This past June, Marc Garneau CI elected four members to the Student Activity Council (SAC). SAC oversees student-related affairs, from handing out club budgets to hosting school-wide events. Among these was President Arsal Farook, who spoke to the Reckoner for this article. As SAC President, he is responsible for overseeing and supervising SAC activities.

Q: What motivated you to run for SAC President?

A: I believe that things happen for a reason. When I got the idea of running for SAC president, it just came to me on a random day. I was in Grade 10 at the time. I just woke up and I had this idea: What if I ran for and became the SAC president? As the days progressed and the months changed, I kept thinking about what it would look like to be SAC president. People would ask me about my plans for Grade 11 and I couldn’t envision myself without being the SAC president. So in a way, I sort of manifested it.

As the year progressed, I also started observing SAC and the areas I could improve. I noticed that things weren’t running as smoothly as they could have for reasons both inside and outside of SAC’s control. I wanted to tackle problems associated with a lack of passion, transparency, and communication. I started to think to myself: As SAC president, how would I deal with all these issues? There were several problems that plague MGCI, so how would I really come up with a solution to all of this? I sat and thought about this for a long time.

I came to the conclusion that the majority of the school’s problems could be solved by students and students alone. You don’t need a lot of teacher assistance to solve all the problems at MGCI. Everything that concerns you as a student can be solved. I want to make it easier for people to address issues that concern them.

Q: What problem(s) do you want to address as SAC president?

A: The main problem I want to address is the lack of communication between SAC and the student body. I want to have direct channels of communication and make it very easy for students to communicate with SAC so that if they have an event or initiative idea that they want to help run, they can reach SAC with two clicks or a quick QR code phone scan.

MGCI hosts many students with a lot of untapped potential, as I like to say. They have many ideas and exciting initiatives, but oftentimes, they just don’t have the avenue to express these or to make them become reality. I want to make it easier for students to express themselves and their ideas to help support their fellow students.

Q: What long-term changes do you want to make/are you in the process of making from last year?

A: There’s a lot that still has to be finalized from the school’s administration team, but I want to incorporate in-class flyers as a method of communication. This would allow students to walk into their morning class and see a poster with a QR code that leads to many different resources. We also hope to allow other clubs to link their information, like a Google Calendar that details club meeting dates, to the QR code. I think that this is one of the best methods of communication that hasn’t been implemented yet.

Q: What short-term plans do you/SAC have for the near future?

A: There’s a Halloween spirit week coming up! It will run from 24 October to 31 October. We have many exciting activities planned, including a haunted house walk-through and candy grams. Details on the event will be posted on our Instagram (@mgci.sac).

Q: How has the role of president been for you so far?

A: It’s been quite a bit of work. Most of my lunches are taken up with doing something for SAC. For example, I’m supervising and helping the Spirit Committee with the upcoming spirit week. But it is sort of fulfilling, because walking through the halls, you’ll hear people whisper, “Oh, that’s the SAC president.” Some of my friends even stopped calling me by my name. The feeling of “oh yeah, I am the SAC president” can be kind of nice. So while this is a major responsibility and there’s a lot involved in it, I like doing it and I really enjoy conducting myself as the SAC president.

Also, I’m really happy with the turnout for the SAC Selected Applications Process and am happy to report that all the positions have been filled with hardworking, passionate, and intelligent students with unique skill sets. I can’t wait to work with them.

Q: What do you like to do in your free time, outside of being SAC president?

A: Outside of school, I’m an avid sports fan. My favourite sports to watch right now are baseball, American football, and Formula One. I just love reading about their histories and current events. I also like watching basketball, cricket, ice hockey, UFC, and soccer. Outside of that, I also like to travel. I’ve been to London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Berlin, Paris, Barcelona, Madrid, and Bangkok. I like looking at different people’s cultures and the ways they interact, because I’m really interested in the way people evolve and engage and communicate with others. I also dabble a bit here and there with poetry in Urdu, but not too much outside of that.

Q: What would you like to say to the student body?

A: If you have something to say regarding SAC or anything in general, you can reach out to me on Instagram (@arsal4pres) or email me at [email protected]. A lot of the problems, issues, and things that plague MGCI can be solved by students themselves. The person reading this article right now could be that person. I’m sure everybody has their own ideas, initiatives that they want to do. So what I would like to say to the student body is act on those. The only person who has the power to make those come true is you. And if you ever need help from SAC or anything, you can always contact me at the socials I just listed before.

*Answers have been edited for clarity.