York U president, student swap roles for a day

February 29, 2012

On Tuesday, York University president Mamdouh Shoukri traded places with biochemistry major Rabia Sajun, who won the institution's "President for a Day" essay contest with her pitch for smaller class sizes, additional space in the science library, and better safety awareness across campus. While Sajun met with her choice of officials in Shoukri's airy 10th-floor corner office, the president made his way through the 20-year-old student's timetable, which included a 90-minute meeting of the chemistry society of which Sajun is co-president. "They're going to kill me with her schedule -- and I haven't taken biology since high school," admitted Shoukri, a mechanical engineer, as he got ready for his final class before going home by GO Bus. Shourki's candid discussions with a small clutch of students was the type of conversation one student said he never thought he would have "with the top honcho of York," having believed that "the administration was 'untouchable' at a university." Sajun and Shoukri met yesterday morning for a debriefing session over breakfast to compare notes. Tuesday's events were documented on Twitter by Sajun and the account @yupres4aday. Y-File | Toronto Star