New Student Government president encourages community engagement

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A. Sue Weisler

Student Government President Farid Barquet addressed the audience at a retirement event for former President Bill Destler.

Farid Barquet, this year’s Student Government president, wants to see RIT students enjoy the Greater Rochester community as much as he does.

“One of my main areas of focus will be to bring RIT and the Rochester community together,” Barquet said. “I believe we’ve had a pretty good life on campus for the past few years, but students still don’t get to explore Rochester enough.”

Barquet will be collaborating with other local colleges and businesses to make them more student-friendly and accessible so “all students can feel comfortable going out into the community. Rochester is a really beautiful place. People think it’s cold and gray and snowy, but there are so many things to do. There are so many great eating locations and hiking areas. I want to make sure students go out, not just spend four years on campus.”

Barquet, a fourth-year biomedical sciences and biotechnology double major from Mexico City, said he didn’t know anything about RIT until he applied.

“I didn’t know much about schools in the U.S., but I knew I wanted to major in biotechnology,” he said. “So in my search, I Googled, ‘schools with biotechnology programs’ and I found RIT was the first school to offer biotech as a major, so I thought that was really cool.”

He applied to other schools, but his visit to RIT in May 2014 convinced him he wanted to be in Rochester.

“The campus was amazing and I just felt welcomed,” he said. “It’s a cliché, but I just felt like I fit in here.”

Even though he represents nearly 19,000 RIT students as Student Government president, Barquet wants them to know everyone will have a voice.

“I’ll have an open-door policy. I’ve always been very approachable,” he said. “People should never feel uncomfortable approaching me or anyone else in Student Government.”