Indian Woman from Karnataka Elected Oxford Student Union President
Rashmi Samant is the first Indian woman to occupy the position of president of the Oxford Student Union.
Rashmi Samant won the prestigious position of Oxford Student Union Presidency on Thursday, 11 February. An alumna of Manipal Institute of Technology, Samant is the first Indian woman to occupy the position of Oxford Student Union President after she received more than the combined votes of the other three candidates for the post.
According to the official data present on the web portal of Oxford Student Union, the election saw 4,881 students cast 36,405 votes. Samant received 1966 of the 3708 casts for the position of President, more than all the other candidates combined.
Samant contested the election with four main goals that include decolonisation and inclusivity, COVID-19 interventions for all, access to quality mental health resources and decarbonising the university. She further stated that she will also lobby for the removal of statues of those proven to be imperialist, including that of Christopher Codrington, a known slave owner who inherited one of the largest sugar plantations in Barbados in the 17th century, in the University and Conference of colleges.
“My major goal is just that I want to make sure that every student, no matter their background and their identity, feels like they belong here,” said Rashmi Samant during her interview before becoming the President-elect.Rashmi Samant
“Reform Oxford is my tagline,” she added.
The graduate student of MSc in energy systems at Linacre College, Oxford University hopes to push for waivers of residency requirements until the World Health Organisation declares the end of the pandemic, urge to increase funding for the mental health strategy at the university and ensure that the Conference of Colleges divest from fossil fuels at the earliest.
Hailing from Manipal, Samant completed her schooling and graduation there.
“She was known for her leadership skills and spirited nature at the institute. She was the Technical Secretary of the Student Council at MIT, Manipal and helped initiate a number of constructive activities at the institute. Manipal Hackathon, an event to incubate modern digital solutions to the societal challenges were conceived and introduced at MIT primarily because of her efforts,” said a statement issued by Manipal Institute of Technology, MAHE about Samant who studied Mechanical Engineering (2016-2020 batch).
(This story was first published in The News Minute and has been republished with permission)
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