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Volume 5, Number 15
25 January 1999

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Student Union President Wants Help Plannıng Weekly Parties
He is from Zonguldak. He is the first born in his family. His father is a lawyer. He is a third year American Culture student. He was the Drama Club President and Captain of the basketball team in high school. And he will be the Student Union's representative on the Bilkent News Editorial Board during the Spring Semester. You know him: he is Murat Küçükali, he is the President of the Student Union for the '98-'99 academic year.

Bilkent News talked with Murat right after he had his final make up. He looked exhausted but he was happy that he completed the term with no failing grades.

Murat KüçükaliWhat are your plans for the Spring Semester?

I would like to throw parties weekly and we are planning to form a committee to arrange this. We would like to organize a bowling tournament at Rollhouse and also we will start working on a good Mayfest. We have already talked with Coca-Cola and Hard Rock Cafe and they have shown great interest. We will do our best to come up with the best Mayfest ever at Bilkent.

How did you decide to become Student Union President?

I didn't run in the election to become President. When we won, the delegation asked me to be the President. It could be anybody in the group. I'm no different than my friends. ATA Group ran in the elections without a candidate for the presidency. Group TUR supported me as well. I can say I became president with a coalition.

How do you evaluate the semester?

I communicated the problems of the students to the relevant units, problems like electives in Tourism and the cost of parking stickers, which caused a lot of reaction. I talked with †mit Bey (Professor Berkman, Vice Rector) and Ühsan Hoca (Dr. Sabuncuoğlu, head of the Traffic Committee). I don't have a car. A friend of mine gives me a ride to school. He didn't have a sticker either, but he had to get one at the end.

People are asking about the Summer School. They want to take more credits than nine (the maximum credits students can take during the summer). They want required courses offered in the summer. They want to take the maximum in the summer. One more thing, they want a portrait of Atatürk in each classroom.

What kinds of activities were you involved in this semester?

We increased the number of clubs. We responded positively to almost every application for a new club. We will keep on this activity during the second semester as well. This time, we are planning to set up the stands (for the clubs) on the East Campus. We planted 75 saplings. Also, we made it possible to fax free to Italy to protest ApoÕs case. We collected some 2,500 signatures during this activity, which was coordinated with Milliyetçi Düşünçe Derneği (Nationalist Thought Association).

What are the pluses and minuses of being President of the Student Union?

I am learning something new every day. I was very impressed with the Senate meetings. It is very impressive that a Bilkent student has a right to vote and talk at the (university) Senate. This is a great opportunity provided by our university. I am representing my fellow students there and I was not expecting this much of a privilege. I believe that Bilkent is the only university in Turkey having a Student Union in the true meaning of the word. I don't think there are any minuses. I didn't neglect my course work as this much activity was going on. You create time in order to carry out that many activities. Time management becomes more doable when you live it.

Any messages for the new semester?

Every student is a natural member of the Student Union. They should come and convey their requests. I am looking forward to welcoming more of them at the Student Union this semester.

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