Seven Questions with Aliza Ayaz
23 November 2018
Aliza is a second year undergrad studying Population Health. She is also President of the UCL Climate Action Society (CAS). CAS was founded on the principle of Global Goal 13 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Take urgent action to combat climate change.
What are you studying, why are you interested in this subject and what do you plan to do in the future?
I study Population Health at the Institute of Epidemiology and Healthcare. The combination of moral, socio-economic and health-related dilemmas that civilisation has wrestled with throughout history fascinates me endlessly. This, along with my personal experience of witnessing progressive imbalances in public health as I moved from Dubai to London has motivated me to help with the de-escalation of world crises by contributing to socio-economic, environmental, and political development. Many of the problems I hope to tackle – disease, lack of clean water, environmental degradation – are addressed in my degree programme.
I have learned that as humans continue to alter their natural, daily environment and exploit the plethora of natural resources available to them, they also possess the moral obligation to make responsible decisions and try to reverse damage. Therefore, I believe the most suitable approach to reach my goals (at least mid-way) is to opt for a career route that allows me to balance the various issues concerning human development. This is most likely to be at an international organisation.
What is the most interesting thing you’ve done, seen or got involved with while at UCL?
A bit of everything, from my own radio slot on RARE FM to acting in a UCL feature film, performing in the Main Quad, and hosting a UK-wide Climate Action Symposium
Have you discovered any hidden gems during your time at UCL?
A quiet, scenic study space on the 8th floor of 1-19 Torrington Place where I brainstormed ideas about how the Students Union and UCL staff could help me with my plans for the Climate Action Society.
Give us your top three things to do/see/go to in London:
To do: Dining out and trying street food in the multicultural hub that is London.
To see: Watching the dreamy sunrise from any rooftop; you will be truly mesmerised.
To go to: Epping Forest. Not in London but it’s worth the short journey to inhale some fresh air and escape the humidity and noise of the city.
If you were Provost for the day what one thing would you do?
Constitute or rally for UCL to abolish tuition fees.
Who inspires you and why?
My mum and dad inspire me the most. I’ve seen them evolve while tackling the dynamics of life; the right balance of discipline and boldness, courtesy and compassion, diligence and faith, courage and hard work. But besides them, I pick up influences from the many places I travel to and the many people I meet on my journey. The diverse, motivated student body and staff at UCL are collectively, currently, the single most conducive factor in catalysing my climate action initiatives.
What would it surprise people to know about you?
Depends on how they have come to know me; otherwise, I’m an open book.