My name is Israa Elhalawany. I am running for the position of senior representative for United Student Government Association (USGA). I am a Finance and Political Science major with a minor in Arabic Language and Culture and Journalism. I am running for USGA because I have always felt the need to be a part of something bigger, and I believe the way to do this is by influencing decisions at Loyola. I am half Palestinian and half Egyptian, which allows me to adequately represent the minorities of Loyola. Representing minority is really important especially at such a diverse campus at Loyola.
I believe that I have the qualifications needed to run for this position because of my involvement in the executive boards of the Middle Eastern Student Association (MESA) as a Public Relations coordinator my sophomore year. Currently I am the secretary of MESA. I have also served on the Interfaith Team at Loyola’s Campus Ministry as Service Event Coordinator and Social media coordinator. My involvement on the MESA e-board and interfaith team has allowed me to become more culturally aware and sensitive, and more well-versed on different religions and ethnicities represented at Loyola. My experiences studying abroad have also contributed to my cultural well-roundedness and has strengthened my knowledge on a global scale. I am so privileged to have this experience and I want to share my knowledge with my peers.
My deeply rooted passions in global issues led me to pursue humanitarian work with Islamic Relief, dealing with but not limited to Syria. I led a committee in effort to raise money for Syrian refugees affected by the earth-shattering civil war that has tore the country apart and left hundreds of thousands of civilians killed and displaced. Our area of focus was orphan sponsorship and we successfully raised over 500,000 dollars for Syria relief, which went towards aid, supplies, and medication for Syria.
I refuse to sit around and wait for change, I want to be the change. As Ghandi so eloquently said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I deserve your vote because I will amplify the voices of the unheard members of the student body. My ears will be open to any criticisms, and my determination to serve this community me will lead me to actively pursue a solution to the problems at hand. I want to help in addressing the student government about your concerns about campus. Some of the first complaints I will adhere to, if elected, are the issues about 8-ride. I want better operations, faster arrival, and extended hours of 8-ride to ensure the safety of the students. One of my main interests lay in the Allocations Committee, which is the committee that handles the budget directed towards the Student Activities and Organizations. This is important to me because I want to give the small, or new clubs, a chance to expand by allocating an equal and fair budget policy. This is the surest way to help give a voice to the voiceless, and be more inclusive and welcoming to all organizations that make this campus what it is: a safe space for students with all sorts of political affiliations, religious and world views, and interests.