Speaking for All Students
Senior Abdullah Siddiqui was recently nominated to the position of Student Advocate General by ASUCI Judicial Board and was confirmed by the Legislative Council on Tuesday Nov. 6, a position that had not been filled for over a few years.
Before being confirmed, Siddiqui served on ASUCI Judicial Board as an Associate Justice for a year and served as the Chair of Judicial Board for a quarter.
Before becoming a member of Judicial Board, Siddiqui transferred to UC Irvine from a community college in Los Angeles. Upon arrival to UCI, Siddiqui wanted to become more involved with campus life and decided to join the Judicial Board.
“I just wanted to find a way to be more actively involved and increase my experience here at UCI,” Siddiqui said. “I started my second year after I transferred.”
Siddiqui did not think that his commitment to Judicial Board would merit such a position, asserting that when he transferred to UCI, he was simply looking to get more involved on campus.
Despite starting Judicial Board late in his college career, Siddiqui was able to rise through the ranks, being voted into office as the Chair of Judicial Board in only a year. After serving his term as Chair of Judicial Board, he was first nominated to become Student Advocate General in the spring of last year but was not confirmed by Legislative Council due to a logistics issue.
Siddiqui explained that the Legislative Council was given his previous appointment with insufficient time to open the application up to a larger pool of students, leading to their former decision.
Nevertheless, Siddiqui has put the events of last spring behind him and is prepared to carry out his job of protecting students’ rights on campus, but he fears that there is not enough knowledge about the position and that students will not come for help.
“If students have complaints then they can come to me and I could address them,” Siddiqui said. “But other than that, besides advertising myself, there is no real way to get the word out there that there is some sort of help for recourse available.”
Despite being new to the position, Siddiqui hopes that he will be able to meet the expectations of students and other members of ASUCI. He feels that his past experience has prepared him to deal with the challenges ahead.
“I have a long history so I know how student Government operates. So being an Associate Justice for a year and being chair (of Judicial Board) for a quarter, I got to know the ins and outs of Judicial Board,” Siddiqui said. “I attended Leg Council meetings for a good four months, so I know how they operate pretty well. I know how to maneuver pretty well in ASUCI I guess.”
With the current issues facing the student government, the upcoming weeks will seem filled with unique challenges as Siddiqui takes his new position.
“Yeah I’m pretty nervous about it, like I said it’s a lot of responsibility so I don’t want to screw it up,” Siddiqui said. “For example, the Legislation that was passed last week. There’s two sides to it and as Student Advocate I have to represent both sides because I’m advocating for both students’ rights so that can get kind of dicey and a little difficult. And I think that’s why right now is kind of a good point for me, reaching out to different leaders and seeing what different voices are on campus. That’s probably the hardest thing to do right now.”
Despite the difficult situations of the upcoming year, Siddiqui said he is looking forward to the position and hopes to leave a lasting legacy at UCI, but for now he is simply trying to get used to the position and the tasks at hand.
“I’d like to leave a legacy but I have a lot to handle, so I kind of do what I can do and I’ll try to look for other avenues to reach out and do different things,” Siddiqui said. “When I see opportunities, I’ll take advantage of them, but at the moment I’m kind of just getting used to the position and seeing what it entails.”