Abdullah Qassab elected 2019/2020 FSU president

Header image for Interrobang article With "Stronger Together" slogan, Abdullah Qassab campaigned hard to win votes and become next year's Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) president.

The votes are in, and the Fanshawe community has spoken: Abdullah Qassab is the next president of the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU) for the 2019/2020 term. Qassab is the first FSU president to have come from the Woodstock regional campus, where he is completing his studies in heating, refrigeration and air conditioning. He is also working towards earning his gas technician certificate.

“First of all, thank you for your support,” Qassab said. “Thank you for Fanshawe students, Fanshawe staff, people who supported me, people who believed in me and people who believed in the idea that we are stronger together, and if we work together we can shine brighter and do much more and shape a Fanshawe that does better for all.”  

Qassab campaigned hard, greeting students at the T building entrance to promote himself and his slogan, “Stronger Together”. He handed out donuts and pens with his logo attached.

Qassab said his platform revolves around creating a tighter-knit Fanshawe community. He plans to create transparency through facilitating bi-weekly talks with students to hear their concerns, and showcase multiculturalism by increasing the number of events hosted by the FSU.

He emphasized the importance of advocating for mental health initiatives, creating more employment opportunities on campus, investing in more study spaces with improved Wi-Fi, and fighting for a fall reading week. He said he would also like to help students navigate London’s increasingly competitive housing market.

Qassab plans to give away 10 per cent of his salary as a monthly bursary to students as well.  

During last week’s question and answer session, he explained that he would make the bursaries possible by working with the financial aid office, College administration and Fanshawe students. He plans to include their consultation in order to determine who will be eligible for the funds.

Qassab beat out two other presidential candidates for the role, Andrew Waterworth and Jennifer Iannessa. Waterworth and Iannessa both have previous experience in FSU student politics; Waterworth is this year’s student life co-ordinator, and Iannessa sits on the board of directors.

Qassab is a newcomer to the student union.

With the Ford government’s Student Choice Initiative looming over student unions across the province in the upcoming year, Qassab may have a challenging term ahead.

When asked at the question and answer session how he would choose which services to cut, if forced in a worst-case scenario, he responded with optimism.

“We will work together with the provincial government, but ‘cut off’, that's not in my dictionary. I'm here to bring more events and more services [...] we're not cutting [anything] off,” Abdullah said.

To see the full election results, including the new student who earned a spot on the Board of Governors and list of new FSU Directors for the 2019/2020 year, visit fsu.ca/elections.