Rajaab Nadeem

Board Candidate
Lahore, Pakistan
Economics and Political Science

Hi, my name is Rajaab Nadeem, and I am running for the position of Board Member on the University of Pittsburgh’s Student Government Board. I am junior majoring in Economics and Political Science with minors in Chemistry and Sociology. Born in Brooklyn, New York, I was raised in Lahore, Pakistan and moved back to the US for college. I am currently serving as a Resident Assistant in Panther Hall as well the executive chair of donations and finance at the ICP Food Pantry in Oakland. I have previously served as the President of the Pakistani Student Association and Vice Chair of Recruitment for the Diversity Council.

I am running for SGB because I hope to be an advocate and supporter of diverse communities on campus and make an impact during my time here. When I first arrived at Pitt, I struggled to acclimate to the university and settle in. As someone who went to high school abroad, this challenge was exacerbated as I was not only adjusting to a new culture, but also a completely different system of education. Therefore, one of the things I would like to change at the university is focusing on the habilitation and integration of international students at Pitt. This would include working with the Office of International Students and seeing how to better facilitate a shift into American culture by providing various social and academic outlets for students to engage in.

I also hope to work with the university counselling center in an effort to create a more diverse staff of counsellors available to students. Mental health is an issue of utmost importance to me and I believe it is imperative that students have the opportunity to talk to counsellors they feel comfortable confiding in and are able to relate to. I think this can be achieved by providing students with counsellors who have perhaps been through similar struggles in life, such as discrimination or prejudice on the basis of race, gender, sexuality, etc.

Another goal of mine would be to set up a scholarship for students coming from particularly challenged backgrounds. I believe that setting up such a scholarship would give deserving students the opportunity to attend university, one that they might not otherwise have due to financial constraints. Although Pitt provides undergraduate applicants the option to apply for many scholarships, I would like to see one specifically for students who have overcome significant obstacles in their journey to college. This could include circumstances such as belonging to racial or ethnic minorities, the LGBTQIA+ community, socioeconomic status, or having a disability. I hope to work with the Office of Admissions and Financial Aid to at least set the wheels in motion for such an initiative.

Some other ideas I have to contribute to the academic experience at Pitt include introducing minors in Psychology and Biology, as well as other popular fields of study. Being in high demand amongst many undergraduate students, I hope to work with the specific departments and Office of the Registrar in hopes of making these a reality.

Over my time at Pitt I have been fortunate enough to benefit from an outstanding community, and hope to do more to contribute to it. I therefore hope to serve on Student Government Board so I can work to leave Pitt a better place than I found it. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out to me at mrn29@pitt.edu. Thank you, and Hail to Pitt!