Maxine Mallon
Maxine Mallon

Working Class Students Officer

Maxine Mallon

(she/they)

Email: workingclass@soas.ac.uk

 

Hi, I’m Maxine (she/they), a second year BA International Relations and Development Studies student. This year, as the working class students officer, my priorities are to build on the tradition of working class solidarity at SOAS. This manifests both in the form of active campaigning but also concretely changing the material conditions of working class students at SOAS. At the heart of this is setting up a consistent means of dialogue with the working class student body that does not currently exist, through assemblies, forums and workshops. I will also prioritise campaigning for free education, both in the sense of no tuition fees as well as a liberated, decolonised education. We must also build on student-staff solidarity as a means to challenge the conditions of work exploitation which we as working class students, alongside staff, inevitably suffer from under the current system - this means supporting strike action led both by the teaching staff and the service workers of SOAS. I also aim to facilitate workshops that would be beneficial to working class students resistance against the conditions imposed on us by capitalism and work exploitation, such as understanding our rights as renters and challenging our landlords.

 

Please don't hesitate to contact me at workingclass@soas.ac.uk. I will also do my best to help anyone in the process of applying for additional grants and funding and any other concerns or queries are welcome too! 

 

 

My Manifesto

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 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

  • Setting up regular means of dialogue between the liberation SU officers and the corresponding part of the student body, which their role concerns, that carries on beyond the point of someone's time in that role; as these officer roles are passed onto the next person, those new to the role should not be starting from scratch and officers should have a handover period to continue building on the work that has been done to maintain consistent dialogue with the student body and increase participation and democratic processes of the Student’s Union

 

 

This webpage was last updated on: 09 Dec 2021 11:42