Running for the spot of student member on the Academic Senate for the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences are Lillian Andolfatto, Kundyz Khaulanbyek and Ali Ashger Ali.
ALI ASHGER ALI (Independent)
I am currently undertaking my Master of Research degree, and yes, my first name and last name are the same … let’s move on.
Can you comment on the overall experience you’ve had while studying at Macquarie?
To be honest, I came to Macquarie initially because of the geographical convenience, combined with many of the programs and funding opportunities that I found available here. This worked out great, as I’ve been able to represent the university at international meetings and I even led a synthetic biology team to visit Boston to compete in an iGem research competition.
The scholarships at Macquarie are second to none, and I’ve been lucky to receive several during my time here so far, including one for equity students, and others for my research activities.
I’ve been propelled to participate in student thinktanks, professional and academic, throughout my studies at Macquarie and I truly enjoy giving back where I can. That is why I’ve consistently volunteered and have been a student representative for my home Faculty Board in 2017. I’m keen to continue to my contribution on the Academic Senate.
What made you decide to campaign for a place on the Academic Senate?
There is a lot of things that could be improved on campus for our student population. We’re all so busy pursuing our study, that I think a lot of us miss out on opportunities that we may not be aware of. I want to improve our access to information, and opportunities, that can enhance our wellbeing and professional outcomes as we navigate our time here at Macquarie.
If elected to the Senate, what issues or concerns will you be prioritising?
As an elected member of the academic senate, I will focus on HDR or FMHS students. I will be advocating for the University to prioritise student grants that are not yet offered (or used to be), mobility schemes to accommodate for student exchange, and student scholarships (particularly for PhD candidates).
The university thus far has done a commendable job on providing these schemes, but many of us are not aware of the potential of what we already have available. As such, I will attempt to try and create a more openness in dialogue between the university bodies and student/staff at Macquarie University.
Finally, why should students vote for you?
Students should vote for me because I have a strong history with the administrative, professional, and academic components of Macquarie University. I always advocate for the best of student stakeholder interests and previously sat on the committee for Partnership with and Recognition of Student Members, which came to fruition this year. It is through opportunities like this that I can and will continue to support and represent my peers if elected into the Senate.