At the heels of a tumultuous year, defined by the significant impact of COVID-19, the student elections come at an apt time. When feeling heard has never felt more important, voting has taken on newfound meaning.
Exploring this, KBR takes an inside look into this year’s Spring Elections and asks the candidates at its centre some key questions.
What made you run? What do you stand for? What has the experience of running a campaign revealed?
Read as they divulge their passion, grit, and commitment to extensive change…
Raimon Pujol I Villa
Candidate for KCLSU President
My name is Rai Pujol and I am a third-year student of electronic engineering with management. When I joined King’s, I did so because I believed in what it represented. I believed in the KCL brand and I wanted to be part of a larger institution with a worldwide reputation. The problem now is that people are, instead, starting to feel left out and the KCL brand is losing ground against other institutions. For this reason, I decided to run for president of the KCLSU.
I believe that the KCLSU’s role is to make students’ voices heard whilst caring for their wellbeing and future. The best way the KCLSU can offer students this future is by giving them the tools to go out into the real world prepared for anything that comes their way.
With this idea in mind, I decided to run my campaign based solely on students’ future, as seen in my manifesto. What very well represents this idea is the title “Making your money worth”. In it I emphasize the fact that asking for our tuition money back is a waste of time. Many candidates would disagree with me because they genuinely believe it is some sort of policy that could be changed overnight, instead I strongly believe that making your money worth means making sure that you leave King’s knowing that you are ready to face any challenge, feeling that you have had every opportunity to pursue new ideas in your time as a student. This means spending more money on research, bursaries, scholarship opportunities for students in disadvantaged positions and adding more extra-academic activities. We need to spend more money on making sure that we have the tools to achieve this.
Running has been a totally new experience for me as I had no previous background in it. Although, it was scary, I learned a lot. The KCLSU is surprisingly good at organizing elections but given the COVID-19 restrictions it was difficult to create a “fanbase” only by engaging online. I have learned that I have a lot to discover, if I do not win, I’ll be running next year again as there is still a lot to change.
Candidate for KCLSU President
I genuinely care about the causes I stand for and some have been a huge part of my personal identity. Whether that is to dismantle the policy of prevent or to create a friendly, inviting and harassment free climate at King’s. I am running for my peers and ensuring that everyone can proudly state that they have had a good student experience!
The experience has been overall quite overwhelming and hard. It is very difficult to take out the time for an election from third year during a pandemic. However, since the moment I announced my candidacy that support has not stopped. People I have not spoken to have reached out, people have emailed stating that they support what I stand for and hope that I win. I think whatever the outcome is, it has shown me that even when you think nobody is seeing your work; people are.
So, from the bottom of my heart, despite how difficult it has been, I am grateful and thankful to each person who has taken the time out show their support!
Candidate for the King’s BSSA Community and Events Officer
In this last year, our lives have changed beyond expectation. As students, it is easy to feel lost. Real effort needs to be put into mitigating the effects of Covid-19 on students. As much as we would like to believe they are doing the best they can, we know what can be done. We know it is not sufficient when to speak to a counsellor you need to wait for 8-10 weeks. As an NUS delegate, I want to change that. I want to work towards improving university experience for students across KCL and the UK. I primarily want to improve well-being services, the state of extra-curricular and financial assistance for all students. In this election, what has particularly inspired me has been the enthusiasm amongst students. It shows that they are fed up. The energy, the campaigns and the voter turnouts show that we want change. Change in the attitude towards student’s issues.
*The King’s Business Review does not endorse any candidate or manifesto