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Saturday, April 20, 2019

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Moiz Syed wants to engage more students with SGA


Syed has been a Senator in SGA for a year and has been involved in a variety of bills and events geared toward communication. | Photo courtesy of Moiz Syed.

For Moiz Syed, one of the most pressing issues facing the University of Houston is that many students don’t know what’s happening on campus.

A political science and marketing sophomore, current CLASS senator and presidential candidate for the Coogs Unite party, Syed said the issue really became apparent to him after a lackluster turnout at a CLASS Career Fair he worked on last year.

“What typically happens is students go in and out without really getting involved in the University,” Syed said. “The best way to give them as many opportunities as possible is to let them know what’s going on.”

While running for the position of CLASS senator last year, Syed said he realized most students don’t know much about SGA. It’s been the same this year, he said. 

Syed said while campaigning during this election he asked many students if they know what SGA is or who their senators are.

“I don’t get much of a response,“ Syed said. “I want it to be at the point that students will know who their senators are and could see them walking and ask them about what’s going on.” 

One of the initiatives Syed hopes to accomplish if elected is instituting a grade replacement policy, which he thinks would help students who struggled to maintain their grades in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.

“(Harvey) hit us hard and really bad, and a lot of people were focused on rebuilding their houses and making sure their families were intact and weren’t able to go to school and, as a result, failed a lot of their classes,” Syed said.

One key component to the Coogs Unite platform is campus safety. They hope to accomplish this by making sure resources are used correctly and that security guards are present in “high crime rate areas on campus,” he said. 

One specific action Syed plans to take to increase security is expanding the Cougar Pack escort program, which was started in Fall 2018. The program, which sees students escorting other students from the M.D. Anderson Library to their dorms and cars, operates from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, but Syed said he hopes to extend the program to run all week. 

“I want to make sure that commuting students can get to their cars safer and students can get to their dorms safely,” he said.

In preparation for the presidential debate Feb. 20, Syed said he’s been reading up on University of Houston policies and his campaign has been working on setting up a website.

Since he plans to graduate in 2020, Syed said he wants to do as much as he can for the University before then.

“Realistically, I’m only going to be here a year, and what I want to do in that year is make sure I help as many students as possible and make as much positive change as I can,” Syed said. 

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