Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Zulkaif Riaz, l am your new Vice-President of Activities & Development.
During my time at City, University of London, I have seen the University improve gradually, City University joining University of London federation in 2016, the opening of the new entrance and City ranked 1st in London for student satisfaction.
In my first year, sitting in OTLT, I would hear drilling sounds not knowing the reason for it but in my 3rd year, I discovered that Tait building was being refurbished and was ready to be used at that point by the students. Tait building includes new and more visible Student’s Union Office, Courtyard Café to pick up some snacks and easy access to City Bar for some free time activities.
In the 2nd year of my Law degree, I got involved with City University’s Law Society and applied for Fresher’s Rep in my 3rdyear which led me to run for the elections on the sabbatical position of Vice-President of Activities & Development. The election process was fairly simple but the hard part was still to come when I actually started campaigning that I found out it’s not easy to persuade students without giving reasonable reasoning. This year the turnout of the election increased to 12% indicating the progression of student engagement with the Student Union. The Student Union exist to represent students, to represent you, helping you adjust to the new environment, advice in academic matters, social activities. Student Union provides you with the content to put in your CV by teaching you transferable and leadership skills.
I cannot stress the importance of extra-curricular activities as it allows students to get involved in diverse interest. It equips you with the necessary tools to build long-lasting friendships and connections, meet students from different backgrounds, and gain transferable skills such as building confidence, communication, teamwork, and organisation.
My role entails oversight of Societies, RAG, Media, Sports and Sustainability which pretty much covers all the exciting stuff. My handover took place from 19th June to 30th June under the supervision of my predecessor, Mr Sheikh Shahamat Hassan. As soon I officially joined the office on 1st of July, I was very enthusiastic and energetic to face the challenges of my new job but it was too much to take in at one point so I had to reorganise my strategy to cope with different situations. In the period of 3 weeks, I had tours to 3 cities (Birmingham, Brighton, and Leeds) for the purposes of team building and to attend Student’s Union 17.
I will highlight a few of my projects that I will be working on this year. Firstly, Academic Societies are very important as it creates and develops communities at City in which every student feels they belong, feels supported and feels respected. Our university is such a diverse university with around 30% international students, we need to work together to make them feel part of the community as it helps to break down barriers and overcome stereotypes but for that I will need you to break down barriers, I will need you to create an environment for understanding and perspective building. I will work on a project called International Week which will include International festivals and much more.
VP Activities and Development