Ihar Kiryienka, a third-year undergraduate Media and Communications student, has been elected president of EHU’s Student Union (student government). His one-year term began immediately upon election. As president, Kiryienka hopes to build a stronger feeling of community at EHU and create more opportunities for the use of the Belarusian language in everyday life.
“I’ve decided to run for the president because we need to unite the community, to make it closer so that students and staff move toward common goals together," says Kiryienka.
Kiryienka has been a very active student, taking advantage of many opportunities at EHU. He was involved with the creation of EHU’s student newspapers, the Phoenix and EHU Times. He has benefited from BBC radio journalism training, taken courses in the psychology of business negotiation, and spent a year on an Erasmus exchange at the University of Łodź in Poland.
Although Kiryienka did not make many promises during his campaign, he says he will introduce changes to the voting system to make it more inclusive.
“We will introduce online voting so that students who are not members of the Student Union can be involved in important decisions."
Kiryienka’s other main focus will be promotion of the use of Belarusian.
“People have already come to me with ideas for clubs and courses for those who want to speak and learn Belarusian. We need to create the environment to encourage the use of the Belarusian language.”
While Kiryienka himself already speaks Belarusian, Russian, English, Polish, and French, he is eager to learn Lithuanian as well, to be able to better represent EHU.
“As president, I represent the University in the Lithuanian National Union of Students, so I need to pick up the language,” says Kiryienka.
When asked to describe himself, Kiryienka says he is enthusiastic, determined, quick-witted, open, and critical, but also in harmony with himself and the world.
"I have a strong personality and a flexible position," he says.