It feels odd nominating yourself for a role with the word “democracy” in it after the disappointment of the all-student vote for in-person exams earlier this year. I know many will not just feel let down by the University but feel disillusioned by the idea that student voice actually works.
In a way it doesn’t. It is incredibly rare for a student representative to be able to enact policy without hitting resistance, having to adjust their expectations, or having to “table” discussions for a time that is more ‘suitable’ for other parties. Change is incremental and painfully slow. It involves debate, compromise, and grace with those who disagree with you.
In the last year I have met some amazing people who are working incredibly hard to make change for students who are systematically marginalised in the Higher Education System as a result of unchallenged bias.
A huge challenge to this important work is that often the University feels fractured. Too easily we become wrapped up in our smaller communities that we fail to see we are part of a much larger one. I believe the reform that we want to see in our university will only come about when we work as a collective.
Therefore, all of my manifesto policies are centred around working with staff and students across the University, to bring together the knowledge, skills and experience of everyone, to create a learning community that provides Education for all.
Why should you vote for me?
I’ve been an active member of several society committees including the Feminist society, Southampton Student Christian Movement, Education Society and Southampton Hub.
These positions have given me opportunities such as producing and running charity events, leading discussions, and creating and leading training sessions for volunteers.
Alongside my studies, I have worked as a student ambassador. This role has meant through meeting some wonderful people I am continually reminded of why I chose Southampton. It’s the people who make this University great. That’s why I want the University to use #realstudentstories to publicise the brilliance that is at Southampton, highlighting the diversity we have here. Too many times people believe that “university isn’t for them” just because they don’t see people like them attending. By showcasing different student stories, we can inspire and encourage more applicants from underrepresented backgrounds.
This last year I launched the Partnership for Education Reform with a fellow Education student. This partnership was formed with the recognition that the training and teaching provided at the Education school does not adequately prepare graduates to challenge the inequalities that are prevalent in Education. As well as planning seminars on racial bias, the partnership has rolled out monthly newsletters with resources about race, ethnicity, and culture in Education so that staff and students can supplement their learning.
It is my hope in the role of Vice President of Education and Democracy that I can expand on this campaign and encourage other students to form similar partnerships to create the change they want to see.