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Qasim Younis firmly believes that his time spent as president of Furness college and his 3-year involvement with LUSU makes him “ideal for Union Development”.
Speaking to SCAN, Younis said his two years serving on the Grad Ball committee has given him the experience that would be a “key part of what Union Development would have to do.” When asked about his experience he said his year as Furness President gave him an insight into the “colleges, governance, and commercial services” of the Union.
The collegiate system at Lancaster is something that has had a huge impact on Younis’ university experience, affirming his belief that “no one cares as much as I do”. He wishes to work even closer with JCRs within the role of Union Development. For Younis, “UD is the first port of call for events, governance, working with elections, events in Sugarhouse or anything…”.
But a perceived lack of engagement in the colleges, especially in terms of JCR nominations and voter turnout was something Younis thought “was actually really sad to see happen…it’s really hard to get students involved, I know that, I spent two years doing as much as I could to get them involved in it”. Younis’ solution to this problem? Incentivisation and showcasing what LUSU does for students.
On the subject of incentivizing, Younis said that “pizza is sort of the standard go-to for things like that, I think it might be time to change that up and go for something that people might like a little more. Be that something to do with Sugar, or something working with the shops on campus”.
With this in mind, Younis continued onto Sugarhouse and the housing developments set to take place nearby. Younis emphasized the importance of keeping students informed and fighting for Sugarhouse. He said “the council seem to be ignoring students but that doesn’t mean we can’t fight it and try and keep our best interests at the forefront…we need to make students aware of things that are going on”.
Further, he also signposted some more potential problems students will face from the developments. The “Sugarbus is going to face issues…It’s going to have to move where it picks people up from, the Sugarbus is one of the best welfare projects we have I guess. And without that a lot of students would be stranded to get home…it would be a big cost to them and that is ridiculous”.
On the subject of cost, Younis noted that “the cost of living, without a doubt” was the biggest problem facing students at Lancaster. He said that in the wake of tuition fee rises and other expenses, students “are sacrificing things, like going out, participating in social practices, or being part of a club or society, sport team because of that cost”.
Rounding off his interview with SCAN, Younis said “I guess the main thing is if I can give back and contribute in the same way that it has done to my experience, I’d love to do that”. The impact LUSU has had on Younis’ life is something he wishes to emulate for others in the role of Union Development.
Trivia: Younis could name 8 of the 9 college presidents: including Grad. He could not remember the president of County JCR.