Postgraduate Officer Hustings Lowdown

Voting for the station of postgraduate student officer has begun, with hustings for the position taking place on Thursday evening in the Student Union building. The event, which was poorly attended, emphasised themes of mental wellbeing, the lack of postgraduate-oriented career events, and long-term promises like visa and scholarship assistance.

Find notes below on candidates’ speeches and promises in order of performance:

 

Sarah Al-Aride

  • Previous experience as an education officer at UCL has taught her “to balance campaigning with diplomacy” and what it means to represent students on a large scale
  • Achieved abolition of UCL academic transcript cost in “Don’t Pay Again” campaign
  • Keen to repeat previous work on curriculum decolonisation at LSE and focus on attainment gap data
  • Focus on variety of postgraduate student needs which require different assistance
  • Promise to lobby for sufficient training and suitable work and study spaces for postgrads
  • Intent on fostering relationship with NUS
  • Conditions of loans with interest can be prohibitive to some students’ education, collaboration with career service

 

Naim Faisal

  • Mental health: Aims to implement mental health appointments by phone or Skype in response to LSE’s lack of specific mental health policy
  • Careers: Promises more post-graduate career fairs and alumni networking events by working with societies and advertising specifically towards postgraduates
  • Student satisfaction: In response to the gap between undergraduate and postgraduate students within societies, commits to more postgraduate events

 

Urvashi Prakash

  • Emphasis on achieving short-term goals as opposed to “3-year-long commitments” of extended visas and more scholarships
  • Simplifying dissertation communication
  • Biweekly newsletter of postgraduate events
  • More interdepartmental networking events
  • In the case of financial struggle, assistance like printing allowances
  • Increased access to recruiters through already-existing database of career fairs

 

Mehran Shamit

  • Background in numerous committees at the University of Toronto and UCL
  • Prioritising scholarships and bursaries for disadvantaged postgraduates
  • Increasing support for international student visas, working with the NUS in terms of post-study work visa
  • Decreasing wait times for counsellors and mental health advisors
  • Existing staff should be trained in cultural sensitivity in response to diversity of LSE
  • More postgraduate socials and more inclusive socials
  • More postgraduate-specific spaces for study and recreation
  • Working with BME and socioeconomic officers to create more opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds
  • Building upon work of previous Student Union officers and NUS

Valentin Shatalov

  • Serves as President of European Institute Student’s Union
  • Fulfilling commitment to “know the causes of things” by allowing taking courses outside of programme regulations

 

Maria Shloma

  • Experience in a number of executive roles at the University of Warsaw and University of Nottingham
  • Dedication to building upon big changes initiated by previous postgraduate officers
  • Three-point campaign:
  1. Wellbeing: emphasise mindfulness and mental health activities
  2. Socials: making lifelong friends through social events
  3. Career: career events for postgraduates

 

Shijoy Varughese

  • Credentials as Chevening Scholar and previous work with political campaigns, enabling 70,000 students to access quality education, negotiating experience
  • Emphasis on infamous low LSE student satisfaction and imposter syndrome
  • Commits to organize Student Union events around concerns brought up by students
  • Building portal through which seminars and sign-ups can happen in one place
  • More postgraduate oriented career events

 

Absent candidates included Angelos Angelou, Mateusz Balcerek, Akash Mehta, Bilal Bin Saqib, Apoorva Tummala, and Burak Unal. Their manifestos are available online.

 

Candidates universally encouraged students to exercise their right to vote.

 

Voting is running until 17:00 on October 30th. Find all candidate manifestos and vote here.

 

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