created a loaded agenda for change. When asked about what Student Government’s main goal is now, Mahmoud responded with one word: transparency. Much of what Drew’s Student Government is focusing on is getting their voice out to the student body and letting them know that this organization is a voice for their concerns. While Student Government meetings are open to Drew’s student body, they may be difficult to attend. However, Mahmoud and her cabinet have found a solution that engages the Drew student body without requiring them to be physically present at a Student Government meeting. To increase general transparency and student involvement, Student Government is emphasizing their presence online, updating on Facebook class pages weekly and providing students with information about who is representing them and what issues are being addressed at the moment.
As to what can be looked forward to from Student Government, there seems to be a lot in the works. One possible project is the creation of a school spirit week in conjunction with the First Annual Picnic, which Mahmoud hopes will be an exciting way to end the semester and create more student engagement and school spirit, which Drew seems to lack. Also in the works is a town hall meeting where all of the different class senators and cabinet members will host a meet and greet with the student body to establish better communication.
Not only is Student Government working towards connecting the Drew community, but they are also aiming to connect the Drew and Morris County community as well. Mahmoud has recently attempted to do so by representing Drew and speaking out against gun violence at the Morristown March for Our Lives this past weekend. While Student Government tries to remain nonpartisan in order to represent the entire student body, Mahmoud contends that there are relevant conversations that need to be had, even if they spark controversy. The issue of gun violence is one of these controversies. When asked about what drove her to represent Drew at the march, Mahmoud stated, “These are conversations we need to have with each other, even if we don’t all agree on an issue. These are issues that won’t go away unless we have extensive conversations about it from all different sides from all different groups.” She continued, “This is what our education is about, diversity of thought and political backgrounds. So it’s also important that Student Government reflects that.” As to where else Student Government is headed, Mahmoud declared, “This is just the start. We are really just starting to get our foot in the door”.
Photo By Caitlin Shannon