Manifesto

Candidate for the position of Vice President Graduates

Image for Devika Devika

Devika Devika

Devika for Vice President Graduates

She/Her

Experience

 

As a second year MPhil, I have dedicated my time at Oxford towards Student Welfare and Advocacy. I was re-elected as the BAME Officer at St Antony’s College GCR and I am the Women’s Representative in SU’s CRAE Campaign. I actively engage with mental health initiatives as a trained Peer Supporter. I have worked as a Career Services student representative, College Alumni fundraiser and sat on committees dedicated to race, diversity, and graduate student welfare. My diverse leadership experiences as a Graduate student in the UK for the past 3 years has prepared me to efficiently undertake the responsibilities of VP Graduates.

 

Previously, I have worked as the Community Lead for international student programs at the University of Edinburgh, where I received my MSc. I have also occupied other representative and advocacy positions like Course Representative, University Ambassador and Student Helper. Overall, I have 6 years of extensive experience working with students and international programs in a leadership capacity.

 

WHY ME?

My manifesto builds upon the principle of better integration of Graduates with stronger communication and stronger centralisation of the University student body for mobilisation and resource pooling, while respecting Oxford’s collegiate system.

 

This is not just my manifesto. It represents the voices of a diverse set of students I have had the opportunity to speak with and learn from throughout my leadership experience. I will work hard to achieve these goals because I can.

 

 

“THE OXFORD EXPERIENCE” OF POSTGRADUATES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

Currently Graduate and International students are being treated like cash cows, ignored after they pay the humongous chunk of fees upfront. I will:

 

INTEGRATE: Graduate and International Students have been further alienated due to the COVID pandemic. I will work towards building a stronger community and network of graduate students between colleges and with undergraduate students. I will ensure current platforms support this, and work on building a newer, exclusive Oxford Networking system.

RESOURCE PACK: Ensure that Graduate and International students are better equipped for their time at Oxford by creating a specialised freshers resource pack for them to make the best of their time at Oxford. This is crucial, especially for one-year programmes, to ensure Graduate and International students do not lose precious time “figuring” things out.

WELFARE SUPPORT: I will work with the University and VP Welfare to tailor welfare support to postgraduates and non-traditional students. Advocate to channel resources to aid remote studies, address mental health challenges of working in isolation and different time zones.

 

 

FIGHT AGAINST COVID

 

FEE & FINANCES: Lobby for revising the Graduate and International students Fee structure to reflect the global realities of COVID-19 Pandemic and Post-Brexit. Advocate the University and Colleges for a fee installment system and more hardship funding for graduates, international and non-traditional students.

 

ACCOUNTABILITY: Collaborate with the University to ensure transparency and accountability in their hardship and COVID relief fund allocation. I will ensure that this and other financial information is consolidated and easily accessible to students.

 

CAREERS: I will work with Career Services and departments to devise better strategies and events to help prepare Graduate students for the pandemic job market - both academic and non-academic. For example, increased networking opportunities with alumni mentors.

 

STRENGTHEN COMMUNICATION

 

  1. CENTRALISE : To face the  pandemic as a united student body, while respecting collegiate institutions, I call to further centralise University and student communication. This will help underline and eradicate inconsistencies in the individual approaches of colleges, so we can advocate for a better and egalitarian approach.
  2. STREAMLINE : I will work to reform the current data dump of the University and streamline the information being sent to graduate students. I will work on centralised mailing lists for different postgraduate levels, and work on simplifying the university website content and access.

 

BOLSTERING EXISTING EFFORTS

 

I will continue to:

  1. Strongly support and push forward the campaign on Fair Outcomes for Students.
  2. Collaborate with Colleges and Societies on their Race and Diversity initiatives while developing newer and more effective strategies.
  3. Push for Better Mental Health Support and advocate to expand it beyond CBT.