Pi finds out just why Omar Khan thinks he’s the man for the job.
Tell us a bit about your background with activities and events at UCL.
In terms of involvement, I play for the men’s first cricket team. I’ve been to a lot of society events, even if I haven’t been a member of that society; I went to see Rangeela which was a big show at the Bloomsbury a couple of weeks ago, for example. I was also a part of Isoc’s charity week and we managed to raise about £50,000 in one week which was the highest in the country. That was pretty fun, it was mainly bucket collecting and getting people to donate, or to sponsor orphans. That was really good though you get used to rejection with the bucket collecting! But I think if you keep a smile on your face then you make people feel better even if they don’t donate! At least if you smile, even if people are rude, they appreciate that you didn’t get angry with them!
This year, many students were upset to see Varsity cancelled. What are your views on this and do you think it could have been handled better?
I think one of the key issues with Varsity was the farce of having it on, off, on, off again. There wasn’t a clear decision: when it was off, it was still on, when it was on, it was still off and so on. No one really knew what was happening. I think that either way, there needs to be a set decision from the beginning. If it really needed to be cancelled, it should have just been cancelled even though I don’t support that it should have been cancelled. I also think maybe the team should have a bit more input into their Varsity as well, for other sports too. I think we should have a multi-sports Varsity; ice hockey, I’d like to see a cricket Varsity, football etc.
You say that you don’t feel quite as well-known amongst certain parts of the student body as your fellow candidate. Tell us a bit about you!
Well, I’m a third year mechanical engineer which means my time has been fairly restricted as there are a lot of lectures! For this reason, I haven’t been quite as involved with clubs and societies as I would have liked but I’ve still managed to fit a fair share in! Perhaps slightly at the expense of my grades…
How can UCLU members get in touch with you before voting if they have any questions?
If you contact me on Facebook, I’m usually quite rapid with my response. There’s quite a few ‘Omar Khans’ but if you search ‘Omar Khan Activities and Events’ you should find my campaign group. Also, if you see me around campus, stop me! I’m the guy in the purple tie, don’t be scared to just stop me and let me know if you have a question about anything.
What do you think have been the main difficulties faced by students in clubs and societies this year and how would you change that?
I think one thing students have found difficult, is actually getting to know all the clubs and societies actually out there. Having a Freshers Fayre is not a bad thing but big societies tend to dominate the and it’s quite hard to find out about all the clubs and societies in just two days. So I think publicity has been a major issue.
Why should students vote for you?
Because I’m not just going to be there for those one or two big societies, to just help them. I’m here for all the other small societies that struggle with publicity and their funding, societies that can’t get space on campus or facilities too. I’m here to help them and publicise them too. I’m someone who has spread themselves across a variety of different clubs and societies, and that has allowed me to develop a range of skills that would compliment the position of activities and event officer.