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HomeUncategorizedDal Votes 2015, Candidate Profile: Hani Salem

Dal Votes 2015, Candidate Profile: Hani Salem

Name: Hani Salem

Age: 19

Hometown: Halifax, NS

Program: Environmental Engineering

Nominated for: Vice President (Student Life)

Relevant Experience: Orientation Week leader

Hani Salem

Dalhousie Gazette: What should be the main priority of the VPSL next year?

HS: The main priority is to make sure that Dal is the best university experience for all students. It doesn’t matter where they’re from or who they are. To do so, the VPSL has to be extremely friendly and welcoming towards the new students and the VPSL plays a crucial role in providing a friendly environment for the student body. So the VPSL has to be fully committed to their job, and this means they have to attend all mandatory meetings, and work extremely hard to come up with better ideas for the university. They should also be a good listener, this is important, because they have to listen to what others have to say and in return provide feedback. Last, but not least, they have to be a team player. By that I mean they have to possess the characteristics which are important and helpful to cooperating with the rest of the team.

Dalhousie Gazette: If you had to pick one student event to remove from the social calendar what would it be?

HS: They’re all great events and I wouldn’t necessarily remove any of them. The DSU – they put a lot of effort in and do a tremendous job in planning these events, so kudos to them. I would most definitely plan additional events so that students have more of a variety to choose from.

DG: What do you like to do on the weekends?

HS: Most of my weekends start off with hitting the books in the library because come on, all engineering students know exactly what I’m talking about. After studying on some weekends I like to hit downtown with my friends and have a great time at the club or the bar. I enjoy people’s company, it’s in my nature, and I’ve been out with so many new faces and got to know them. On other weekends I just hang out at a friend’s house, or go to the cinema, or even go to a Dal event. I’m also looking forward to getting my volleyball team together and having some fun matches after intermurals.

DG: Have you ever been kicked out of a bar?

HS: That’s a funny question. No. I’m hoping I don’t have to go down that road actually.

DG: What book changed your life?

HS: The Grapes of Wrath. It’s one of the most memorable books I have read. The story is about the hardships the family from Oklahoma had to endure after getting their farm completely destroyed by the dust bowl. The family anticipated for a better life in California and decided to move there and were disappointed when they got there because the employees were taking advantage of the many migrated workers. There were several tragic events in the story: the grandparents died, Jim Casy died, so just like anybody else, I have been through hard times and the story taught me that whenever I have to deal with a problem when the going gets tough [to just keep going]. The Grapes of Wrath is a good indication that hard times are to come and that we have to be prepared for them, accept them, and pick ourselves up and carry on from where we stopped.

DG: Top band to bring to DalFest?

HS: It’s a tough question because I am pulled between two bands: Linkin Park and Swedish House Mafia. They are both amazing bands and I always listen to their music. The reason why I picked Linkin Park is because I’m addicted to their songs, especially their old ones like “Numb” or “Faint”. Personally, I’d like it if part of their performance was a throwback to the early ’00s and the songs they used to make, as well as having them perform the good music they’re making in the present day. As for Swedish House Mafia, I mean I’ll let the music do all the talking. Whenever a Swedish House Mafia song gets played at the club or at a party or where ever, everybody, and I mean everybody, emphasis on the word everybody, is bound to have a good time and we need that at DalFest. So I’d like to give a huge shout out to Linkin Park and Swedish House Mafia and if anybody doesn’t know them they should take time off and listen to their good music and they can thank me later.

What did you think of the performance of Danny Shanahan, current VPSL, this year?

I think Danny is a role model for the VPSL position. His performance was tremendous. I was impressed, especially during Orientation Week along with the committee members. He created a positive vibe and was very welcoming to the new students and I love the fact that he took part in the DSU events. I saw him at laser tag and he was really friendly with everybody – it just shows that he loves his job, and this is what a true VPSL needs to be. I aspire to be a friendly, outgoing, and down to earth leader, just like him.

How will you make O-Week and Dalhousie campus more inclusive?

For O-Week, I was thinking it would be a sick idea if we’d have an introductory event. I mean that we should have an event where students, or even leaders, take the stage and share a fun fact about themselves, a hidden talent, or a witty confession to the rest of the crowd. Obviously only if they’re comfortable to do so in the first place, but that way it makes it easier for students to establish friendships and it’s a more fun method because everybody gets to have a laugh. As for main campus, why not come up with a box of requests so students would write down what changes they would like to see on campus whether it is something missing, or something needing improvement, or even new events that haven’t been introduced before. All in all, my main objective is to make Dal the best university experience for all students from all different backgrounds.

This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity. 


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