Juliette Jabra & Youmna Mroue
Editor-in-Chief & Opinions Editor
With elections soon approaching, Outlook spoke to campaigns and the individual clubs they are comprised of.
The most notable change electoral campaigns are witnessing since last year is the Freedom Club’s shift from the Students For Change campaign, which has historically been comprised of the same clubs, to Leaders of Tomorrow, a new campaign which brings together the Social, Freedom, and Youth Clubs.
Campus Choice, run and managed solely by the AUB Secular Club, however, has reiterated that their campaign remains one that functions without any collaborators.
A noticeable change this year is that One Voice, which only made an appearance last Fall, is no longer on the electoral scene at AUB.
Contrary to their notorious practice of running an elections boycott campaign every year, the Red Oak Club have clarified that their strategy this year has shifted. However, their stance towards electoral politics and the elected student representatives’ structural inability to implement change on campus has remained the same.
In statements sent to Outlook, representatives from each club disclosed the coalitions they are working under and the nature of their campaigns.
Read more below:
• Secular Club President Nadine Barakat explained that, “as usual, the AUB Secular Club’s campaign, Campus Choice, is independent of any entity, directly or indirectly, on or off campus. The campaign however welcomes any independent student, who believes in, and supports its values, to be part of the campaign.”
STUDENTS FOR CHANGE:
• Cultural Club of the South President Habib Yassine declared that his club will be “campaigning under the same banner, Students For Change, as we are still attempting to work on continuous change for the sake of students and the whole AUB community. Collaborating with Lebanese Mission Club, Communications Club, Lebanese Heritage Club, and Civic Welfare League.”
• According to President Rim Sader, the Civic Welfare League will be collaborating with different clubs under the name of Students For Change.
• Lebanese Mission Club President Hadi Hashem explained that the club is present to work in the benefit of the students, and “like every year, when elections are over, whether someone was on our list or not, we would all participate in the same USFC and SRC council.” He also commented on the Freedom Club’s withdrawal from the Students For Change campaign by saying, “since the electoral law is proportional and we were instrumental to the implementation of this law, the fact that one club left our coalition is not a big deal and of course it is their right to do so.”
• President Victoria Debian asserted that the Communications Club will be “running for elections as a part of the Students For Change campaign. We believe that, as a unit, we can work for the good of the students. We are running this campaign based on a specific platform, not just as clubs, as we truly believe that we can make a change and we will, as elected representatives. We will collaborate with all representatives from different campaigns and with the whole student body, to be the voice of the students.”
• Lebanese Heritage Club member Bashar Hlayhel revealed that they will be running with Students For Change this year. He explained that, “Students For Change offered a comprehensive platform with the diversity that represents the student body at AUB. Since we want the chance to serve the AUB community, we decided to give it a shot and run for a change. However, we stand by our connections with all of the clubs at AUB. We will serve at the righteous needs of the AUB students regardless of their backgrounds or affiliations once we get elected.”
LEADERS OF TOMORROW:
• Social Club Elections Coordinator Jean Marc Awad said that the club will “be running for the elections alongside the AUB Freedom Club and the AUB Youth Club, under our new campaign Leaders of Tomorrow.”
• Freedom Club President Karl Abi Jaoude informed Outlook that, “we formed a coalition with the Youth Club and the Social Club. Leaders of Tomorrow is a new coalition formed of more clubs than the previous campaign which went under the banner Lead the Change, and therefore we can be more productive, more efficient, and have a bigger impact on the decisions of the different committees.”
• According to President Lara Kanaan, the AUB Youth Club “will be running for elections under the campaign Leaders of Tomorrow along with the Social Club and the Freedom Club. Our platforms and campaign will hold all the relevant information about Leaders of Tomorrow.” She briefly explained the reasons for the campaign’s identity change, “as for the name, it has changed based upon the recommendation of current students who were involved in last year’s campaign.”
THE RED OAK CLUB:
• President of the Red Oak Club, May Makki, provided Outlook with a statement on the reasons behind their abstinence from running an elections boycott campaign. “This year we will not be participating in elections…. which means there won’t be any boycott campaign. However, although we welcome independent efforts as usual, we still think that none of the campaigns represents us fully at the moment.”
• Makki justified the club’s perspective with the following, “one of the reasons this decision was taken is the ongoing negotiations between graduate students and the administration and the attempt of these students to run for elections to continue working on their issues. We are still trying to shed light on the limited powers given to student representative bodies and their inability to take independent decisions.”