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Queen Margaret Union by-elections – manifesto reviews and analysis

By Hailie Pentleton

The QMU are electing current and first year student representatives.

It’s election season at the University of Glasgow once again. On Thursday 15 October, all registered members of the QMU will have the opportunity to vote for first year and current student representatives. Both positions open to first year students are uncontested. 

Current Student Representative (12 months)

Jack Gibson

Currently studying an MSc in Russian, East European, and Eurasian studies, Jack was intermittently involved with the QMU during his time as an undergraduate and would now like to take that involvement to the next level as a student representative on the board. He has experience working in tech and creating digital content to help other students to stay connected throughout the pandemic.  

Sanskar Ranglani

Sanskar is currently the secretary for the QMU’s mental health campaign Elephant in the Room, which aims to destigmatise mental health issues and link students to support services. If elected, the second year neuroscience student will aim to build upon his previous work within the QMU to ensure that the recently established Culture and Diversity Committee can have a positive impact on the union. He would like to see more engagement from international students, and for the union to celebrate more international holidays and events. He also wants to help the union to improve their cross-campus relations and would especially like to increase the reach of Elephant in the Room through collaboration with different societies. Sanskar hopes that the campaign can work toward encouraging the University to streamline mental health support. 

Ross Johnstone

Ross is a fourth year Computing Science student, and seemingly a man of few words. After enjoying his time as a freshers’ helper, he would like to get more involved behind the scenes and “make the QMU great again”. 

Current Student Representative (6 months) 

Fatima Saeed 

If re-elected, Fatima, a second year Economics and Politics student, would like to build upon her experience of working within the QMU with three goals in mind. Firstly, she would like to continue her work within the Cultural Sub-Committee to further diversify the cultures that are both celebrated and represented at the QMU. She would also like to continue her work with Elephant in the Room to help students gain any required mental health support or resources. Like Sanskar, she hopes to contribute towards the push for streamlined mental health support across campus. Lastly, Fatima wishes to be a voice for all QMU members and to represent experiences beyond her own. 

Iona Murfitt

Iona is a third year law student who promises to mend your clothes and cook for you if elected. Her manifesto focuses mainly on developing the union’s social presence and hosting a variety of guideline-compliant events to help students to socialise whilst we’re distanced. Her ideas include art exhibitions, an online talent show, and inter-flat competitions. She notes her experience as both president of the Common Law Society and vice president of the South Asian Society, and as a class representative, and believes these roles have equipped her with the necessary skills to advocate on behalf of QMU members. 

Christopher McNally

During the past 6 months of being a board member, second year Zoology student, Christopher, has been involved with the QMU’s Social Committee, Campaigns and Charity Committee, and Elephant in the Room campaign. He describes himself as enthusiastic and confident, and if elected hopes to encourage the union to become further involved with mental health and animal charities. He imagines the role would allow him to function as an all-rounder, contributing to the union in whatever ways he can. 

Rebecca Friels

Rebecca has been a QMU freshers’ helper for the past three years and would like to become more involved with the union in her final year of studying Spanish and French. Despite the pandemic, Rebecca would like to ensure that student engagement with the union mirrors or exceeds that of previous years. This would be facilitated through hosting online and socially distanced events. Rebecca would also like to continue the QMU’s work around menstrual and reproductive health by creating a safe space for discussions around the topic and providing access to free menstrual products. 

First Year Current Student Representative (12 Months) (Uncontested) 

Maria Bahilo Martinez

Maria is a first year Genetics student, and the only candidate standing for this role. Self-described as friendly and driven, Maria plans to organize surveys and meetings for fellow first year students in order to collect and accurately represent a wide range of views. Bringing students together through the arts is important to her, and she hopes to organise open-mics, book clubs, and storytelling events to facilitate this. She notes that the pandemic has had a negative impact on student mental health, and hopes to establish a Glasgow chapter of the Good News Network, and to set up a support group for first year students who may be struggling to adapt to online university. 

First Year Current Student Representative (6 Months)  (Uncontested) 

Brid Erin Bean

Brid Erin is an English Literature and Film and TV student and is running uncontested for this role. The QMU appeals to her because of the union’s “strong sense of community”. She wants to help make the QMU a safe and welcoming space for all first year students, and to organise weekly online social events. Brid Erin is committed to being an accessible representative and support for all her peers.  

Manifestos can be found here: will open at 9am on October 15 2020. All registered members of the QMU can do so on Candidate manifestos are available in full here.


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