Credit: GG Photography and Illustrations Manager Allison Campbell (@allijcampbell)

SRC Convenors and Officers byelections – manifesto reviews and analysis

By Holly Jennings and Ollie Rudden

The SRC are electing officers for charities, clubs and societies; international students and postgraduate convenors for the arts and research.

The SRC is holding by-elections for a variety of convenor and officer roles on Thursday which include Charities, Clubs and Societies officer; International Student officer, Postgraduate Arts Convenor and Postgraduate Research Convenor. Here we have the candidates’ manifestos and give a review and analysis of each.

SRC Charities, Clubs and Societies Officer

Becky Laird 

Becky is campaigning to become SRC Charities, Clubs and Societies officer and is the only candidate running for the role. She has a good amount of experience in being involved with the SRC from Freshers’ helping, being an ambassador and a member of the Raising and Giving Committee (RAG). In addition, Becky has been involved in various clubs and societies across campus which gives her good knowledge of how they operate and their needs. With this experience under her belt, she wants to step up in a role to further help the SRC’s work in the field. 

Becky hopes to implement six policies if elected, the first of these being to reform the funding structure of RAG to be predominantly online-based, which is smart and needs to be done given the current rules regarding socialising. The next of the pledges is to increase fundraising events and team meetings held by RAG and target smaller charities as well as encourage more individual fundraising to the RAG committee members and fundraising collaborations. These are welcomed policies but lack detail on how they will be done. She also wants all clubs and societies affiliated with the SRC to have detailed information on the SRC website which is important not just for students to find details of societies but also the societies themselves to attract new potential members. 

Lastly, she wants to work with fellow welfare officers to get board members of affiliated clubs and societies to take part in equality and diversity training offered by the University. This is a surely welcomed pledge and should go further with training regarding mental health and sexual violence offered by the SRC.

International Student Officer

Patrick Aasen

Patrick is a fourth year student in Politics and Sociology with an array of experience under his belt. Before coming to Glasgow he worked as a regional director for the international exchange organisation YFU, which helped international students adjust to living and studying in Switzerland. In addition, Patrick has been involved with the SRC since beginning at Glasgow as a freshers’ helper, class representative, first year representative and Social Sciences Convenor. 

Patrick has three aims to achieve that include promoting alternatives to Zoom seminars as he believes these are having a negative impact on students in other timezones who are struggling with the timetable of seminars, using self-organised study groups and additional resources. The remaining promises involve working with international student support and societies to give us the best student experience possible regardless of being on or off-campus and push for more support for students who are unable to travel home for the holidays, stating that loneliness and stress are affecting students more so than ever.

Rabaha Arshad

Rabaha is a first year PGR student at the School of Education. She has extensive experience that includes six years of teaching and volunteering with the Student Network, which she says will help her “do justice to the demands of the role”. She is running for the role because she believes now is more important for students to have their voices heard as we do our studies remotely online and that we get to experience the learning and culture that Glasgow provides. 

If elected Rabaha hopes to start virtual drop-in sessions to provide support for international students and wants them operating 24/7. Rabaha also wants to work with the SRC and International Office to hold more intercultural events and create academic support networks, as well as encourage the University to increase access and awareness of facilities available for students. 

Xiaosu Chen

Xiaosu comes from the College of Education and has undertaken SRC training and volunteering in Angelic Threads and Chinese Confucius that give her a good understanding of the responsibility of the SRC. She is also a student representative at Glasgow International College, giving her experience in working with both colleges and students.

If elected, Xiaosu hopes to make better use of delivering information to help us get a greater understanding of issues, improve the use of social media to increase participation in student activities, and has suggested the possibility of making a vlog to improve communication. She also wants to increase student feedback and has suggested using surveys and questionnaires to help with this. In addition, Xiaosu wants to help students find more work opportunities from internships to student volunteering and hopes to communicate with private companies and other schools to help with this.

Vera Hayibor

Vera is a second year PhD student in the School of Law and knows too well the financial hardship international students face whilst completing their studies. After completing her masters she co-founded the “Cosy Students Shop” which catered to students’ basic needs. 

Vera’s commitments if elected are to improve what she describes as the “most pressing challenges” students face which include making the availability of information better, better student advice, help with jobs and help with internships both during and after completing studies. Vera says the University is already working on this but she believes her election to the role will help improve this by cooperation with the University and the SRC to work with international student groups to launch an “International Student Information and Job Hub” for groups of international students that will have information, jobs and internships with companies and organisations both here in the UK and abroad.

Xinyu He

Xinyu is a third year Business and Economics student who says Glasgow not only gives her a “homey feel but also extraordinary experiences”. She is an active international student who took part in all Freshers’ Week events and has organised many events for Chinese students during lockdown who could not return home. 

Xinyu is running for the role because she knows that international students are facing tougher issues this year and wants to be their voice as someone who has “approachable personality, problem-solving skills” and has good experience working with Glasgow Chinese Students and Scholars Association. She wants to be the voice of all international students regardless of their native country, and have their voices heard to the most senior level of management.

Ishani Mukherjee

Ishani is a second year Politics student of Indian origin and has travelled throughout her life. Her experience involves being on boards of societies relating to people of colour and activism, as well as a class representative (and of course “friendships, deadlines, and dorm hangovers”). 

If elected Ishani has three pledges she wished to fulfil which include the creation of a “how to cope away from home” pack in cooperation with the welfare officer and other cross-campus entities as well as make the gratitude wall at the library extend to other parts of campus. She also wants greater recognition of student bodies by establishing awards such as “International club of the year” and creating a new support system for international students by working with the welfare and race and equality officers.

Angela Weihan Ng

Angela is a second year Computing Science and Music student and is passionate for people and communities. Having past experience as a Class Representative, secretary for Glasgow University Singapore Society and an ambassador for Eunoia JC in Singapore, she wants to use her experience to become the new International Officer and has promised to meet two goals if elected. The first is improving communication between University and students, which she says international students are finding hard on logistical matters such as returning to campus for the start of term. She hopes to set up a new platform for international students to submit concerns, queries and feedback which will be delivered to the University to respond. 

Second, she hopes to improve integration between local and international students. Angla states that with Brexit, there will be an increase of international students and wants them to feel at home at Glasgow and will do this by creating policies, measures, events and programmes to help with integration and reduce discrimination. 

Muhammad Zia

Ahmed is a final year BENG student from Pakistan who wants to empower international students at Glasgow. His past experience includes being a Class Representative for three years where he says every issue brought up “no matter the scale” was heard, communicated and resolved. 

Ahmed has three goals he wants to achieve if elected. The first is arranging remote Careers and Employability Fairs which will give international students equal opportunities. Second, he wants to help students get work experience by getting the University to make a guide on how to secure an internship. Lastly, he makes a promise to students that he will “work tirelessly” to ensure all our voices are heard. 

Postgraduate Arts Convener

Kevin Leomo

Kevin is a final year PhD student in Cultural and Creative Arts. Kevin has experience attending College of Arts meetings as a postgraduate research representative, as well as subject staff meetings as a graduate teaching assistant (GTA) representative. Previously, he also worked with College senior management to effect “positive change”. Kevin looks to primarily focus on GTA matters, asserting that he is “acutely aware of the many problems GTAs face”. Last year, Kevin hosted a forum in order to discuss these problems in his free time. Additionally, he is aware of the issues faced by postgraduate students, as he looks to address the lack of contact and teaching time. Kevin has also been involved in the postgraduate arts community more broadly, as he was a committee member for the 2019 postgraduate Arts conference, he has peer-reviewed for ESharp, and has managed SoundThought. Kevin also intends to increase interdisciplinary collaboration across the college.

Postgraduate Research Convenor

Patrick Shearer

Patrick is a second year PhD student. He aims to work with all levels and disciplines of postgraduate students to better their experience and that of future postgraduate research candidates. He adds that “more than ever” there is a need for strong communication between students and staff on how to improve postgraduate research at Glasgow.

Yuting Tian

Yuting is a second year postgraduate research Finance student. Being a student in the Adam Smith Business School, Yuting maintains they deeply understand the demands of their classmates. Yuting has experience as a GTA in the business school, allowing them to understand the curriculum and teaching progress from both the perspective of the teachers and the students. Yuting also has experience as vice president of Glasgow Chinese Students and Scholars Association, throughout which they have organised several projects, including airport pick-up activities for freshers’. As postgraduate research convenor, Yuting aims to improve the quality of university activities, improve the curriculum system, to speak out for the students (especially female students) to safeguard their rights, and improve the representation of Glasgow University in China and the recognition of Chinese student groups at Glasgow. Yuting will devote themselves to “helping solve the problems faced by students, especially Chinese student groups, in their lives and studies.”

Catherine Reid

Catherine is a second year PhD student in Education, studying Widening Access in Education. Catherine has experience as a class representative throughout their Masters courses. They also have acted as a Union representative in the workplace, which has ensured teaching and senior management “communicate effectively and work together”. As postgraduate research convenor, Catherine intends to increase communication between students and staff, represent the interests and issues of students, seek resources to aid students during the pandemic, work with the SRC and College to promote student welfare and support, and work with bodies such as the PhD Society in order to boost opportunities for students. They additionally stress how they would value to undertake this role during an exceptionally difficult period for students.

You can find manifestos here. Voting will open at 9am on 15 October 2020. All registered students can do so at


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