A vision of integration and globalisation – Sylla Issiaga

By Revda Selver

GOMBAK, 27 May 2022: A third year Engineering student from a French speaking province in Guinea is the candidate running for the international seat in IIUM Student Union Election 2022.

Born to a father who has been the head of the transporters union in his home country and an ever growing interest in politics and economics, Sylla Issiaga believes he has what it takes to make a difference. 

Issiaga expressed that his vision is to have a welcoming university environment, in which we stop labelling each other as locals and international.

“We should be looking at each other by default as students who are facing the same struggles,” he said “as university life is an opportunity for integration, exchange of experiences and growth.”

His manifesto focuses on the importance of the environment to cultivate the integration between students from different backgrounds and cultures by organising Co Curricular activities and programmes. 

Issiaga shared an African saying “Food brings people together”as an inspiration for intercultural activity where all IIUM students can come together and exchange authentic food.

“We need to target all interests and make students feel involved and part of the IIUM community,” he underlined.

To make students’ voices heard and ease their problems and struggles is the reason why we have a union. Issiaga shared his own struggles learning English and struggling to adapt with his academic-related progress on campus.

He even suggested creating a website where students can share their experiences and help each other make the adaptation easier. 

Visa procedures are one of the most important issues related to international students which made Issiaga aim to assure that the well- being of international students mainly pertaining to their travel and visa procedures is a priority. 

Yet Issiaga’s main drive is globalisation. “The previous union did a great job in collaborating with masterclass but I aspire for more,” he said.

A collaboration with Ted would be a huge opportunity to make our university known on a global scale. 

He shared his experience participating in the ‘Zahn centre innovation competition’ held by community college in New York, USA where it was a proud moment for him to represent the university on such an occasion and let the world know that IIUM has a lot of potential. 

The candidate explained that from his point of view, to be a good leader is to be able to bring people together on common ground, appreciate your team’s efforts no matter how small, and always remember the reason behind why you do what you are doing.

“We as candidates need to keep in mind that winning the elections is only the beginning of the journey, and it is what we build later that truly matters,” he stressed.

Issiaga pointed out the crucial role fellow sisters bring to the Student Union as he was inspired by female leaders starting with his own mother.

He continued that they are more focused and have attention to detail as he conveyed that he would be happy to see one day the whole main board of the student union taken over by the sisters.

Issiaga urged all students to vote if they want to see changes made in IIUM. “We should all consider this union as our union,” he added. ***

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