CO-PRESIDENT WELFARE & CAMPAIGNS - Valeria Racu
0207 898 4934 - Room G8
“The only way to survive is by taking care of one another” - Grace Lee Boggs
Hi there! I’m Valeria, your Co-President Welfare & Campaigns, and I’m looking forward to working with you to create the university we aspire to be. In a world like today’s, overwhelmingly on crisis at many different levels, it is essential to keep it radical by both raising our voices against injustices as well as by taking the time and space to stop, breathe and heal properly. Therefore, I am here to facilitate student-led campaigns as well as support you through your university journey, especially when you might need it more.
Although diverse paths have got us here, the one thing we have in common are the lived experiences we all carry on our backs. They certainly are different (and that should always be recognised), but we are all part of powerful discriminatory structures that have impacted our lives in one way or another due to our own experiences of race, gender, class, (dis)ability, borders, etc. Let’s use those to create a strong community of solidarity and support and make the most of the enormous power and privilege we have for being students in a London university such as SOAS!
Therefore, I invite you to take the radical ideas you will discuss in your lectures and put them into action here and beyond. There are many ways of being a student activist and I encourage you all to explore your own. Be it campaigning for climate justice in the global south, fighting neofascism on campus, calling out ableism in the classroom or getting together to shape the university's gender based violence policy - there's always something you can do. Find your voice, share your thoughts and create a community to care for, fight with and show solidarity to. But also go beyond that: check yourself, question your own ideas and unpack your life experiences, learn from yourself as much as from the ones around you, both inside and outside the classroom. Remember student movements across the globe have been essential in many social movements, and we can definitely continue that tradition.
However, there’s no struggle without collective self care - it is also radical to take it easy and find the time to care for ourselves and each other. Count on me, the other Sabbs as well as the Students’ Union in general to support you with whatever you are going through. Be it depression, academic anxiety, the loss of a loved one or fear at the political situation here or elsewhere, you are not alone. We are here for you, rest assured and confident that you will have our backing.