Ella Spencer
Ella Spencer

Welfare and Campaigns

Ella Spencer


Email: es32@soas.ac.uk


Hey everyone, I’m Ella, your new Co-President for Welfare & Campaigns for 2021/22! In my three years at SOAS the most important things I learnt were from campaign work, which motivated me to run for this position. This year I want to support you, the SOAS community, in collectively imagining and building spaces within and beyond the university that centre care and education, reject marketisation and surveillance, and fight for a free, fair and decolonised education. My manifesto priorities are to work with the Palestine Society to fulfil the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions mandate, to deliver workshops on resisting the Prevent agenda, to work alongside worker solidarity campaigns Justice For Workers and Fractionals For Fair Play to ensure safe & dignified working conditions for all staff at SOAS and to finish overseeing the Trans* Equality policy review recently undertaken by Gendered Intelligence. I see welfare & campaign work as inseparable, as caring for each other is just as important as any other kind of activism in dismantling oppressive structures and building a better world. Reach out to me at es32@soas.ac.uk with ideas, questions or concerns!


My Manifesto

The most important things I have learned at SOAS have been through friends, community and campaigns. I will make sure that these spaces of learning that take place outside of the classroom continue to exist and centre those who are marginalised within the university. Welfare is a natural part of campaign work, as community and care play an important role in dismantling oppressive structures just as much as other forms of activism. I will support the SOAS community in collectively imagining and building spaces within the university that centre care and education, reject the logics of marketisation and surveillance and fight for a free, fair and decolonised education. 



  • Fulfil the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions mandate and work towards a school-wide referendum reaffirming our commitment to BDS as called for by the SOAS Palestine Society and Palestinian civil society 

  • End SOAS’ relationship with the Ministry of Defence and other companies that profit from the arms trade and Israeli apartheid 

  • Continue my work with Preventing Prevent SOAS, especially in light of the recent government crackdown on critical thought under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’ by implementing/ delivering workshops on Prevent to the SU executive team, student repts, societies and campaigns 

  • Work alongside Preventing Prevent SOAS in delivering workshops to academic and professional staff 

  • Build this up to the national level by delivering workshops and facilitation trainings on Prevent to other Student Unions and campaigns 

  • Bring back the decolonisation agenda of the 2015 Rhodes Must Fall movement  - not within the institution but by supporting and working with external organisations already doing decolonial work such as Campaign Against Prison Expansion, Gendered Intelligence, We Exist London

  • Put the ‘A’ back in SOAS by fighting alongside student organisations for the protection of Africa modules within regional studies after the defunding of the Africa department 

  • No decolonisation without demilitarisation - end SOAS’ contract with the Ministry of Defence 

  • Continue to work alongside Justice For Workers and Fractionals For Fair Play to ensure safe and dignified working conditions for all staff at SOAS 

  • Get SOAS to commit to providing Spanish translation for the cleaning team on a permanent basis to enable their full participation in meetings and financial decisions, which they are currently excluded from 

  • Continue my work with SOASWTFEES and at the national level to fight for free higher education as a right for all #StudentsNotConsumers 

  • Continue working with SOASWTFEES as a platform for students to voice issues related to online learning and SOAS’ poor handling of the pandemic 

  • Pressure SOAS to reject the logics of marketisation and privatisation and to work with other universities and national bodies to lobby the government to invest in higher education 

  • Facilitate political education on the rich history of activism at SOAS and beyond to empower students and build our community 



Ensure the SU is approachable, confidential and accessible: 

  • An open door policy - hopefully a physical door as well as a virtual one!
  • Regular open forums 
  • Accessible information on mitigating circumstances, academic affairs and general SU & SOAS bureaucracy 
  • Workshops on Cyber welfare, online consent and countering bullying and harassment

  • Facilitating consistent safe spaces for liberation groups 

  • Centre care, joy and community - especially after the panoramic

  • Work alongside part time officers in exec to facilitate Black and POC specific mental health access and workshops 

  • Work alongside officers in exec to ensure specific welfare access designed for international students and postgraduate as they are often left out of conversations around welfare 

  • Oversee the implementation of Spectra’s partnership with SOAS to provide mental health support for trans and nonbinary students 

  • Finish overseeing the Trans* Equality policy review alongside Gendered Intelligence, ensuring that it is followed up by an action plan with a project lead from SOAS management

Officer Blog

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This webpage was last updated on: 04 Aug 2021 17:35