In March 2016, the UTM community came together to elect a fresh group of seven individuals that would soon build the UTM Athletic Council executive team for the 2016/17 school year. In an interview with The Medium, the new president, Prince Dim, sat down to answer questions about the UTMAC’s outlook for the year.
The current athletic council is comprised of seven executive team members: president Prince Dim, VP administration Abdallah Alzoubi, VP finance Amit Yadav, director of intramurals Eddy Dabire, director of special projects Mariam Musse, director of campus recreation & wellness Sulaymi Arriaza, and director of public relations Naomi Senwasane, as well as three hired associates, Akindeji Kehinde, Katrina Flahat, and Eugene Maninang. The associates work together to promote the importance of balancing a university career with a healthy, active lifestyle.
The responsibilities of each position vary from managing the budget, booking events, advocating health awareness, and organizing special projects, such as pub nights, Frosh collaborations, and the Athletic Banquet.
Although Dim is passionate about athletics and is an avid runner, while reflecting back on the election process, he confesses that joining the Athletic Council was a new experience for him. “This is one thing I never really had the opportunity to do at UTM. I have worked several places on campus and I have a really diversified portfolio. But I have never done anything related to politics or been in a leadership role, so I figured why not give it a try?” he says.
Dim explains that the former UTMAC president, Bilal Rifai, played a significant role in assisting the team with transitioning into their new positions. “Rifai laid the foundations of what he did and how he did it. He gave us some helpful tips as well, on how to start off the year and how to handle certain difficulties that he had experienced [last year] as president,” Dim says.
In contrast to last year’s UTMAC, Dim emphasizes his team’s plan to utilize their budget to accommodate the growing UTM community. When asked if his team was doing anything differently than last year’s group, Dim replied that they “already are”.
“First of all, homecoming is something they never did, and we are planning to get that done. The way we handled Frosh this year was completely different than the way they did it in previous years. I feel [that] with the ever-growing UTM population size, we need to start handling a few things differently,” he says. “We have a slightly higher number of students coming in this year than there was last year, so even though we work with similar projects and similar budgets, it is imperative we start doing a few things differently.”
The ultimate long-term goal of the UTMAC team this year is to increase the school spirit within the UTM community. Dim hopes to double the percentage of people who attend UTMAC events on campus, and increase the school community’s overall involvement in athletics. To accomplish this, his plan is to target the first-years and spread awareness about UTMAC throughout the UTM campus.
“One of the things we really wanted to do differently [this year] is we want to make sure that by the time our tenure is done, everybody will know who UTMAC is and what UTMAC does,” Dim says.
Dim wants to tackle the issue concerning the knowledge of UTMAC, and he believes that getting first-years involved is the solution.
“I want to make sure I address the problem, especially through first-years. First-years have very little to limited involvement on campus, because they’re still just learning and trying to figure out where they fit in in this whole new world, right?”
“I feel that trying to get them more involved would be a great thing,” he continues. “We want the first-years to help us increase campus-wide school spirit.”