Candidate for the position of Working Class Students' Officer



Hi, I’m Maxine (she/they), a second year BA International Relations and Development Studies student and I’m running to be your next Working Class Students Officer.

My journey of political radicalisation has come through both education and action. I was introduced to this realm firstly through school climate strikes; then through building and providing sound in the streets for local protests and actions, leading to the creation of Critical Youth Sound System; and through organising in the Kill the Bill movement. In my first year at SOAS, I engaged in the WTFees campaign, in which we campaigned against the marketisation of HE, the resulting student and worker exploitation and for the abolition of the racist Prevent policy. I also organise on the committee for the Uyghur Solidarity Society, in which we demand SOAS cut financial ties with corporations profiting from the forced labour in the region and organise regular direct actions on the issue.

In this role, I will campaign on the material issues facing working class students and staff at SOAS, and organise around internationalist working class politics on campus. Students’ issues are inextricably attached to working class politics. Most of us have to work alongside our studies because of high rents, high fees and lack of living grants, all of which are symptoms of the marketisation of universities, to then receive low wages and exploitation at work.

Furthermore, our academic learning conditions are tied to the working conditions of academic and service workers. Without strong workers’ resistance on campus, our learning conditions will suffer.  As SOAS continues to market itself on its anticolonial approach, it persists in making cuts to departments, especially of African studies, whilst maintaining institutional hierarchy and refusing to cut the 6-figure salaries of management staff. I stand in full solidarity with existing SOAS workers campaigns like Justice4Workers and Fractionals For Fair Play and will dedicate time to pressuring management into accepting their long-standing demands, as well as supporting upcoming strike actions that staff decide on.

My priorities as Working Class Students Officer are:

  • Fighting for a free education; open and accessible to all

  • Holding SOAS’ anticolonial ethos to account and #FireHabib; class struggle is an anti-racist and international struggle too

  • Supporting working class students' material conditions; through applying for grants and funding or winning housing disputes, as immediate material change is also vital to the long-term class struggle

  • Building student-staff solidarity; successful campaigns at SOAS have shown many times that we can win serious demands when students and workers take action together, like the recent implementation of the cleaners rota! I want to build on this to continue the fight to make SOAS work for working-class students and the staff, not for profit

Powered by MSL