By: Malaka Mohammed
This is going to be a bit long, but I am sure it is of importance as well. Maybe some of you have already known that I am running for the National Union of Students (NUS) block of 15. I am running because I believe that students’ unions can change lives. First-hand experience has taught me that student activists working as a team can have a transformative impact. If Sheffield Students’ Union didn’t lobby the University for a Fee Waiver, I would not be here. In September 2013, I crossed tens of checkpoints from Gaza to pursue my education. I had then been nominated for an officer position and despite MA deadlines, EU tour talk and the only five months I have spent in Sheffield, I decided to run for the election. I gave talks in over 67 campuses all over the world on the right to education, finished my deadlines, and came first in a very tough competition with the highest number of votes in the history of Sheffield Students’ Union.
For me, this election is about identifying the small matters that accumulate and create the bigger problems and challenging them in order to move forwards and be successful in standing up for what’s right. My team achievements include £15k for more books, removing all library fines, an annual full fee waiver for a Masters student, lecture recording policy, better assessment & feedback, BME take the lead, re-forming the Academic Representative Committee, qualitative learning spaces, better representations for postgraduates, the first ever virtual cultural exchange #SheffGaza2015, etc.
If elected, my three main priorities are to 1) widen participation for all by campaigning for free education, joining virtual educational projects globally, and promoting a culture of liberation which is my main passion. Every voice is important. I want to see everyone integrating and enjoying what they are doing by bridging gaps, raising awareness & introducing interactive sessions. I want to 2) empower you as a student, student union and member of a community. I believe that we all have the power to make a change. During my work as an officer, I helped student activists in making their ideas reality. I will work to ensure NUS works alongside you to realise local campaigns and goals. As an international postgraduate education officer with a humble experience of lobbying universities and students’ unions to get things done, 3) I want to bring what I achieved into a national level. International peace and justice and more campaigns for postgraduate and international students who seem to be left in many of the NUS campaigns is a priority. They have concerns that fully deserve all our attention.
How can you support my campaign? Every little help does count. From sharing, liking, retweeting or favouriting social media posts, sharing your own posts using these two hashtags #Malaka4Block and #NUSNC15, telling any NUS delegate about my manifesto, and showing support in my Facebook page Malaka #1 for Block of 15.
Thank you all 🙂