With the 2019-2020 Student Government elections just around the corner, I had the opportunity to interview candidate for President, Karine Kanj. A daily commuter student from Saugus, Massachusetts, Kanj is a sophomore honors student at Suffolk studying Government with a concentration in Law and Public Policy.
Throughout her time at Suffolk, Kanj has been actively involved in the Student Government Association (SGA) for two years as a Senator for the Class of 2021. She has experienced serving on several SGA committees, including the Finance Committee, the Housing and Facilities Committee, and the SGA Awards Committee. Currently, Kanj serves as chair of the Student Affairs Committee, is a member of the Constitutional Review Committee, as well as the Student Judiciary Review Board. It is clear that Kanj has been dedicated to SGA, and through her experiences has grown to acquire a wide range of knowledge on many aspects of the organization.
Not only is Kanj a committed member of SGA, but she has also devoted her time to many other organizations both on and off campus. At Suffolk, Kanj is an active member of the Suffolk University Model United Nations (SUMUN) team, a previous member of the tap team, Tip Tap Toe, and will work as an Orientation leader this summer. Off campus, Kanj has been an observatory intern for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and currently interns with the Blue Lab campaign. She also is a recruited member for the annual Arab Harvard Conference happening in April.
Kanj has always admired Suffolk. “I dreamed of attending the university to study government ever since I was a freshman in high school” she said. Her passion for government led her to pursue a major in that field and inspired her to become an active member of SGA.
Kanj wants to be President of SGA for many reasons. “I have been dedicated to the organization for the past two years, and I am ready to take on more responsibility” she said.
There are many changes Kanj hopes to make – one of her biggest goals being to broaden Suffolk’s horizons and work with more international bases, given 22% of our student population is international.
I asked Kanj, “If elected, what changes would you plan to make?” Her response was unexpected. “What changes do YOU want to see?” she asked me. It is evident that student feedback is going to be widely considered when it comes to her campaign. “I could sit here and list all the things I want to do” she said, “but I won’t be someone who makes false promises.” Kanj is devoted to hearing student feedback and seeing what they need on a day to day basis.
I wanted to know what qualities Kanj possessed that would make her a good President of SGA. Her answer was confident and proud. “I am personable, outgoing, and cultured” she said.
Kanj wants SGA to not be seen as an intimidating organization, but as a personable one, where students can always voice concerns. As a proud Lebanese-American, Kanj is bilingual, speaking both English and Arabic. She has traveled far, and recently took a trip to Lebanon with the UNHCR, where she visited three resettlements and was able to meet those affected by the Refugee Crisis. This sparked her mission to start a scholarship fund for a refugee in need of an education, something she will plan to implement if elected.
If you would like to voice your concerns to Kanj, the link to anonymously do so is here:
If you would like to contact Karine Kanj or learn more about her campaign, you can follow her here: