Questions for USG’s Mohammed A. Alam

 Samantha Wendorf talks to our student government vice president about tomorrow’s post-election discussion, Sandy recovery efforts and his own political aspirations

Q: What major projects are you currently working on?

A: The Government & Law Society, along with help from USG and the Roosevelt Institute, have been planning a Presidential Discussion Panel, scheduled for tomorrow. I have invited various distinguished professors to sit on this panel and discuss the results of the election, what it means for us students, and how the next four years will look like.

Q: Does the USG currently have any plans to aid those affected by Hurricane Sandy?

A: We have been working non-stop, along with CUNY Central and CCNY as a whole, to ask students, faculty, and friends to donate any non-perishable food, water, clothes, money, and other basic supplies that they can. We have also been updating the student body as best we can with information pertaining to travel conditions, opportunities to help, where to go for a safe shelter, and locations for basic necessities.

Q: Where can people drop off their donations?

A: Those who want to drop off donations can do so directly at the FEMA and Red Cross stations throughout the city, or they can drop it off on campus where there are various outposts on campus, especially in the North Academic Center. The USG, along with the Roosevelt Institute and the Student Association for International Studies, will have boxes set up for the cause. People can also go to local public schools and various CUNY campuses, which have been in use as shelters to drop off their donations.
Q: On a personal note, what triggered your interest in politics and public service?

A: Since I was about 14 or 15, I have always felt a calling to public service. By the time I graduated high school, I had done upwards of 400 hours of service. As I entered college, my interest in politics sparked due to the 2008 election of President Barack Obama. I began doing grassroots campaigns with local young democrats, and later for the Senators’ offices, and even for the Governor. That’s when my public service efforts began to overlap with politics.

Q: You recently visited Washington D.C. on a trip sponsored by the Colin Powell Center for their fellows – what was that like?

A: I am not new to Washington. I lived there for about three months this past summer, and again last summer. Every time I go there though it’s always a different experience, and always leaves me wanting to go back. We had the opportunity to meet the great General Powell himself, and this trip not only allowed us to see what opportunities are out there for us, but also was great for networking with professionals and for the fellows to get to know each other. It was a great balance of work, education, and a bit of fun.

Q: What are your plans post-graduation?

A: My immediate post-graduate plans are to take a little time off, maybe travel a bit, enjoy a couple months away from reading dense theories about political academia, and then hopefully find a job in Washington, D.C. (preferably working under the Obama administration). After a couple years of work, I would like to attend a prestigious law school and get my Juris Doctorate in either corporate or constitutional law.

Q: Any larger-than-life White House dreams?

A: My ultimate career goal is to run for public office, to serve the people directly. It would be a great honor to serve as a member of Congress or one day the Governor of New York. And maybe, just maybe the road to the White House is somewhere in the back of my mind.

For more info on the Presidential Discussion Panel taking place on Thursday, November 8th in Shepard Hall – Colin Powell Center 558, visit this site.