Adi Sawalha

Tell us a bit about yourself, your Queen Mary journey and your role?

I am an Electronic Engineering student, and am now going into my second year as President. In my first year I ran to be the First Year Representative for Mile End, and was part of the Student Council. I was then subsequently a student trustee for the SU, seeing first-hand the impact the pandemic had on our Union and our students. This inspired me to stand in elections to then successfully become your President. Being a current student (having interrupted my studies for this role) means that I understand the student experience, and am keen to serve in the interests of all the students at Queen Mary.

How would you describe the Students' Union in one sentence?

The Students' Union is at the heart of the student experience, with a hand in many things both seen and unseen, from Societies and Sports clubs, to our outlets, to lobbying the university and helping to shape the university experience for our students, and much much more.

What’s a piece of advice you would give to students?

I know the question says “a” piece of advice, but I have two I want to share. The first advice would be for incoming students is to familiarise with the campus and our service, so you know where to go whenever you’re in need of help or support.

My second advice would be to take your time to find what works for you – Not everyone studies or rests the same way, and our differences are what make us unique! Find what works for you!

Favourite spot on any of our campuses?

Whilst I don’t have a favourite spot per se, I enjoy spending some of my time anywhere where there is a bit of solitude (for example studying in empty classrooms).

What’s your ideal day out in London?

Having lived in London my whole life, I don’t find touristy areas too interesting. For me, I like to keep local and spend time with friends. I would encourage everyone to take the time to get to know your area, and find what hidden gems are hiding right under you!

What’s your favourite thing to order from Drapers, The Griff Inn or Ground?

It used to be going to Ground and getting an Iced Mocha with Caramel syrup (a friend’s recommendation which I absolutely loved), but recently I’ve been really enjoying the Cookies Frappe!

If you were a superhero, what power would you have and why?

We’re really spoilt for choice with this question! I know other Executive Officers have mentioned this, but definitely mind reading with this role. I already try to do my fair share in meetings, but would be great to have the real thing!

What’s one thing at uni that students have to try before they graduate?

I would recommend everyone take part in one of the Get Active Program pop ups! It’s a great way to have fun, meet new people, and manage stress, and definitely worth trying at least once whilst you’re still here.

What animal best represents you and why?

For those who read what I wrote last year, you know I have to do a BuzzFeed quiz for this! At first I got a wolf! However I heard quite a few people got the same answer, so I decided to do a second BuzzFeed quiz… And got wolf again! “You're loyal, protective, and work well with groups.” I’ll happily take that.

What are you looking forward to most this year?

I think just spending time with students. As President I can get bogged down in various high-level meetings, both as part of the University or the Students’ Union, but spending time with students is always the best part of this role!