By Balqis Asrof
GOMBAK, 21 May 2023: Ahmad Muntasir Bin Aznan who is contesting the Deputy President I seat for the IIUM Student Union (IIUMSU) Election 2023 aims to promote student inclusion and the union’s accessibility to bridge the gap between the concerns of the students and what IIUMSU could offer.
As a self-starting student activist, Muntasir is all too familiar with the volunteerism field. He was involved in many Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) while also chairing Kelab Relawan Ummah PACU, a youth-based volunteerism club.
Other than that, he had experiences working in the Kulliyyah-based Society Council (KBSC) in an effort to build his leadership skills.
In an exclusive interview with IIUMToday, Muntasir shared that he is doing this as a sign of gratitude for the community and has been passionate about helping others since school.
“I empower myself by listening to other people’s problems and trying my best to help them. I believe that I could be most beneficial towards the community if I am given the honour to serve as Deputy President,” he stated.
Muntasir further shared his idea of the qualities of a good leader.
“A good leader should not take his or her position lightly, it is important to have clear visions when you are placed in the office and have future plans for the long term as well as short term.
“I believe that you should be the most passionate person in the university. If you are not passionate, how can you expect your fellow staff members and officers to be passionate about serving students too?
“I expect that a good leader is someone who is very accessible to students so that they can reach out to you easily and you yourself are willing to reach out to students as well.
“I believe that I have the necessary qualities to live up to these good qualities as I also love listening to opinions and concerns from students regardless of one’s background,” he expressed.
In ensuring that all students’ voices, concerns, and needs are met, he intends to build a student union that is more accessible and inclusive while working as an effective and diverse organisation that could aid the students of the IIUM.
He shared his manifesto as his ‘Five Offers for Change’:
- Financial Independence Enhancement
- Accessibility to the Union
- Inclusive and Collaborative Academic Welfare and Initiatives
- Organisation Optimisation
- Quality Data-Driven Student Activism
Muntasir admitted that although his manifesto items might not be something new, he plans in using different approaches to execute them.
When asked what makes his manifesto different from the other candidate, he highlighted his fifth manifesto- Quality Data-Driven Student Activism is different.
“As university students are conducting research and surveys, especially in the social sciences spectrum, we would like to obtain their findings and data from them to identify and analyse specific problems or concerns of the students. With that, we could convey the problems in a clearer way as it helps the union to bring quality data that could be presented to the university higher-ups or potential collaborators,” he explained.
When asked one thing that he would like to improve in the IIUM Student Union working culture, Muntasir expressed that he would like the organisation to be more laid-back and not to be too serious when working as he understands that the staff members are working on a volunteerism basis as well as having their own responsibilities as students.
He also suggested that bonding between staff members is greatly needed.
“In terms of optimising the Student Union itself, I am planning to rebrand the Capacity Building Department as the Human Resources Department which can cater for staff members in terms of their well-being and development such as trainings and bonding programmes. As volunteers, it is important to always keep their spirits high,” he said.
Muntasir added that he thinks one of the core issues that is threatening the Student Union is the lack of participation from students.
“There are more students who do not care than care about our union.
“I plan to create a far more accessible union and more participation from students through more frequent on-the-ground engagements which aligns with my second manifesto,” he added.
For the final remark, Muntasir firmly stated that he would like the union to be united again.
“There are too many people who want to attack the union rather than protect it. Our union is the highest student body in the university where problems and concerns that are easily swept under the rug could be solved with the assistance of the student union,” he highlighted.
As stated in his trademark ‘United for Union’, he emphasized that both the union and students should work together to build a university that revolves around unity and activism.***