Now former Student Government Association (SGA) Vice President Noor Fatima “Bunny” Rashid will not be returning for the Fall 2018 semester. She has temporarily left the university to fight child sex abuse in Pakistan.
Elected during the Spring 2017 semester, Rashid, a Business Management and Legal Studies major, has since returned to her home in Pakistan to attend to family matters and efforts with the nonprofit organization she founded in 2016 known as Quwat e Uraan. The name roughly translates to “Power to Fly” or “Strength to Fly,” according to Rashid.
“I have been doing volunteer work since I was seven,” Rashid said. “In 2015, there was a major child sexual abuse scandal that came forward [“The Kasur Case”] and got a lot of hype on media but nothing was done about it.”
As of now, Rashid said there were more than 700 reported cases, and victims were mostly male. Rashid serves as her organization’s president. Additionally, her grandmother is currently in the hospital and her brother, also a college student, left Pakistan after summer break.
“[The] new government in the country said they are going to work on this issue since it is increasing at a significant rate in Pakistan,” Rashid said. “I am closely working with some government officials on the issue. So, I had to stay here. However, I do plan to return in either Fall II or Spring as soon as I have finished my tasks here and my family overcomes the problems it is facing.”
Jennifer Stewart is the advisor for SGA and said while it is unfortunate that Rashid will be unable to serve in the role as planned the organization looks forward to the new semester.
“It is disappointing that Noor will be unable to fulfill her originally elected position as SGA Vice President, she had a lot of energy and excitement about the position and about being a member of SGA,” Stewart said. “Fortunately for the organization, her resignation came early enough in the year that there won’t be a significant impact by having to bring in someone to fill this open position.”
Rather than have a new election to determine Rashid’s successor, former Sergeant at Arms Fayeshun Brown was appointed to the position by SGA President Vladimir Radojkovic. SGA swore in David Gunderson to fill the role of Sergeant at Arms in Brown’s place.
Brown’s vice presidency was approved by SGA’s general body at their first meeting of the year on September 4. She was approved by a vote of 11-0 with the single abstention being her own vote.
“Fayeshun is a very responsible and smart lady with amazing manners and personal conduct,” Radojkovic said. “I have no doubts she is going to do great as a Vice President. Also, I wanted my VP to be either a minority student or a woman because of my personal agenda to push for equal representation of all communities on Webster St. Louis campus.”
Brown, a senior Biological Sciences major from Maryland, intends to make an impact with the organization as quickly as possible.
“I am looking forward to using my position to speak and listen to students at our university in order to make meaningful decisions,” Brown said. “Also, I plan to keep advocating for diversity and inclusion on our campus to further expand what our university prides itself for. Lastly, I will aim to build strong relationships between students and faculty here on campus.”
The next SGA meeting will be on September 18 and will occur every other Tuesday throughout the year. The public is welcome to attend and may speak on any issue during Open Floor. Closed Session will follow and it is during this time the public is asked to leave.