Footage from Al-Hariri’s meeting with the Hatchet Editorial Board
Sophomore Tarek Al-Hariri said he aims to bring fresh ideas to a student body where there are many old faces.
Al-Hariri’s platform for Student Association president is based on three elements: advocating, creating and enriching – something he calls ACE.
“I believe that the Student Association must protect the interests of the students by pushing for what the students want at every occasion,” said Al-Hariri, a sophomore.
Like many of the other SA presidential candidates, Al-Hariri said he will build upon the ideas and initiatives started by President Nicole Capp and Executive Vice President Brand Kroeger.
“I think a lot of candidacies have been run on the basis of ‘the last administration is wrong and we have to start over again,'” he said. “I am saying we need to add on to what she has done, what the entire administration has done. If we keep on restarting, we are not going to get anywhere.”
Increasing funding for student organizations is another one of Al-Hariri’s main goals. “It is easy to charge students more money (for student organization funding),” Al-Hariri said at the SA-Hatchet debate last Tuesday. “I did not see the SA having a car wash to have money to give to student orgs.”
Although Al-Hariri is not a member of the SA, he has held other leadership positions on campus. After last fall’s Islamo-Facism poster controversy, Al-Hariri started the GW Peace Forum to promote religious tolerance on campus. The Peace Forum is not a registered student organization.
“‘I didn’t go into Peace Forum hoping to be elected (SA president),” Al-Hariri said. “I did peace forum because I felt it was the right thing to do. I did Peace Forum because I wanted to.”
Al-Hariri said being an SA outsider could affect his chances of becoming president.
“Do I think (the fact that I am not part of the SA now) will affect people’s voting? I do,” he said. “Do I believe I will not be a good president as a result? No.”
In order to serve students, Al-Hariri said SA members need to stop taking themselves so seriously.
He said, “As long as we stop taking ourselves seriously, we can start taking the students seriously.”