Your Portfolio Officers

Elections are closed, the votes have been counted. Here are your new Portfolio Officers!

BIPOC Students' Officer

Xiao Pan

What was the defining moment in your life? What made you who you are?

 

Let me tell you a bit about myself, my name is Xiao and I’m a third-year law student. I am also a British Chinese woman, a daughter, a sister and most importantly, a believer of change. I moved here from China a decade ago not knowing the hardships I would face in a foreign land where the shape of my eyes or the colour of my skin would mean stereotypes that boxed me in. As your BIPOC officer, I hope to eradicate those boxes and embrace the real you that you’ve always wanted to be and not the person your environment has dictated you to be.

 

Although growing up I suffered from positive racism of being assumed as the ‘smart’ one or always being ‘good at maths’, I was not immune to negative racism. Especially in the current climate where COVID-19 is still being referred to as the ‘China Virus’. I have been spat at simply for walking down a street and the supposed jokes of bat eater are not only distasteful but hurtful to my identity. I have been called snowflake for standing up for my culture in disrespectful cases of cultural appropriation, butchering a culture’s identity is something we should get angry about. Don’t let gas lighters undermine the validity of your feelings, anger is as valid as any other reaction, just because they do not want to be held accountable does not mean your anger is wrong. I understand I am a part of the race that suffers the least amount of racism and I would never envisage what it’s like to be in other BIPOC’s shoes. However, I want to be the person you feel comfortable to rant to, whether it’s an act of microaggression that may have hurt you or upset you to ignorant people committing outrageous acts thinking they will get away with it. I want to be your confidant, your safe haven when life gets too much. 

 

‘Mental Health is Often A Privilege For BIPOC.’ Lorraine Chu, Huffpost. This needs to change, I know as BIPOC people we have grown up around racism and that has solidified our thick skin and our resilience. However, just because we’re strong, doesn’t mean we deserve mistreatment. Trust your instincts when things non-BIPOC people have said or done that made you feel uncomfortable, educate yourself on how ignorance lays the foundation for racism and we can tackle this together. Most importantly, we must look after ourselves, fighting racism isn’t a day’s work, Illegitimi non carborundum.

 

If you want to read about my experience or my work on education to encourage anti-racism, please check out my column on @collectiveconversationz( https://collectiveconversationz.wordpress.com/xiaos-column/ ), my feature article on the @indigohubuk (https://indigohub.co.uk/blog/blog-post-eleven-ltrct-xlywj-cnj9d-nnjhh )and @asianhispanicorg (https://www.asianhispanicempowerment.org/post/the-problematic-nature-of-cultural-appropriation) or listen to me on ‘Fantastic Allies and Where to Find Them’ on the @oxfordshireyouth Podcast on the episode of Discrimination and Normalisation. Hope you enjoy it!

 

It would be an absolute honour to represent you as your BIPOC officer, and please don’t hesitate to drop me a message if you have any questions.

 

 

Black Students' Officer

Faith D.R Chacheka

It is only and primarily in a non-prejudicial context that we are all able to take advantage of the opportunites given to us by Oxford Brookes. Knowing that a man or woman's worth is measured and consists not in their outward appearance but inner character, which is integrity. 

Disabled Students' Officer

Unfortunately we recieved no applications for the role of Disabled Students' Officer, so this position is currently unfilled.

We will be holding a by-election in November for this position. If you're interested, please contact the Student Voice Team on su.representation@brookes.ac.uk to find out more.

Environmental officer

Tannah Collier

Hello! My name is Tannah and I’m studying LLM International Law this year at Brookes. I use she/they pronouns interchangeably. 
 

If you’re reading this, you’re probably already aware that climate change and environmental destruction are the biggest challenges we face collectively. 
 

Whether you are new to environmentalism or a seasoned activist, you can trust that I will fairly represent the student body’s environmental concerns and work towards making a difference. I aim to widen awareness and increase direct participation in environmental issues to create effective, lasting change. 
 

I am very open to hearing ideas from all students and especially those from minority or marginalised groups who often have to shout louder for their voices to be heard.

My campaign motto ‘Awareness, Participation, Action’ is central to driving to my manifesto ideas.
 

My ideas for the environmental network are:
 

  • Widen the availability of sustainable plant-based food options on campus in time for Veganuary and demand that the top three food outlets commit to one meat-free day a week thereafter. 

  • An end of year ‘swap shop’ to reduce waste and encourage ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ 

  • A week-long series of environmental-themed events leading up to Earth Day in April. 

  • Widen awareness and access to making sustainable choices on a student budget e.g zero-waste alternatives, cycling, shopping sustainably, veg box schemes etc.

  • I would LOVE to set up a Brookes community garden/allotment where students can grow their own food, learn new skills and eventually create a self-sustaining community larder of fresh produce and surplus food. 

  • Continued rewilding and tree planting in campus spaces. 

  • Widen environmental participation throughout the student body by incentivising green and sustainable choices.

  • Ensure that Brookes remains accountable and on-track for its own sustainability and environmental targets with scrutiny from the student body. 
     

Whether you vote for me or not (though you definitely should!) please do get involved in the environmental network. Action requires as many people to be involved as possible and if I am voted in, we will need all hands on deck to get things done! 
 

Thank you for reading and peace out! 

 

International Students' Officer

Yuri pic

Wojciech Yuri Lewinski

To whom it may concern,

My name is Wojciech Yuri Lewinski. I’m an international student. I’m 23 years old and I was born in Poland. When I was 16, I moved to Spain and then at the age of 20, I decided to save up and study in the UK. Starting off with a Foundation year in 2018, I’ve moved on to do an undergraduate degree in Japanese Studies at Brookes. I am currently a second year student.

Even before university, I worked in a popular tourist spot where I had the opportunities to appreciate and converse with people from contrasting backgrounds. Since day 1, I’ve been engaging with local and international students, as a colleague and student representative for the foundation year. I am also the President of the Oxford Brookes Japanese Society and collaborating closely with Oxford University Japan Society and more.

Being a Student at any University is hard - and I believe being an International Student is even more of a challenge. All of a sudden, you’re dropped into a new culture, new country, everything’s different, you’re far away from home - this can be a very isolating experience, especially nowadays - with COVID19 being a significant factor on how we interact with others. It can be really hard readjusting to what could be a completely distinct lifestyle, and I’ve experienced it firsthand. All of us are fighting right now - for our future careers, for our education, for our families.

Living in Oxford isn’t cheap - should I be elected, I will, with the help of Brookes Union, pressure the university to improve assistance, resources and help for international students.

Considering the current situation, I will also campaign for partial refunds of tuition fees, given that most of our lectures are online and we, as students, do not directly benefit from the facilities we are being charged for, in what some of my colleagues call ‘a daylight robbery’. I will campaign for our Lecturers and Tutors to consider exceptional circumstances where they might have been disregarded. I will campaign to try and improve the line of communication between Student - Student Central, especially for international students - where the issues may be much more complex.

I’m Yuri, and I’m an International Student. Please vote for me to be your International Student Portfolio Officer.

LGBTQ+ Students' Officer

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Phoebe Goller

Hi my name is Phoebe, my pronouns are she/they and I’m running to be the LGBTQ+ officer.

In this role I would look towards informing people of the LGBTQ+ community, to reduce stigmas and false representation which I hope to develop into more inclusivity for our community within sports society’s and teams as well as help others develop more LGBTQ+ friendly language, for example asking for someone’s pronouns. I want people to be able to identify themselves without being scared of discrimination or thinking it’s a hinderance for others. As well as focusing on mental health, in this time of uncertainty it’s important to have the support we need to help us grow and prevent any of us from slipping into bad mindsets. Especially when homes may not be safe spaces for some people and for 1st years socialising has become incredibly difficult in . I’d love to carry on and develop the work that previous Officers have begun to build on to make sure there previous efforts haven’t been in vain.

I am aware my goals are very broad and merely concepts as of now however I prefer to look at this as a positive, definition can sometimes restrict us from changing for the better. And as someone who is queer in both terms of sexuality and gender I’ve never been one for choosing only one option.

If anyone has any questions for me about my manifesto or issues in the uni that you'd like to see addressed in the future if I become the LGBTQ+ officer or just want to chat then please email me at phoebegoller25@gmail.com or my campaign insta phoebe_for_lgbtq_officer

Mature Students' Officer

Hugo Stewart

Mature Students’ Officer Manifesto 2020 - Hugo Stewart

Hello, my name is Hugo and I am running to be your mature students’ officer.

I realize I am relatively young to be running to be the “mature” students’ officer. But after arriving at the final year of my study as a 24-year-old, I feel as though I have begun to understand some of what is means to be a mature student here at Brookes. To me, a mature student is someone who comes to university without it being their sole obligation - whether it is working to pay the bills or having caring obligations. Someone who comes to university without a blank check from “mum and dad”. Don’t get me wrong, I am not arrogant enough to believe that I know every challenge that all mature students experience during their day to day (again I’m only 24).

But I think we can all agree, that no one is really getting what they thought they paid when it comes to their “student experience” this year, especially for the mature students that have to foot the bill, and the stress themselves - on top of whatever else is going in their lives.

In 2010 the price of a university tuition increased to £9,000 and then another £250 in 2016… that’s £9,250 a year just to go to university, and that’s before accommodation, bills and living expenses – Uni is expensive (even more so for international students). Now that Covid-19 has caused face to face lectures to become increasingly replaced with zoom calls, the full £9,250+ of annual university tuition becomes harder and harder to justify.

My main goal as the mature students’ officer would be to make sure that mature students have the opportunity to have their voice heard and their feedback listened to. I feel as if with the current circumstances as they are, and the historic underrepresentation of mature students here at Brookes, every voice needs to be heard.

If elected I will campaign for students to receive partial refunds to their academic tuition while online teaching is implemented, and the value of the “student experience” remains a shadow of its former self.

Post Graduate Students' Officer

Daniel D'Souza-Eva

Hello! My name is Daniel, and I’m running to be your Postgraduate Students’ Officer. I pledge to represent the concerns, views and opinions of all postgraduate students. I will also lobby for improvements relating to issues that affect us.

If elected, I will:

Campaign for free travel on the Brookes Bus service for all postgraduate students

Currently, this is only available to undergraduates and limited to students on just three postgraduate courses. We are likely to be saddled with debt and being asked to pay hundreds more for an annual pass is outrageous. I am sure you agree this is also profoundly unfair, especially for students who live far from their campus. I hope you will join me in petitioning our university and the Oxford Bus Company to allow all postgraduates safe and unrestricted access across this beautiful city.

Endeavour to make sure the quality of your research is not affected by COVID-19 restrictions

We have the opportunity to use wonderful facilities to support our research at Brookes. However, there is a lack of clear information for postgraduate access to laboratories during the pandemic. I will do my best to ensure safe, fair and effective policies are published by the university regarding usage of lab facilities. This would range from equipment sanitisation, to social distancing requirements.

Advocate for partial refunds on tuition fees

It has become evident that postgraduates, alongside all students, have been hit hard by COVID-19. Paying £8,500- £16,000 for the privilege of attending Zoom sessions mixed with the occasional face to face lecture is simply not good enough. In addition to the lack of contact with staff and a lower quality university experience, Brookes has a responsibility to lessen the financial burden on students.

Should you have any questions relating to my policies or would like me to campaign for something, feel free to email me at: 19142450@brookes.ac.uk.

Sports Officer

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Tom Wisniewski

I pledge that if I were elected to the role of Sports Officer I will represent the concerns, views and indeed voices of Sports Students within the Students’ Union. I will take these points and translate them into a meaningful case to improve affairs across the board. Aside from this I would aim to promote sport wider throughout the University and to the surrounding community.

Apart of my main duties, I will aim to liase with all sports teams to gain a real understanding of the needs and what is lacking with each club that is stopping them reach their full potential if that is found to be the case. Whether that would be in the form of funding and if a necessary challenge is required, or that being more exposure specifically on the University's main sports Social Media channels.

Being in a position of experience being apart of Rugby Union for four years, I will be fully versed in the unions constitution relating to sport and all relevant policies. I will aim to make sport as successful as it can be at Oxford Brookes University.

Women's officer

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MEREDITH GRAHAM

Meredith Graham for Women's officer #SAYITLOUD

ABOUT ME

I'm Meredith, I'm a second year Mental health nursing student as well as the founder for Say it Loud, a support group for women whi have been victims of sexual violence, assault and/or harassment. I have training in both support for sexual violence and mental health first aid. I am committed to campaiging for all women in ensuring they have the confidence and support to speak out.

IF ELECTED:

'SAY IT LOUD'

- Ensure that all students are aware of the Say it Loud support group for sexual violence, assault and/or harassment & to encourage all students to speak out about what has happened to them.

WELFARE AND EDUCATION

- Work alongside the Welfare and Well-being team to ensure appropiate support is continously being advertised and promoted to encourage students to come forward about any mental health or trauma related issues. As well as making sure, students and staff are being educated on what to do in the case of sexual harassment or violence.

SAFE TAXI

- Work alongside VP Presidents to ensure the safe taxi is in place and being promoted - including free of charge for NHS students travelling to and from placement.