Meet the candidates running to be LUU Equality and Diversity Officer

They’re equally diverse

Al Lewis, Postgraduate, Disability Studies

How are you feeling about the election?

I’m feeling excited. I’ve started a lot of conversations with the non-E&D candidates on how they’d support equality and diversity in their roles. I want to see who that’s going to be, so regardless of how I do, I can work with them on some issues that are really important to me. (Disabled students access to the union being a big one!)

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

I want to make sure accessibility for disabled students is a priority for every decision we make as a union. Too often disabled students are expected to put up with inaccessibility. The line on the union upgrade making the union more accessible in the long run does little to help students who’re finding it inaccessible because of poor communication and planning during the upgrade.

Why should people vote for you?

Because I’m dedicated to getting the most out of our other student execs, and holding them accountable in all their policy decisions. I know that the people best able to say what marginalised groups need are the people themselves and I’m fully committed to putting their voices at the forefront of our union.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your policies?

I want to provide specific employment support to marginalised students, on topics ranging from how to manage transition in the workplace to what ‘reasonable adjustments’ can mean when talking to employers. I’m a postgraduate and I know how hard it can be to find employment when you’re part of a minority group (especially if you’re part of more than one). Diversity accounts for little if we’re not enabling our minority students to succeed.

Natasha Mutch-Vidal, 4th Year, French and Portuguese 

How are you feeling about the election?

Very apprehensive, the next few days will determine the next year of my life I will either stay here in Leeds and take on an amazing role with a lot of responsibility OR I will slither back to London and watch more Netflix series’ feeling sorry for myself.

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

I would like to be specific and say that introducing a campaign celebrating immigration is something I feel really passionate about, it is important that we remove the negative stigma associated with the word whilst just generally educating ourselves about the contributions different communities have made. It would be a really symbolic event.

Why should people vote for you?

It’s simple, my personality. I am someone who will stand up and is not afraid to get my voice heard. I have been a president of a society, I was a teacher for 6 months on my year abroad and my degree is in languages, so I know how to speak to people because I have worked hard to acquire the necessary communication skills. The role of Equality and diversity officer requires a candidate with a no-nonsense approach . When people are being marginalised and their needs ignored, someone needs to be there to speak up for them and give them their own platform to speak up for themselves. Uni is a daunting place for anyone and I want it to be my job to make it as easy as possible for every student.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your policies?

I am a fourth year student of French and Portuguese, I feel like I have been in Leeds for so long and I should really want to get out of here but I couldn’t think of anything more exciting than working for the university that has shaped me and becoming an Equality and Diversity Officer. If you have any questions you would like to ask, please tweet me @speakupvotetash. My manifesto is there too so check it out!

Khair Yacob, 2nd Year, Contemporary and Professional Studies

How are you feeling about the election?

Extremely nervous, exposed but now very determined from the support and love shown.

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

Improve the relationship between the student and the newly elected executives, LUU, societies, faculties and all groups. Promoting unity and reaffirm Union commitment to equality and diversity.

Why should people vote for you?

I am experienced; committed to all six positions I held and am still holding in my school and the community especially with the disadvantaged, and deprived of higher education. I believe with the skills acquired from these positions, my diverse life experiences and my fresh approaches will further enhance the new Union team and the students.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your policies?

My policies may appear familiar because some are from past manifestos revisited in homage to many brilliant ideas from previous executives and candidates. However my policies, campaign and approaches are fresh, all inclusive and equally diverse. I will also be celebrating the diversity in this University equally.

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