Omar Taweh’s weekdays are rarely boring. The University of Connecticut senior attends club meetings, creates projects for course presentations and goes to classes and discussions to satisfy his 21 credits/semester course load, which he has maintained since sophomore year.
“My personality is just that I get bored easily,” Taweh said. “I get satiated really quickly with the things that I am doing.”
Taweh is no stranger to extracurricular involvement on campus. He is the PR director for the Undergraduate Student Government, magazine editor for Nutmeg Publishing, vice president of the club track and field team and director of programming for the Residence Hall Association. He is also double-majoring in physiology and neurobiology and psychology and pursuing a minor in human rights.
“I’m not the kind of person that will give 100 percent to one thing only,” Taweh said. “I like giving 100 percent to multiple things.”
As USG’s PR director, Taweh is responsible for overseeing a committee that maintains relations with students, staff, faculty and institutions outside of the university.
“We inform students about events that are happening, we help them realize that they have a student organization that is built and structured for them to advocate for their concerns,” Taweh said. “We also have to mediate relations within the organization, which I tackle with the president.”
Taweh is currently collaborating with Student Services Committee Chairman Derek Pan as well as USG Comptroller Priyanka Thakkar to bring to the university an initiative coined “Tampon Time,” which focuses on making feminine products more accessible around campus.
“They [products] should be free of charge for female-identifying individuals that utilize them in university bathrooms,” Taweh said. “Like in the Student Union bathrooms and gym bathrooms and dorms.”
Taweh said that earlier in the semester, he utilized his position as PR director to help organize a public forum regarding the new bus lines and parking issues around campus. The changes drew criticism from students because administration implemented the change without student feedback.
The updated bus routes, a joint effort between the forum and administration, went into effect in early October.
“Administration changed bus routes in the beginning of the semester without telling students, and then were like, ‘We’re sorry,’ but then they did it again,” Taweh said. “We’re still actively engaging in conversation with them so that we can address concerns that are still existing so that we can implement them by spring semester.”
As magazine editor of Nutmeg Publishing at UConn, Taweh is focusing this semester’s efforts on creating a tier-III organization magazine that will be available for students.
“We’re going to be highlighting all the activities and members of tier-III organizations that work hard to ensure that events at the university go the way they normally do,” Taweh said. “Some of these people often go unrecognized.”
As vice president of club track and field, Taweh is helping reintegrate the team, given that the club split into long-distance and short-distance runners a few years ago.
“[We want them] to work collaboratively on sending students to me, on sending students to compete, practice and socialize,” Taweh said.
Given that he is nearing the end of his college career, Taweh said he is already looking at his options for after graduation. He has applied for the Fulbright Scholarship, which is a United States cultural exchange program aimed at improving intercultural connections.
“It helps students abroad establish relations and do research,” Taweh said.
Taweh is also applying to graduate schools in the Middle East and would like to attend the American University of Beirut in Lebanon. As an intern at Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services in New Haven, he said he is very interested in continuing to help refugees and addressing public health concerns. After his research, he plans to return to the United States and attend medical school.
Although Taweh’s days are often hectic and include moving from meetings to classes to events and back, he said the payoff is worth it. Through his initiatives, Taweh said he is able to see how policies and events impact and shape a diverse range of students throughout the university.
“By being involved in multiple things, I help shape the campus climate and community because I have my foot in so many activities,” Taweh said. “I’m trying to engage in conversations with people across all walks of life at the university.”
Taylor Harton is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. They can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.