By Danise Simpelo, March 1 2021—
On February 25, 2020 the VP Student Life forum took place online via Zoom. Assad Ali Bik has been acclaimed to this position and is returning for a second term. During the forum, Ali Bik shared his plans of pushing forward through the pandemic and working together with students to see what can be accomplished together.
When looking at last year’s platform, Ali Bik wanted to bring the campus together through events and create the opportunity to connect with one another in close proximity. This year, Ali Bik wants his platform to be geared toward moving onwards in the university’s current circumstances. Even with the challenges brought on by last year, Ali Bik was encouraged to run again because of his desire to be involved again with the Students’ Union.
When asked what he could take from last year’s term that he could apply to this term to ensure success, Ali Bik emphasized his ability “to empower students.” He wants to continue to work alongside students and hopes that students will approach him, take their ideas and work together to make change happen so that students feel the work they are accomplishing.
During the forum Ali Bik wanted to assure students that one of the most important issues students are facing right now — anti-racism — is being acknowledged. With the rise of anti-racism talks and protests, Ali Bik says that the SU has identified that there is no mechanism for either students or staff that can disclose acts of racism.
“How can we encourage — not encourage — but almost demand that there is some sort of mechanism where students can disclose the acts of racism they have felt and feel safe in doing so and don’t feel like they are compromising their future by doing that,” said Ali Bik.
In his position as the moderator for the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) task force, Ali Bik wants to sustain what environment EDI has. He hopes to carry this over to the university in response to the on-going issue of anti-racism.
“What I want is to maintain the community that we have built,” says Ali Bik. “I want to have a personal relationship with every single person on that task force because then we truly feel safe to say what’s on our mind and feel that we are respected and heard. I want to not only cultivate that culture but continue it,” Ali Bik stated.
Ali Bik also shared his work dealing with the ongoing mental health crisis, and spoke about tackling first-order issues such as food and financial insecurities as he believed these were some of the main problems that are impacting student’s mental health. He has worked to create bursaries and awards in order to deal with the financial needs felt by students.
“I truly want to be a student that students can reach out to,” Ali Bik said.
For more about the details about Bik and his platform can be found here. Voting takes place online March 2-4 through your myUofC Student Centre.