Dept. of Ingratiating Emails
Written by Bwog Staff
A tipster forwarded Bwog editors an email sent at 2:48 AM last night by George Krebs’ prospective VP of Policy Adil Ahmed. Apparently, Ahmed had sent an email to various student leaders describing his plan for CCSC: “When a bold vision is combined with concrete plans, I know that we can put aside any doubts and believe in and work together towards a more united, connected, opportunity-filled, and comfortable Columbia.” Titillating!
This isn’t technically campaigning, because that would be breaking the rules of the CCSC elections’ timeline, and Ahmed addresses this issue, explaining: “I am not stumping, and I truly mean what I say.” Then again, if saying that “We all have common struggles, but it’s beautiful when we fight through them together” isn’t stumping, Bwog really isn’t sure what is– though we have heard the email circulated around a limited number of readers.
The email is posted in full after the jump.
I am sending you this letter because I have always believed that the conversations we have had about Columbia and the work we have done on this campus mean much more than just words. We developed ideas, fought through ideological differences, negotiated, and found more common ground in the end than anything else. And then, we took action. When a bold vision is combined with concrete plans, I know that we can put aside any doubts and believe in and work together towards a more united, connected, opportunity-filled, and comfortable Columbia. All of you combined are members and leaders of various religious groups, cultural organizations, political interest groups, student councils, dance troupes, journal editors, pre-professional groups, athletic teams, theater productions, community service initiatives, fraternities, sororities, and the list goes on. The point is: I really want you to feel the excitement, optimism, and energy I feel at this very moment.
I listed all the categories above because I truly believe that the breadth of bonds I have made have not just been because I was President of the Muslim Student Association. This role did not require me to build such bridges on campus. In fact, I do not think any campus leadership position would require one to make so many individual contacts. The reason I met all of you is because we have similar interests and ideas. The reason we continue to cross paths is because we have similar goals and visions for what we want our campus to become and represent to the larger world.
At Columbia thus far, I decided to work with campus groups which would help me build a stronger understanding of myself as an individual with an extremely highlighted background as a South Asian Muslim student from a first generation immigrant and middle-class family. On a local level, I have always been involved with government, but I wanted to use college as a time to stay grounded before I headed out into the real world. I truly believe that no matter what lifestyle one pursues, they have to know where they come from so that they can identify and understand those around them. We all have common struggles, but it’s beautiful when we fight through them together. We have to do it in unison, because they will never end otherwise. I have always acted outside of my own individual “role,” having recently passed a resolution on CCSC to make course packets material placed on E-reserves. Save paper (cash and trees).
To provide one stream of thought: Last semester made me realize that student concerns were not being heard or understood within the administration. Moreover, they were not being heard or voiced properly on a student-to-student level. There was too much action occurring on opposite sides of the spectrum without much cooperation; from Ahmadinejad’s speech to the string of hate crimes to the hunger strike, the multiple students’ perspectives could have benefited from another’s point of view. Much could have been and still can be done to make students feel more safe and comfortable, and to make our University’s resources more accessible and our red-tape more transparent.
I am not stumping, and I truly mean what I say. This year’s Columbia College Student Council Elections mean much more than what you have ever seen in past years. This year is about re-defining what it means to have leadership experience, and what it means to voice students. Let’s do this.
I want to be on CCSC because I want to work on these larger projects which can not necessarily be completed in a particular interest group and a lot of individual contacts. My shared experiences and perspectives with many of you are needed on Council. I want to serve in a capacity which will allow me to represent, advocate, and find solutions to the issues which affect us all.
I will be running for Vice President of Policy with an amazing group of five individuals: George Krebs, Laura Doan, Robyn Burgess, and Ian Solsky. I truly believe that the five of us together make a great team. Not only do we already reach out to so many different campus communities and have a large amount of leadership experience, but we have already proven to be a great team. We mesh well, love our work, and understand one another’s perspective. Moreover, we also know the bureaucratic system really well.
We already have a well thought out platform which contains concrete plans to achieving our larger vision. I would share them all with you, but could only technically do so right now if we talked face to face. As the VP of Policy, I have spearheaded this platform to incorporate the needs which will affect many of you and the desires of those communities which would not have ordinarily been included. I want to help your groups and communities achieve your own particular goals. Collectively, we are what make this campus so active and vibrant.
I would like to sit down, talk with you about some of my ideas, share them with your groups, hear your ideas and concerns, and get you excited about this campaign and about this next year. We will be setting the precedent for what student government can represent and achieve on this campus. We will also be setting the precedent for the class councils and for the other undergraduate student governments. If you are not in the College, I clearly still want to talk to you. Spread the word. Get your friends in the College excited about the next seven weeks. I want to get them excited myself about this campaign. This is a movement, and I want you to be a part of it.
**Please return this email just to me, or call me [redacted -Ed.] and tell me what times/days you would be free to talk. It’ll be a good time, I promise.**
I truly believe that the change we want to create on this campus will create a better Columbia, but also reflect the changes that can make a better community on national and international levels. The real test is not what I say, or what I write to you right now. The test is how I have worked with you and how I will continue to work with you. My team is wholeheartedly supporting me, and I them.
Enthusiastically and with all my heart,
Adil Syed Ahmed