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‘Welfare and Community is not just a passion of mine, it is my life’: Daphne Li is running for VP Welfare & Community

Daphne wants to raise awareness of mental health, sexual consent and celebrate multi-ethnic communities

Psychology & Criminology student Daphne Li is one of four candidates running for VP Welfare and Community this year. We asked Daphne all the important questions (including her fav meme, obvs) about why she should be elected and what she hopes to change, and this is what she had to say!

Why do you think you’d be good in this role?

Firstly, I grew up in a white dominated school, where for extended periods of time, I was the only ethnic minority during my studies there. It was bad enough that I felt isolated because of my poor communication skills (I learnt how to speak English on my own), but in the name of celebrating my culture, my school only further isolated me from the community. To the point where I no longer considered myself as an ethic minority but instead tried to act more “white” to fit into the community.

Secondly, mental health is an illness that I have battled with for the majority of my education and for the most part have been left to deal with on my own in silence. When I started studying at the university, I had to figure out many things on my own: the direction of my life, working out how to live independently, the stress of studying with my mental health and figuring out who I was after my experiences at school. These aspects of life made me feel very isolated from society and in turn had a dark impact on my mental health, to the point where I was hospitalised.

Because of this, I believe that my personal experiences with mental health and the feeling of community isolation, are the exact reasons why I should be VP Welfare and Community. I believe to truly understand and to make an impact you have to be part of the narrative, because then you know exactly how it feels. Therefore, I know exactly how others feel in similar situations.

What is the most important point in your manifesto?

I feel it would be unwise for myself or anyone to pick one key point above another when considering mental health, sexual consent and raising awareness/celebrating multi-ethnic communities. We must focus on all these areas to ensure we improve the student experience across the board so that no student is forgotten or isolated. So, I guess the most important point in my manifesto is the students themselves.

What is the first thing you’d change if you were elected?

Organising a series of “De-Stress” events (such as Puppies/ Kittens, Arts and Crafts, Pottery, Baking, etc.) ready for the start of the new academic year. These events will enable students to come together as a community to relax and support each other during this stressful period of life. At the same time, it would be important to start planning longer projects like simplifying the SUSU website to make support services more accessible and securing more funding from the university to support my Mental Health and Sexual Consent initiatives.

What area of our Student Union do you think needs the greatest improvement?

How the Student Union communicates with the students. Previous candidates have preached about creating transparency within the Union, yet to this date, students still do not know what the Union truly does. I would make the students actively aware of projects happening within the Union and get their opinions on it. I think this lack of communication with the students has caused a rift that makes students feel isolated and disengaged.

What makes you different from the other candidates also running for the same position?

Firstly, I think every candidate has amazing ideas and are extremely passionate about Welfare and Community which is awesome to see. I’ve studied mental and sexual health as part of my University course with the hopes of a career in this sector in the future. I believe my studies will help me in the VP position as it allow me to apply my broader knowledge into helping students.

Secondly, I am an ethnic minority, I have struggled with this whilst being at a white catholic school, I understand how some ideas/ attempts of inclusion can achieve the complete opposite.

Furthermore, I think what makes me stand out from the other candidates is that I have not only shared what I want to achieve if elected, but HOW I want to achieve my plans. Welfare and Community is not just a passion of mine, it is my life.

How would you celebrate if you won?

Cry with joy, then nap.

Any secret talents?

Whenever I pick up my phone, I travel forward in time.

What is the maddest thing you’ve done since being at Uni?

This campaign. I have never had so many people be so interested or focused on my ideas or views before. I love the spotlight but at times the anxiety makes it challenging. This experience is constantly pushing me to be more than I thought I was.

Favourite post-night-out food?

Cheesy Chips are definitely a go to, even though I’m lactose intolerant.

What is your favourite Soton Tab meme?

The flamingos meme is on point!

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