My name is Anna (she/they) and I’m running to be your Mature Students Rep for the SOAS Student Union.
Mature Students is such a strange name, but I like to think it means we are a group of students whose complex lives, lived experience(s), and individual stories bring something extra to the table during our time at SOAS. I have been out of the world of higher education since 2016, and am finding the transition back both invigorating and challenging, as I’m sure many of you are as well. I would like to be given the opportunity to advocate for and work alongside fellow students who, like me, have commitments, connections, passions, and lives both inside and outside the walls of SOAS, those of us who have to may balance caregiving, work and careers, long commutes, and other responsibilities with those of being a student.
As Mature Students Officer I will advocate for the following (including but not limited to):
- Support for re-entry into academic life
- Support for academic success, such as academic writing, study skills, and assignment/assessment criteria and guidance
- Career(s) and life-after-SOAS advice
- Expanded (peer and faculty) mentoring
- Multiple modalities of participation in academic and campus life
- Support for physical and mental health and well-being
- Consideration, flexibility, and (reasonable) advanced notice for scheduling and schedule changes in programming
- Proactive communication
- Inclusion into social and campus life of the university
Additionally, I bring to this role experience in (labor) union organising. From 2019-2021, I served as Teacher Building Rep for my secondary school in the Highline Educators Association (HEA), the teachers’ union for a school district in Seattle, USA. In that role I advocated for the needs of members, worked on contract negotiations, and helped facilitate and mediate conversations between members, management, and community. I also helped navigate my building and school district through the ever-changing and complex challenges brought on by the pandemic. I loved this work, because I was able to be megaphone for my peers and colleagues, I was able to bring attention to inequities and injustices in our workplace, and I was able to foster a productive, honest, and even convivial relationship between membership and management.
Thank you for your consideration for this role!