On Wednesday, voting opened in the by-elections, for the positions of Black and Ethnic Minorities Officer (BME), Disabled Students’ Officer, International Students’ Officer and Mature Students’ Officer.

The previous BME officer Rebecca Schapira, resigned due to personal reasons: “It is not in my work ethic to do any job half-heartedly and I really believe it was not fair for the BME students I represent, the student union and myself to continue. I wish this didn’t have to happen as I had high hopes for the BME network this year.

I wish the network lots of luck and hope a great candidate will replace me to continue my goal of transforming the network into something that is effective and relevant for Nottingham’s BME student community.”

The only candidate running for BME officer is Amina Parmina Vora. She is campaigning for better access and support for BME students, education and awareness on different faces of racism, working with the NUS and Nottingham Union to boost the effectiveness of the campaigns.

The outgoing Disabled Students’ Officer, Joseph Clough was forced to resign due to a serious accident: “I hope for my successor to establish a successful Disabled Students’ Network and represent their constituents well.” Reuben Kirkham, who is running as his replacement, has proposed re-launching the Disabled Students’ Network, and ensuring inclusive teaching practices at Nottingham and equal career and personal development opportunities for all.”

There are eight candidates running for International Students’ Officer: Anastasia Anne Richmond, Emmanuel Sebijjo, Ipek Ergin, Juozas Norvaisa, Layoiye Okikiade Fame, Mohamed Youssef, Muhammed Hassan and Neha Singh. Their proposed policies range from introducing more scholarships for international students to creating a Facebook support group. Former officer Mohammed Toqueer Alam was unavailable for comment

Previous Mature students’ officer Adam Abukari intended to resign earlier but feared that it would have caused problems in the re-election process, so he left the General Secretary in charge; however, he is happy the by-election has been called and wishes to withdraw his interest in being the Mature Students’ Officer again:

“I wish all the contestants a healthy competition and success. I do hope that all mature students at the University of Nottingham will join forces, exercise their franchise and support the winner to constitute a more viable Mature Students’ Committee – that is my humble plea to all Mature Students. I hope that the winner will actively respond to the felt needs of all mature students and ensuring that the voices of mature students are heard loudly both in the SU and at the university level. I shall support any one that emerges as the winner.”

The sole candidate for the role Alistair Anderson is a second-year history student; he wants to establish firmer links between mature students and the wider body of students to improve the Mature Students’ Network.

Voting runs until the 7th December.

Sabreena Zuleika

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