Aljupri sees new side of Washburn

Seeing all of WU Rizki Aljupri looks for populations at Washburn not getting attention. He wants to help those affected students.

Richard Kelly / Washburn Review

Campaigning isn’t just an activity on Washburn’s campus. It’s currently a way of life for those running for Washburn Student Government Association president.

Tengku Rizki Aljupri, or “Rizki,” as he is known by most, began his campaigning ideas by attempting to come up with a slogan with vice presidential candidate Nic Campbell that would solidify their direction in efforts over the last few weeks.

“Our slogan is ‘students for solution,'” said Aljupri. “We came up with that instead of creating events, talking about how to make WSGA better and talking about how to improve Washburn. We wanted to find solution to those problems. We’ve stuck with our slogan by talking to as many students as we can over the last three weeks, because we cannot find the solution, but we can find it from the students.”

Their campaign, features his creative team of three Washburn students and one alumnus. They helped design Aljupri’s poster, handbill, newsletter and website. From Feb. 9 until recently, Aljupri stayed with his early ideas and has put focus on constant campaigning.

“This whole process of running for student body president has been always on my mind these past three weeks,” said Aljupri. “I constantly speak to classes and organizations. I would say my fingers are not enough to count how many classes I have come to speak to.”

But he says he  enjoyed the campaigning and it helped him realize small concerns that would have otherwise gone unnoticed by Washburn, such as implementing lights on the tennis courts.

It has also been an eye-opening experience as he sees more of the populations that exist on Washburn’s campus. He met an individual in the theater department who is “over seven feet tall.”

One tactic he attempted to use is waking up early enough to visit with students before their morning classes.

“Before 8 a.m classes, I walked to buildings like Morgan [Hall], Henderson [Learning Resources Center] and Stoffer [Science Hall,]” said Aljupri. “I talked to students just in the hallway for a minute or 30 seconds, just before classes. Those people who take those early classes, most of them just take classes at Washburn and leave. They do not go to eat in the [Memorial Union.]”

A sense of professionalism has also been a part of Aljupri’s campaign. He attempted to wear a suit and tie as much as possible on a daily basis.

“One of my ways of campaigning, almost every day except for mornings I had trouble waking up, in the last few weeks, is to dress up in my suit and tie and attempt to look nice as I visit with students,” said Aljupri.

But as with every campaign, there have been problems. Creating student interest has been one of them.

“The biggest problem I would say is meeting with people who do not care or meeting the same people,” said Aljupri. “I hate that. During the campaign time, my goal is meeting different people, but if I meet the same people over and over, I’m just going to hear the same concerns, so that is kind of frustrating.”

Regardless, he used the same techniques at the end of his campaign as he did in the beginning: trying to make sure his tactics were consistent.

“Because I’m running for student body president, I would say talking and listening to students are the best way,” said Aljupri. “I am not going to change that.”

He has no regrets, looking back, on how he ran his campaign, stating that he received good feedback from those he spoke with. He knew going in it was a lot of work and even more work if he is elected as WSGA president.

Regardless of the outcome, one aspect Aljupri is looking forward to following the campaign is a less hectic schedule and a return to more casual clothing.

“I enjoy wearing jeans, sneakers, hoodies and Washburn shirts,” said Aljupri. “I feel closer with the students but it’s probably because more of American culture when you are trying to be a politician, you have to wear a suit, tie and dress shirt. But being honest, I like wearing sneakers and jeans.”