Imran Khan, a campus sophomore and intended public health major, launched his independent candidacy for ASUC Senate Thursday evening.
Khan is endorsed by the Middle Eastern Muslim Sikh and South Asian community, or MEMSSA, and is running on platforms to increase MEMSSA community empowerment, institutionalize financial literacy and improve access to mental health.
MEMSSA, which is a coalition of clubs including the Muslim Student Association, has endorsed independent candidates in recent years because of the freedom associated with running independently, according to Khan.
“A nonpartisan candidate can represent diverse communities without compromising (their) goals,” Khan said. “(You) can represent more students and more student experiences.”
Khan is the chief of staff to Nuha Khalfay, the current MEMSSA-backed senator. He became involved with the coalition his first semester, and he currently serves as the head of the Muslim Student Association Youth Outreach Committee.
In addition to unifying MEMSSA, Khan’s goals are prioritizing and streamlining mental health resources on campus, which includes a focus on mental health education and improving the ASUC’s existing Mental Health Coalition. He hopes to establish a culture of mental health awareness with a focus on intersectionality to meet the diverse needs of students.
“Intersectionality is a very important factor when approaching mental health,” Khan said. “I want to work with mental health resources to make sure it works for all students … regardless of what they identify with.”
Talha Siddiqui, one of Khan’s campaign managers, said Khan’s ability to reach out to many parts of the community and his commitment to representing students make him a good candidate.
“Effective advocacy is predicated upon having the experiences of the people that you’re advocating for,” Siddiqui said. “(Khan has the) hard skills of getting stuff done with the soft skills of interacting with people in a meaningful way.”
Voting for the ASUC elections will take place on April 9–11.