Meet the new SU President

We asked Elena what she thinks of the Student Union

We spoke to Elena Saldana Quintans, 21, from Seville, Spain about her new role as Student Union President at Brookes. 

Elena was president of Erasmus and Exchange Student Network in third year and that’s how she got this job as President.


What are your hobbies and interests?

I love travelling and meeting new people. I am also a massive foodie. My hobbies are mainly charity work. I love volunteering.

What do you think of the SU?

I think there is a misconception of what the SU is meant to be. We are supposed to provide support for students through services. I think it is a shame that people think it should be a place where there is just cheap beer. It doesn’t mean that we have to have a nightclub.

We do collaborate with clubs in town run good events, like freshers week. I feel there is so much in the city already on the sociable side. I think the SU should give the students something that they can’t get outside of Uni.

What are your plans as President?

There are a lot of changes happening in SU right now such as working more closely with societies and their representatives. My main three goals are:

  • Making sure students know what the Union actually does, I do think it is a shame not many people know what the SU is does.
  • Try to create a ‘what’s on at Brookes’ so that everything that is happening can be accessible online.
  • Finally to collaborate with the uni more. I think one example of this working well was the One World Week. It was a project the SU and the Uni which we thought worked out better.
Elena taking pictures at One World Week

Elena taking pictures at One World Week

Do you think that’s what students want?

I think what students want is already provided in the city by all the other clubs. So we try to provide what isn’t already out there and things that are quite cheap. We hold a lot of non-drinking events.

Why do you think people think we have a bad SU?

I think its because there is an expectation that there should be just a student union bar and not much else. We are so much more than that and people don’t really know what we do. I think people just close themselves off from us as there is a stigma against us.

What about the EGB?

It was organized by an external company. They were expecting to have more people than last year. Because fewer tickets were bought, they wanted us to cover the rest of the costs but we can’t afford that.

We are looking at other options for an end of year ball but nothing is confirmed.

What do you think of the Tab?

I read it a lot. I think there are some really good articles. It’s super interesting. I don’t like the drugs articles though. I was very shocked at the Sex in JHB article, I thought it was funny but was quite shocked by it.

What do you want to do after being President?

I want to stay on in Oxford and work in either marketing or Human resources.

Could you sum up the union in three words?

Support for you.