A Chat with IMSA’s Newest Director of Fun, Faizaan Shaikh!

Faizaan and CAB at this year's Movie Showing for CLASH | Source: Faizaan Shaikh

The Acronym recently got the opportunity to sit down with IMSA’s newest backflipping Campus Activities Board (CAB) Director, Faizaan Shaikh. Here’s the full interview where The Acronym got to ask him all about CAB and his plans for its future: 

What are your biggest strengths and weaknesses?

Faizaan: One of my biggest strengths is casual professionalism; as a member of CAB, all of our meetings were super chill and relaxed. With CAB Director being a position on Student Council (StudCo), I really want to bring that casual professionalism to StudCo because I’ve found that they are sometimes a bit too formal in their meetings — this lessens their efficiency, perhaps explaining their campus-wide stereotype. But, by being a little more casual, a more inclusive environment is created and people will be more prone to contributing to the discussion. 

For weaknesses, a really big one is overcommitment. I’m involved in quite a few clubs and I was actually warned away from applying to be CAB Director because of that. I understand the demanding tasks that await the future CAB director, and if I believed in the slightest that I would not be able to handle the responsibilities, I would have withdrawn any consideration for the position at that moment. 

Why did you want to be CAB Director?

Faizaan: It’s about having that bigger impact on the student experience. Everyone attends IMSA because of the academics, but the student experience is just as significant and as CAB Director, I feel as if  I could provide that experience. As a general CAB member, you do a lot of work, but as CAB Director, you’re really allowed to push the boundaries of what can be done. I also want to be able to create a strong bond with StudCo and CAB because, while CAB prides itself on its individuality, that relationship with StudCo is essential. I really want us to work together as I think, right now, that relationship is fading away.

While he may look intimidating this picture, he told The Acronym he plants to make CAB the exact opposite. | Source: IMSA Student Productions

Are there any changes that students can expect to be implemented for Clash of the Halls (COTH) ?

Faizaan: Firstly, we’re going to be a lot more explicit with the rules to avoid the discrepancies between the rules handbook and the agenda. There’s also going to be  a lot more organization with respect to  t-shirt sales, especially keeping the price down, and with the process of collecting numbers/sizes. As for Game Show, we’re going to be a lot more proactive with making sure the rules are clearly explained. Riddles will also have little to no issues next year and appeals to point deductions will be a lot more formal.. Something I’ll also work hard to fight for is to remove the service hour requirement because that would allow for a lot more people to get involved with COTH. 

What are your biggest future plans and events as CAB Director?

Faizaan: Nothing concrete for events has been ideated yet, but next year I’m really going to prioritize making events that create memories. I mentioned it during my speech, but I really want our Halloween event to be a lot bigger than what it was this year — adding  a haunted house would be pretty sick. I’d also love to see a school-wide dodgeball tournament and the winners get to pie CAB or StudCo. Everyone should look for a brand-new  sunset event coming soon in May (spearheaded by Justina Kostiv). But, whatever the event, the goal is that  I want students to be able to look back on these events and think, “Wow, I’m really glad I went to that.” I think it also comes down to making all our events as big as Homecoming or COTH. Some of our events this year were significantly smaller than those two, but I want to make sure the hype stays consistent throughout the entire year, inevitably creating those memories for students. 

If you could describe your goals as CAB director in three words, what would they be and why? 

Faizaan: Lots of memories. That’s what I hope to do next year. At the end of the day, that’s the whole point of IMSA, the experience. And when you leave IMSA, I want students to smile about their time here, not regret it.

Is there anything else you would like to let readers know about you?

Faizaan: If you want to see anything from CAB or myself, please reach out to us, because we want to be as approachable as possible. I think we did a pretty good job with that this year (#defundcab), but there’s obviously room for improvement. Myself, and the rest of CAB, are here to make your lives better, so with your input and suggestions, we can make that a reality. Just know that next year will be sumn slight, and by that, I mean a slight year to remember.

About the Author

Max Chen
Max Chen is a junior at IMSA who lives in 01 D-wing. He is from Champaign and is very excited to serve as a Staff Writer for The Acronym. Outside of writing, he likes to play guitar, tennis, and videogames.

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