Meet the candidates running for VP Education

Meet the candidates running for VP Education

Why are you running?

Muhammad Faizan Liaqat

I chose to run for the post of VP Education because I believe that every student deserves to have the best possible learning experience, given the time, effort, energy and money that they put into it. Being passionate about education, I know that I have the skills to bring about the change that is needed, I know that I have the ability to support and empower students. It is vital that the students are represented by someone who truly understands them, wants to work for their benefit and knows how to really help. I know because there were times in my student life too when I really wished there was someone who I could trust and rely on, who I could go to for help whenever I needed. Now that there is an opportunity, I myself want to be that person that I wished for. Being an international student myself and bearing the opportunity cost of it, I also want to focus on students coming from abroad and cater to their specific needs. I’ve studied in various schools in Pakistan and in England, I’ve made a lot of friends too and so I think I know what students really want. I come up with ideas and I make plans, and the only way I can effectively implement them is if I have the power, if I’m elected.

Deanna Lyn Cook

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time as a student at Queen Mary but I feel like I’m not quite done here yet. I’ve been active within the Student Union my whole time here, working in the Union at Qmotion, volunteering, playing Netball and becoming President of the Club. I’ve learnt so much about the running of the Union and I want the opportunity to be part of that, to make it an even better place for students.

 

Elmira Tanatarova

There is no incredible overwhelming reason for me running – unfortunately there’s no hero’s journey narrative here. I love student politics, I’m passionate and excited to a sad extent about SU happenings. I believe sabbatical officers can do a lot more than the disenchanted image portrayed of the role as of now, and that’s what drives me.

 

 

Redwan Shahid

I am running because I genuinely feel that there is a disconnect between the people who get elected in our union and the students that they represent. Not only do I have experience in being a trustee at the union for almost two years, but as a trustee, I have spoken to a wide range of students trying to bridge that gap. In conjunction with the BME rep, I have met numerous societies and student groups to start setting up the BME network on our campuses. While people work on slogans to sell to you, I’ve actually been on the ground mobilising students and helping to empower them to be an asset to our community. Of these, a handful even felt encouraged to throw their hat in the ring and take a shot at representing you guys this year. This is why I’m running: you all believe in me to make a difference in your university experience. And I am confident that together we can make great things happen.

Woohaa Reddy N

No response yet.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Muhammad Faizan Liaqat

I believe that being a good leader is about empowering others. If I were to become VP Eduction, I want to create a democratic environment where every student has a say and the power to influence the change they want to see. Without the students there would be no student union, so I think that the students are the union, it is all for them. Every student will have the right to voice their opinion, every student will be welcomed. I want inclusion for everyone so that they can feel at home, relative and appreciated.

Deanna Lyn Cook

I like to think I’m a very democratic leader, I like to make informed decisions, so I will always ask as many people for opinions within my team or my committee [at Netball] before making a big decision. However, I do like to be decisive so if a decision needs to be made, I will make it.

 

Elmira Tanatarova

Democratic and engaging (pardon the buzzwordy nature of that answer.) I strongly believe in the fact that students are passionate and committed and if they were more empowered to shape their education (in terms of not purely academic curricula but societies and SU mandates etc) then they would enjoy their university experience much more. It’s a difficult political climate in to be a student, and if we organised, I know we could make change for the better.

Redwan Shahid

I’m a people-oriented leader. When things need to be done, I am ready to step up and take action and I’m ready to be held accountable for this action. However, my primary focus is to ensure that our reps have adequate support and training so that they feel confident in representing your interests.

Woohaa Reddy N

No response yet.

What do you see as the biggest challenges currently facing the Students’ Union or Queen Mary more broadly?

Muhammad Faizan Liaqat

I think that in regards to the SU, the student body at Queen Mary needs to have more knowledge about it, they should be informed regularly about what goes on in the students union and how it’s run so that they can benefit from it and also be a part of it if they want. In my opinion and according to what I’ve noticed, we need to have more events with other universities because the students at QMUL could use some more social interaction and exposure. Also, there should be proper implementation of the course curriculum for the convenience of the students.

Deanna Lyn Cook

I think as the world gets more and more competitive within the job market, any University has a responsibility to produce graduates that feel equipped to leave the student bubble and enter the working world. I think Queen Mary is facing the challenge of molding student’s into well rounded individuals that are able to thrive after University.

 

Elmira Tanatarova

Although this is a broader issue on a national (and even international) scale, I believe the marketisation of education is the biggest challenge facing both QM and our SU. I believe the commodification of our education has scared SU’s into depoliticisation  (ours included) and has made university’s more incentivised to spend money on marketing rather than students and staff.

Redwan Shahid

In terms of the SU, without a doubt the biggest problem is engagement. Of course, engagement has been increasing steadily and I’m very proud of that, but I have no hesitation in saying that we can be doing a lot more to engage a wider demographic of students. This is not me being over-dramatic; the recent study conducted to create our new strategic plan has evidenced this. I strongly believe that if we have strong grassroots links, we will have a more powerful lobby and create an even better student experience. For Queen Mary itself, one immediate issue I want to address is how we are pumping a lot of money into getting new students to join the university, while not investing nearly enough into our study spaces to benefit the students that are already here.

Woohaa Reddy N

No response yet.

If you could invite five people, dead or alive to a dinner party, who would you invite?

Muhammad Faizan Liaqat

Quaid, Muhammad Ali Jinnah – From all the pictures I’ve seen and all the things I’ve heard, he seems to have been one hell of an extraordinary and charming man. I want to see that for myself and ask him what drove him to take such huge steps and achieve what he did only for the people’s benefit.

Donald Trump – To ask him how he really won. I mean, there has got to be something, right?

Stephen Hawking – One of those people with the world’s highest IQ’s. I find his journey of life interesting and I’d also like to ask him what it’s like to be that intelligent. If I’m honest, it was ever since I watched that movie made on his life, “the theory of everything” that I’ve wanted to have dinner with him.

Albert Einstein- Given that he’s always been one the most popular dead people and also because I’ve always wanted to know about his whole hair situation.

Princess Diana – Her death has always been a mystery with all the conspiracies about it and I’m interested so I’d like to know the reality of it, or mostly because it would add a pretty lady to the table among all the very seriously intellectual people. And now I think I’ve managed to put together quite an interesting group of people to have dinner with.

Deanna Lyn Cook

Jesse Owens – I would love to know how it truly felt to come 1930s segregated America, to Nazi occupied Germany to compete and dominate in the Olympic games as a black man. Also, I would love to give him the congratulations he deserves, as he never received it when he went back to America.’

Laverne Cox – She has been a pioneer in the LGBTQ community and I would like to meet her and hear her opinions on so many different topics, regarding race, the LGBTQ community, politics and even acting. Also, her role as Sophia Burset in Orange is the New Black was phenomenal.

Bob Marley – I am writing my dissertation about political, social and religious influences on reggae music and I have so many questions for the most well-known reggae artist in the world.

Ai Weiwei – He is one of the coolest conceptual artists to ever live (in my humble opinion) and he has so much to say about Chinese politics and art in general and would bring some fascinating stories about his activism through art against the Chinese government.

Bashar al-Assad – I think there’s a lot he needs to answer for and maybe a dinner party isn’t the place but there are so many questions, it would be a start.

Elmira Tanatarova

George Harrison

Yuri Gagarin

Huey Newton

Beyoncé

Ruby Bridges

Redwan Shahid

Malcolm X

James Baldwin

Akala

Ahed Tamimi

Omar Al-Mokhtar

Woohaa Reddy N

No response yet.


Section: Elections, News

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