Presidentially Speaking

Open Dosa reporter Shyla Bhagwagar speaks to the Presidential Candidates for the Student Elections 2016, SJC.


Stephen Knebu

Born and brought up in Bangalore, Stephen Knebu, a student of third year PCM is known among friends and family to be helpful and now wants to be able to do it on a larger scale. He believes there are students in college who are underrepresented. Some don’t even know what’s happening in college. Stephen strives to spread awareness and get more students involved in the events that take place here. He also seeks to collaborate with other colleges to create more opportunities for Josephites. He wants to make the college fest the best in the city.  Stephen has dedicated a lot of his time to sports and knows how to balance between responsibilities. His friends play an important role as he talks to them about problems and vice versa.

Why do you think there are only male candidates for the post of president this year?

Women are great leaders, I know a girl personally who wanted to stand but chose not to because she already had too many responsibilities and commitments.  This is something I’ve been thinking about myself and have also spoken about to girls in the second year. From what I know, there are girls who plan on standing next year for the post of president and so I am not worried about the post becoming a male dominated one.

Fun fact: He was the captain of the school basketball team in tenth grade and is in the college team.



Sailesh Singhal

Sailesh is our candidate from Siliguri, West Bengal and is a third year EMS student. After serving as general secretary last year, he now aims to serve as president. Upon being asked why he was often seen barefoot around college last year, he remarked that when he removed his foot wear, it acted as a reminder to do something good every day. He plans on giving everyone a platform to speak out. He has represented the nation in G20 Youth Summit and on UN platforms. If elected, he plans to represent all communities in college equally and lead the college with a more open and broader mind set.

Why do you think there are only male candidates this year?

Last year in the union, there were 7 girls and 6 boys. So we do encourage girls to be in the union. It is completely an individual decision. All I can hope for is this does not become a trend, I believe I am a feminist and hope for the best.

Fun fact: He only sleeps for 4 hours every night.



 Jai Joseph

Jai, who’s from Bangalore, is a third year BVOC student who felt that the council last year did not perform to its fullest and decided to run for president to be that change. He was actively involved in the process and writing of petitions for bringing back Equinox, the St Joseph PU college fest. Jai finds it very easy to gel with people. He aims at making the fests in college more popular and involve more students.  He is a strong advocate of free speech and expression and believes that all students in college have the right to express what they feel. He was a professional martial arts fighter. He hopes that the college will be a happy and cool environment for the students academically, culturally and for sports.

Why do you think there are only male candidates this year?

Women, of all groups in college are the ones that need representation the most and so it’s a shame that no girl is standing this year. However, all candidates this year are aiming to represent all groups, culturally or otherwise.

Fun fact: He can speak six different languages.

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Shyla Bhagwagar

Pretentious blah-blah about myself: 19, student of SJC. Bacon, Leonard Cohen and poetry. Not necessarily in that order. Also, I like to believe I’m Cinderella. Minus the 22 inch waist and the happy ending, that is. The guilty googling of ‘American Idol auditions that will make you cry’ happens regularly. Big lips and pale face. My mother wanted to get me married at 18. Sometimes I think she should have.  

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