Tarek Salam is the President of the Student Representative Council at BSL and is currently enrolled in the MIB program. He is Lebanese and grew up in Dubai.
So the Student Council is getting involved in community service?
Yeah, and it’s going great. We are working on a lot of initiatives, provided by Mary, she’s our savior. She gets us motivated and presents credible things for us to get involved in. She’s been linking us with a lot of organizations, including Bénevolat Vaud, who help individuals start businesses, and facilitate community work that is going on around Switzerland. From planting trees, to helping children and the elderly. It’s good because it’s made a lot of things easier for us, all we have to do is start working out who wants to do what. This is how we are going to get the school to help the community.
What type of activities is the Student Council doing in the community?
There is an initiative to plant trees, a jazz club for kids, taking the elderly who are in wheel chairs and taking them up into the mountains so they can experience what it is like up there. They are too weak to go by themselves, so they rely on volunteers to help them. We are trying to get as many people as possible involved, I want the initiative to start from the Student Council and then get as many other students as possible involved.
There was also a concert in Geneva , for women and children misplaced by war in Syria. It was a charity concert and a couple of students went to help out there. It’s good for us and it’s good for everyone.
Was it your goal to become President of the School Council?
I’ve never really taken a leadership role in my life, so I find it a really interesting challenge, and I find working with the students at the school really nice, so it was an easy yes for me, I didn’t even think twice.
It was proposed to me to be president. Ashley Munesti is Vice-President and Gleb Korolev is Sports Director. We called ourselves the TAG team (Tarek, Ashley, Gleb.) I’ve never really taken a leadership role in my life, so I find it a really interesting challenge, and I find working with the students at the school really nice, so it was an easy yes for me, I didn’t even think twice.
What do you hope to achieve as President?
The first thing we decided to work on was the school spirit. This is why I joined the school in the first place, to get the family feel, and I felt it, as soon as I stepped in to the school, as soon as I stepped into your office. It was easy for me to come here , and it’s easy for me to do what we are doing now. We organized a Paintball event, in Lutry, where 25-30 students played, it was insane! It was like a battlefield. We also did the Culture Day, which turned out great, then we had the Halloween event. Next is Christmas, and even more events to come.
The first thing we decided to work on was the school spirit. This is why I joined the school in the first place, to get the family feel, and I felt it, as soon as I stepped in to the school.
The Student Council, there are so many talented people in it, they are smart, they know what they want to do, so it makes it easier for me as president. I think we have already achieved improving the environment at the school, between the students, it is much more friendly. Now what we want to do is help get the BSL name outside, that’s our next step.
My aim is to create a sustainable Student Council, so that it keeps on going. The last thing I would want is to leave and it stops, that means I didn’t do my job well.
Your full-time studies will end in February and then you will embark on a year of thesis writing, what are your plans after that?
I want to find a job here in Lausanne so that I can stay around here. I still want to be involved with the school, I don’t want to just finish my classes and buzz off. I am the president of the Student Council and I have an obligation. I have to select a successor, I have chosen someone who I think will do better than me in my job, I am already working with that person so that when I leave it will be easy for them to step in. But we still have lot of work to do, what we have done is barely nothing compared to what we can actually do. We still have a lot of potential to tap into, it’s exciting.
We still have a lot of potential to tap into, it’s exciting.
The people that I have met at this school are incredible; I’m really happy where I am at the moment. Before I found BSL, I was on the way to Canada, I was searching for an apartment, I was literally there. I’d audited my classes over there, my friend and I were searching for an apartment, we were all the way in. At the last second, I just switched in my mind, I don’t know if it was the fact that my mother was telling me not to go to Canada to stay closer by in Europe, but I was to going to University of Toronto, a huge school, top 20 in the world. As soon as I came here, I could feel that it was a school that I can get personal with, say I ‘hi’ to everyone every day, from the first floor to the top floor, and this is exactly what it is. This is what I want. You can be friends with everyone, it’s really well integrated now . My next aim is to bring the students, the staff, and the faculty closer.