New faces of Student Publications
Dani Saad has been given a second shot at presidency.
Last Thursday, Wilfrid Laurier University Student Publications (WLUSP) held their annual general meeting, where Saad was elected as the president and publisher, just one year after an unsuccessful presidential campaign in the Student’s Union elections.
However, this time around the campaign proved to be much different.
“When I ran for the Students’ Union presidency it was more of a statement than anything … basically trying to break that inner circle that everyone perceives as there, and prove that it is an open game and anyone can do it,” Saad, a fifth-year political science student, explained.
He wanted to prove that those who weren’t typically associated with the Students’ Union were still capable of putting on a successful campaign and getting votes; he didn’t anticipate a win.
However, his expectations for the WLUSP elections this year were much different.
“It was a vision I ran for as president, one that I intended to win and could see myself in the role and thought I could give something to it … it was more of a reality – a realistic goal,” he said.
His work with The Cord as opinion editor, political science background and knowledge of current affairs naturally drove him to the role of WLUSP president.
The role does not come without its struggles; WLUSP is currently operating under a $20,000 deficit as projected by the budget approval in August. However, Saad believes in a strong balance between financial responsibility and quality, and won’t let the deficit diminish the culture of the organization.
“I don’t want to be running a deficit, so that means you have to be making financial decisions all the time and that’s important, but when you’re making these decisions you can’t do it exclusively with finances in mind,” he explained.
He believes that student media is of crucial importance to Laurier, as it provides a neutral and objective account of what’s happening on and off campus.
“I think it plays in a lot to transparency and accountability. So making sure that internal and external stakeholders to Laurier are being accountable and their actions are transparent to the community,” he said.
Like Saad, elected board member Abdiasis Issa also believes in the importance of student media on campus.
“As a student you want to know what’s going on and how you can make a difference, and why things are happening. They want to be more informed … and have that sense of responsibility in their lives and know what’s happening in their community and their school,” he stated.
In addition to Saad and Issa, Taylor Berzins, Shelby Blackley and Neha Soni were elected onto WLUSP’s incoming board of directors. This is the first time in recent memory that representatives from both campuses have been elected to the board, and the first multi-campus election for WLUSP.
Saad is preparing to take his knowledge from the past year and bring it to his new position when he takes over for current WLUSP president and publisher Allison Leonard in May.
However, at this moment, he isn’t looking too far ahead.
“My focus right now is just transitioning, beyond that are just some organizational goals that we can carry through, particularly ones that are in the works now so they continue on next year so nothing goes unnoticed or unfinished,” he stated.
“I’m just trying to do my best to transition into the role smoothly and pick up where [Leonard] left off so it’s smooth for not only me, but the organization.”