Christian Merheb, 19, a sophomore political science major, is heavily involved in the University of Hampshire community and the Student Senate.
Though the new session of Student Senate will officially begin on May 1, Merheb will not assume the role of student board representative until July 1..
Originally from Derry, Merheb maintains diverse involvement within the community.
“I really enjoy making a difference, even if it’s a small difference. I like giving back to the community around me because the community gives so much to me and the people around me,” Merheb said. “If I can make people’s lives better in any way, then I want to do that.”
According to Merheb, the position of student board representative was one that he has worked closely with over the course of the past year.
“I thought it was a great year and I wanted to continue to be involved with the student body. I want to work with students and community members to make sure that they are getting what they want and need out of their school,” Merheb said.
In the past, Merheb has been particularly involved with Student Senate. Having been the campus structure chairperson and student senate business manager, Merheb left his position as business manager to be interfraternity council president and was also the senior policy advisor, which is a position that works closely with the student board representative.
In addition to this involvement, Merheb is also a member of the Phi Mu Delta fraternity on campus. In terms of this, Merheb said Student Senate will put more focus on fraternity and sorority life and how it can be made more sustainable.
Along with all of this community involvement around UNH, Merheb helps run his parents’ business — an imported food and tobacco business in Salem, New Hampshire. As for other hobbies and interests, Merheb likes to read and has an appreciation for antiques, historyand photography.
According to Merheb, an example of a program that he is heavily invested in is the open educational resources that some professors on campus are taking a part of.
“Essentially we are trying to alleviate or reduce the costs of textbooks for students,” Merheb said.
For the future as student board representative, Merheb said he will continue to work on this initiative. Merheb hopes to inspire some professors into embracing textbook-free courses.
Furthermore, Merheb stated that he‘d continue to advocate for more money for the university in order to keep costs low or even freeze tuition.
“I will continue to resume that and enforce other smaller initiatives like getting more students involved and make sure that they feel well represented,” he said.
As for the most challenging aspect of working with Student Senate, Merheb said, “Trying to work throughout all the different opinions and viewpoints is the most challenging. Sometimes key issues fall under heavy debates and controversy. Trying to pinpoint what the issues are, how we can fix them, and getting everyone on the same page is the goal that we will push for and continue to inspire change.”