I am Luisa.
Massive Human Rights nerd and absolute bookworm who cannot play video games. Or sing. I cannot cook or bake either. And I am a fake extrovert.
This does not predict a great start, but there are a lot of things I can do, like the best vegan pancakes. I can also listen to my friends for hours. Everyone knows our door is always open, in case anyone needs to vent, cry or get some unconventional pseudo-therapy. I have always been stubborn and strong-minded, so I have never expected to be depressed, anxious, or wake up having a panic attack. But it happens. Same as feeling like your hope and self-esteem are sinking. Or misunderstood. Or clueless. I have learned a lot and, perhaps due to my Human Rights background, I want to give a bit back and make myself useful whenever my skills recommend me. Welfare is about everything I stand for: mental health, wellbeing, a solid emotional education, community spirit and making sure everyone has all necessary resources available (access to medical services, therapy, medication, societies, entertainment), whether they want them or not. So here I am, running for something I am willing to put all of my energy into.
Why? As a student who has been working, running societies, organizing events and being part of the parliament, I have a lot of experience and a deeper level of understanding when it comes to most struggle students tend to encounter. I am not afraid to speak my mind; I might not be the funniest, most captivating person (definitely not), but I’ve advocated, ran campaigns, raised awareness and presented students’ initiatives to the SU, so I am the person who can take all possible and necessary (legal) steps into protecting our interests.
Another question presented in the manifesto plan has to do with the ways in which I am planning to represent the students. I have been working within the SU framework long enough to know what the “by law” representation means. However, the elected officers’ main attribution is that of pushing for the students’ needs to be fulfilled, as well as listening to their complaints and taking all possible steps into improving their lives as much as it is within their power. However, after gaining experience in organizing events and talks for years, I’ve became one of those people who worship the power of face-to-face talks. Therefore, I think students should choose the way in which they want to be represented and have a space in which they can express their concerns regarding their welfare within the university climate. Therefore, some monthly open forums are highly necessary. SU stands for a no bullshitting policy. That’s the last thing I intend on doing. Therefore, my student forums concept is not about promising everyone blue unicorns are going to fly around on pink cotton-candy like clouds, but about showing compassion, understanding and passion. It would not mean that every voiced concern would be sorted out, but that most concerns would get a reasonable, honest answer. A form of respect After all, we’ll be covered in debt at the end of the uni. Better make the best out of it.
I have not used a particularly formal style of writing. However, don’t be fooled. I’ve got plenty of skills. I have been a VTeam session leader and the secretary for Amnesty. I am the Human Rights Society President and an individual representative in the Students’ Parliament. I have organized fundraisings and events. Heck, I made a metal festival on campus from scratch (with the help of so many talented and dedicated people who sacrificed lots of time and patience) and created building ‘Building Bridges’, an event which I want to continue working on (time crisis), which aims to raise awareness and promote cultural diversity. I have supported the Climate Emergency students’ initiative in the Parliament. I am one of the students who have successfully fought for turning Essex into a sanctuary university. In December 2019, I have worked on hosting the Human Rights Week (best week of the winter term, if you were to ask the nerd within me). Throughout my actions and activities, I have always done my best into cultivating a community spirit, raising awareness and supporting students. I have made mistakes, gained experience and learned a lot. My secret superpower is completing paperwork insanely fast.
This question will come up, so I have no intention on beating around the bush. For the new guys out here, I have tried running last year as well. Have I gained or learned anything? Being humble. Knowing there is still a lot to learn (all the time). And I am quite sure I've got some decent leadership skills. Getting people to build a campaing in less than two weeks without them gaining anything in return is quite a lot. But what we have all got back were friendships, collaboration projects, hugs, a nice after party, free make-up sessions, back pains from painting banners and lots of sleep. And I have definately learnt I shouldn't make this about winning. This year, we will spread awareness, entertain ourselves and go on with our crazy networking, hoping to push more projects before university is over. And getting out of our comfort zone. So yeah, I guess it's worth it.
Follow my campaign and I can guarantee you won’t get bored. It will be deadly efficient and embarrassing. Don’t be a poser. Vote for the real deal.