On 6 March, The Badger interviewed several candidates in the Sussex Student Unions’ Leadership Elections, including those for International Students’ Officer.

This role involves representing and supporting all international students at the University (this includes EU, non-EU and exchange students). They will work on issues relevant to international students, including helping them settle into the UK and life at University, academic concerns, language skills, housing, cultural events and activities.

Voting is open now on the Elections page of the Sussex Student Unions’ website until 5 pm on Friday 15 March. The results will be announced at 6 pm on Friday 15 March.

DISCLAIMER: The candidates featured in this article are the ones who attended The Badger’s media day on 6 March. You can see the full list of candidates and their manifestos on the Elections page of the Sussex Student Unions’ website.

Debarshee Samanta

Debarshee Samanta is a postgraduate student of MA Development Studies in IDS and a member of the slate ‘Shake Up Sussex.’ One of the key issues that Samanta would like to tackle is the increasing awarding gap at Sussex. He believes that “diversity and inclusion […] shouldn’t be just words.” If elected, Samanta would campaign to secure scholarships for Palestinian students, ensure liberation-based housing for LGBTQIA+ students, and continue the work of the International Student Committee.

Bhavana Sarath

Bhavana Sarath is a third-year undergraduate student of Anthropology, International Officer of BAMESOC, and a member of the slate ‘Strive’. If elected, she would work towards reducing financial burdens, building a stronger community and diversifying campus. Sarath “see[s] the potential for change” and feels passionate about ensuring that international students “don’t feel lonely, scared, in a strange world where nothing makes sense.”

Mehmet Ipek

Mehmet Ipek is the President of Student Socialist Alternative and a member of the slate ‘Reinvent Sussex’. If elected, Ipek would campaign for an end to the higher international student fees, support and bolster the pro-Palestine voices on campus, and re-opne the International Student Centre. Ipek would also work towards stopping the university from “using international students as disposable resources.”

Blessing Tunde Dada

Blessing Tunde Dada is the current International Student Representative. He is focussed on diversity and unity, ensuring that international students “don’t simply have a voice, but that their voices are heard.” If elected, Tunde Dada will establish open communication channels, enhance academic support and inclusivity, and promote holistic development. He would like to work towards “a thriving international community where every voice is valued, every challenge is addressed, and every potential is realised.”

Leobohang Moshanyana

Lebohang Moshanyana is studying for a Masters in Genetic Manipulation and Molecular Cell Biology and is a member of the slate ‘Revive’ who aims to “revive international students’ voices and unite our campus. If elected, she will advocate against the fee gap, make all financial aid and scholarships visible to international students across the world, and lobby for the reduction of the Brighton and Hove bus fares for students.

Esther Adeyemo

Esther Adeyomo is a postgraduate student of Governance, Development and Public Policy. If elected, she will work towards harmonising the international student community, securing more commitment for funding and career support, and increasing mental health and other support services. Her slogan, “Facilitating Actual Support” illustrates her goal for a future in which the Students’ Union “actually represents the voice of the people.”

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