This year, St. Stephen’s College did not see the riot of fervent election campaigns or the heated debates at the legendary ‘Open Court.’ When an announcement on the notice board declared Aina Singh of 3rd year, English Honours, as being chosen the President of the Students’ Union Society (SUS) of St. Stephen’s College unopposed, most Stephanians wondered if it might be a prank by the notorious Wodehouse Society of the college. An official declaration made by the Principal cleared the air. Of the five candidates standing for the position of President, four had been disqualified on the basis of having inadequate attendance, leaving Aina as the only eligible candidate. In our conversation with Aina, we find out what’s going on in her mind as she takes on this responsibility.
What are your thoughts about the circumstances under which you have been chosen?
Like most other people, I initially thought this was a prank. Being the only valid candidate was not something I expected as I didn’t even have a campaign for the elections. All I wanted to do was give the voters another alternative to the candidates who were already standing. But as the news is sinking in, it seems strangely satisfying. It feels like an opportunity has been served to me on a platter without me having to fight for it. What scares me the most right now is the resentment and anxiety of the student body since I have not been elected by them. My most daunting responsibility would be to convince the students that the SUS is not unstable just because it isn’t elected.
How do you feel about being the second female SUS President in the history of St. Stephen’s College?
It is important for women to take up posts from where they can make a difference and fight patriarchy in the country. Representation of women is highly significant and much needed. But being a woman President of the SUS is not the be all and end all. That in itself will not solve any problems.
What are the ideas on your agenda for the year?
I hope to focus on sanitation as well as inclusiveness of karamcharis working in college, the differently-abled and women. I also hope to start a conversation on trans-gender students and how they might be included in the life of the college. We, as a college, need to have a conversation about issues such as allotment of residence blocks to trans-gender students. I know my emphasis on equality sounds ambitious, but we will try.
With regard to leadership positions, Aina says that she has never been a part of Students’ Union earlier. “But as long as the ideology is sorted in your head, go ahead, do what you have to do and ignore popular opinion which is usually wrong and unfair,” she signs off.
Image Credits: ststephens.edu