QMSU Elections 2020: President Candidates

My name is Gabriela Suarez, I’m running to
be the next President of the Students’ Union and I’m a final-year law student. Alongside
Cameron Storey, whos running for VP of HSS, we are the RISE project.
My name is Ashra Shrestha and I’m an International Relations and Politics student running to
be the Students’ Union President. MY name is Victoria Leonhardt, I’m a law student
here at Queen Mary and I’m running for QMSU President.
Hi, I’m Shamima Akter, I am the current Vice President Welfare and I am running to be your
President. Hi, my name is Saywah Mahmood and I’m a third-year
Comparative Literature student and I am running to be your QMSU President.
I think the biggest challenge facing our University is investment. I think its the toughest challenge
for Executive Officers to handle. I think that students can see there is a disparity
in investment between all of our campuses and I would want to start an honest conversation
with the University and review and assess how it invests in our campuses. Also, making
sure that student voice is represented. The biggest change I’d like to make is to
student welfare because it affects every aspect of our lives, including our academic success
and our ability to take advantage of opportunities, which will be my three main priorities.
Changing mindset that sees the SU taking a more active approach in student engagement,
my goal would be a Students’ Union that all students can and want to be engaged in.
I want to ensure that student voice is valued and is important within the University and
for this to happen, I want to continue the work we’ve started this year and for that
to happen, we need strong leadership and I can provide exactly that.
The biggest thing I’d want to change is focus on mental health. I want the focus on mental
health to be even more intense, so I would like to have mental health first aid on the
skills award. Honestly, I’m just ready to give back to the
communities that have given me so much. In my three years here, I have seen the SU grow
and achieve new heights and I want to be part of that growth. I want to make sure students
feel like the SU represents them, but also help the Students’ Union represent its students.
I decided to run for President because as a Student Council member, I am aware of the
problems students face and I would like to work towards making this University a more
equal and inclusive environment, where all students are happy and can flourish.
If I don’t take the initiative to make that change, then who will? I am too invested in
this University to leave it up to someone else.
Running for President is not an easy decision. Being an Executive Officer is as tough as
it is fulfilling, but I want to leave knowing that I’ve made the maximum impact for students
and in order to do that, I need to be in the meetings the President is in. I need to have
a say in the wider organisational change and strategy outside of just Welfare.
I’m a student ambassador and I also work within student media, so I get to talk to a lot of
different students and groups from different backgrounds and I realized that a lot of people
have grievances that I’d really like to address. Cameron and I have the passion, the policies,
the experience and the skills. We know what we want to do and we know how to achieve it
and we really want to represent the student body. But, most importantly, we know its going
to be really, really hard, but that’s what make us want to do it even more and that’s
why people should vote for The RISE Project. I will deliver on all of my manifesto pledges
as President as well, which are focusing on student’s academic success, student’s mental
health, student welfare in general and prioritizing opportunities and employability.
My advice to voters is to invest in the person as well as the policies. It is great having
good ideas, but the difficulty is implementing them and the practicalities of doing that.
Invest in my resilience, my prompt and creative resolutions to problems and the fact that
I genuinely care. I acknowledge that trusting people in positions
of power is difficult and frustrating, but having seen me work and prioritizing even
before myself, I believe that you can trust me, even if you can’t trust the position.
I think people should vote for me because most of my policies are stemmed in the students’
wants and needs. Firstly, I think that we should be talking
about all campuses, not just Mile End campus. Secondly, we should be working harder to show
the team is accessible, approachable and identifiable. This means that the team should be engaging
with campus events and also with students and we should be working harder to show the
team is an integral part of the University. To increase visibility of Executive Officers
and the work that they are doing, I will be using social media to engage with students
to inform them about what we’re doing and how they can get involved.
I’d work to build a kind-of brand, something that is strong and effective and is representative
of the team. That way, Executive Officers can be recognized when they do make appearances
on campus. I believe in building an Executive Officer
team that trusts each other and that puts student voice first and in doing so, they
will be more motivated to becoming more visible. More visibility comes through practical means,
such as online presence and physical presence and that will engage our students more.
One of my policies in my manifesto is to introduce a student communications officer, who will
be in charge of exposing what kind of things we do day-to-day, so it will be a message
from the student to the students and I think that would really help give us exposure and
help students to really see what kind of work we do, because sometimes its very hard to
go on campus and talk to everyone.

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