Candidate for the position of Environment Officer




My name is Jacob Stewart and I believe I would be an ideal candidate for the Environment Officer position within our Student Union. I am currently a one-year MSc Environment, Politics and Development student here at SOAS. 

Previously, I worked for Student Case Management (CSM) at Colorado State University as one of five liaisons between a student body of 30,000 and the university. This actualized itself in advocating for international students’ accommodations for specific holidays or events, representing students with extenuating circumstances (e.g family death, severe illness, campus-wide crises) in institutional forums, and providing accommodations for students with disabilities. I worked on successfully relaying information to higher education administration and academics while also advising students on the best ways to go about dealing with their specific and immediate situations. While working for CSM I was also working as a research assistant for a Political Ecologist out of the Geography and Anthropology department. We took an environmental justice approach to resources extraction policies that were impacting marginalized communities in the Bears Ears and Escalante desert regions. I worked in surveying the local communities as well as building a historically contextualized framework for the area to better understand the regimes that have long underpinned these environments and the people in them.

Combining my passions within both of these positions I’d like to further my work advocating for people in their relationships to their environments. I would like to do that as your Environment Officer. I would like to advocate for our relationships with space and place here on campus. I want to be able to express the needs and wants of my cohorts to a larger audience of people that can produce action-based change. I want to hold space for debates, conversations, and discourse around environmental issues that have real-world impacts on us today. SOAS has a proven track record of being an environmentally sustainable school with making historically impactful leaps in 2015-2017. I believe now, more than ever, it is important to further these conversations around socio-environmental policy here within the Student Union.


Manifesto | Platform:

To continue with the pre-established environmental excellence of SOAS:

  • Further the sustainability themes upheld by SOAS via advocacy for more efficient energy standards, and practices, in our post-Eco Campus award era.

To simultaneously tackle problems with waste management and socio-environmental problems around students' knowledge of food systems/food access:

  • Present a streamlined ‘composting’ scheme to educate students about composting policy in London and how they can take action in their own homes... 
  • And implement it on campus with a direct connection to producing soil for the SU Community Garden

To advocate for intersectional environmental justice:

  • Introduce environmental and sustainability career days to connect students with professionals in careers they are passionate about.
  • Continue the events surrounding environmental/sustainability education while introducing more opportunities for environmental justice knowledge.

To fight the global concern of e-waste:

  • Readdress previous years' WEEE amnesty days and electronic waste management systems on campus.

I similarly believe the Officer role should actively work towards the decolonization of higher educational institutions. This position requires people to feel comfortable bringing forward a diverse range of difficult issues and topics to their representatives; thus, their representatives must be approachable, diligent, and attentive to effectively represent their cohorts and make change actively. I believe I can execute the duties of this position well and be an advocate for the fight against racist regimes within sustainability. I am passionate about being a bridge between students and institutions and would like to pursue this work by being your Environmental Officer. 

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