AMS Elections 2024//

Candidate profile: Kareem Hassib, Senate

Kareem Hassib is running for re-election for a second term as a student senator-at-large on a platform of accessibility, accountability and equity.

The second-year urban studies student hopes to “offer some institutional knowledge and support for new senators coming into the new term,” such as in furthering the Senate 2026 goals. Hassib also said he would use his experience and relationships he created during his past year as a student Board of Governors member.

On accessibility, Hassib plans to push for an affordable textbook policy, research and co-op opportunities for international students, 24/7 library access and recorded lectures.

“Students with disabilities or students who have to work full time … might not be able to make it to every lecture in-person,” he said. Hassib added that he recently “fought tooth-and-nail” in an Academic Policy Committee meeting against a proposal for a makeup Monday.

“[Changing] the entire schedule for a day of the week can really throw off people’s routines,” said Hassib.

Hassib wants to ensure Senate transparency through continued engagement via his personal posts on Reddit, X (formerly known as Twitter) and Instagram, as well as regular updates to AMS Council, and continuing to co-author Senate Recentred articles published in The Ubyssey.

He also wants to advocate for term limits for Senators. This would require an amendment to the University Act, which is a Provincial legislation that governs the Senate. Hassib did not explain his reasoning behind limiting senators' terms or how he would accomplish this.

When it comes to equity, Hassib aims to “[Indigenize] the curriculum” through a mandatory Indigenous course credit and implementation of the Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP).

Hassib also stressed the importance of academic freedom. “If students or faculty want to speak up about any sort of global issue, I don’t think it’s appropriate for the university to reprimand them in any way,” he said.

Hassib said the biggest challenge facing Senators this year will be to take action. “You’ll often hear people say [Senate is] a glacial body … and you often see the fruits of your labour many, many years after pushing for it,” said Hassib.

He continued that the Senate could improve on participation, as “it was really a small minority of [student senators] doing a lot of the work.”

“The student senate caucus has to be a place that student senators feel motivated to attend,” he said.

Hassib held similar goals on his election platform last year, such as integrating Indigenous curricula and pushing for mandatory recorded lectures. When asked if he was able to make progress on these goals, he said “I don’t know if progress is the right word.”

“I think that the ball has gotten rolling,” he said. “Every single Senate committee is having conversations on how we can implement the ISP.”

Hassib believes that “Senate is ultimately a team effort” and “it’s very hard to say that you got things done as an individual … [because] we don’t really write the policy, we just vote.”

“Given that only two other people are running for senator-at-large as incumbents, I think it’s really important that people with that prior knowledge be in those positions to continue working on the groundwork that they laid.”

Hassib is running against incumbent Kamil Kanji, as well as newcomers Alex Chui, Jasper Lorien, Kyle Rogers, Ferdinand Rother, Taushifa Shaikh and Solomon Yi-Kieran.

This article is part of our 2024 AMS Elections coverage. Follow us at @UbysseyNews on X (formerly Twitter) and follow our election coverage starting February 27.