Simeon Orduen, President of Education
When I left my home country Nigeria to study for a masters’ degree in Economics and Business in 2018, I did not envision myself becoming a sabbatical officer. Becoming your first International Postgraduate Education Officer has been a privilege, to say the least. And now comes the story of how it all happened; so buckle up.
I was a masters’ student, with completely no involvement with the Students’ Union whatsoever. As an international student, my perception of what the Students’ Union was and what they did on behalf of students was a long way from what it really is. I pretty much spent my whole time as a student without engaging with the Students’ Union in any way, except for SPAR. Yeah, no matter how hard you try to avoid the Students’ Union, SPAR’s going to get you one day.
At the time, I was looking for some way to improve and develop myself. One day, a friend of mine, Tolu Ale, who I kept having conversations about self-development with, spoke to me about the upcoming Students’ Union elections that year. That was the first time the Students’ Union became “real” to me, for lack of a better way to put it. It always felt so distant, but for the first time, I saw an opportunity to get involved. And I took it!
During my first election, I had a lot of support from my friends, most of all Tolu who went out every day to campaign with me; Rex David who helped with any shopping and photography; and the smart, brilliant Damilola Oyinlola, who kept me going mentally. There was also Hemil Haria, who went around with me for a day, taking videos of my campaigning. Then, there was the silent but overwhelming support from all the students who voted me in. For the second election, I did not have any formal/organised campaign team. However, the support I received from friends and students was not silent any more; it was everywhere and surprising, to say the least. I am truly grateful to everyone who has shown me their support all this time; You unbridled support for me really did take my breath away. Put simply, I had no doubt because I had you.
Since I began within my role, I have done my best to provide more representation for those students, who like me when I was a student, sometimes feel under-represented; I have worked with and got wins for Foundation students, International students, BAME students, students with Specific Learning Differences, etc. And I will continue to do my best to do so along with the rest of my team, who are very passionate about this.
Do not be afraid to reach out with ideas of how I can be of help to you and better represent you as members of our Students’ Union; you can reach me through a direct message on Facebook or an email. Whatever you do, do not stay in isolation.
Get in touch; Get involved!