Your new Sabbatical Officers are just around the corner and we're excited! With just one week to go before they take office, this is the best time for you to find out more about your new President for 2018/19. Kristina gave International Students and Postgrads the representation they deserve during our Leadership Elections and she’s not finished yet!
So Kristina, how did you find campaigning?
It was very exciting, I didn’t actually expect it to be so exciting! It was very challenging at the beginning, when we were working on the leaflets, the designs, and the posters. It really felt like a lot to do! It was high pressure for all candidates, I think. I learnt a lot of new opinions about the University and some useful things for myself. It was a huge amount of work but very pleasant! Very exciting!
What were the main messages that you were hearing from students about what they wanted to change?
The main message was the visibility of the Students’ Union. I was approaching people like “hey we have the elections right now. I’m running for President” and they were like “President of what? Students’ Union, what is the Students’ Union?” That was the most common answer during the campaign. I didn’t realise that the problem was so deep. There were people who are not so happy with the Students’ Union, they were not so happy with their schools. The main message I think is that students want the Students’ Union, they need it, they need societies. But they feel like they’re not well informed that these societies exist. That’s something that I want to change.
Kristina smashed it at the elections debates
How do you feel to be representing the Postgrad community?
There are so many issues which make life as a Postgrad so chaotic. Postgrads really work on their grades and on their career at the same time. It would be great if the Students’ Union could hold some sessions for Postgrads before their first exams, explaining how it’s going to be different to their Undergrad exams. Overall, Postgrads don’t study very much on campus. They often study at home, so they don’t always know about the Students’ Union and they don’t know about the facilities and the opportunities they can use. So, I will make sure that they are well informed about student union and the opportunities it provides.
What made you want to run in the elections?
During my first two years, I was not involved in any societies or anything like that. To me University was somewhere you went to study and nothing else. In the third year everything changed. It meant a lot to me to find out that University could be more than studying. You can network, get some new friends and share an interest with somebody. I decided to be a bit more active and shared my opinion, so I really enjoyed my third year more than the two years I’d had before.
Some of my friends study at campus Universities and I see what the social life’s like there. They’re like a family. They’re all together and the atmosphere within the University makes students feel at home. I think that’s really important for International Students. Because you have a culture shock. You have to submit a Visa application, you have to find accommodation. So, if you are alone at University, it’s not too great. I think we need to make a more inclusive community at City.
I don’t even know what made me want to run this year! I guess my classmates played a vital role. They have pushed me into it. I am glad it turned out such a great idea.
The City SU Presidential Family!
What will be your biggest priority once you’re in office?
Firstly, it’s the network that the Students’ Union have with the students. We need to give students more opportunities to provide feedback.
Tell us something we don’t already know about you.
When I was campaigning, a lot of people didn’t know that I was Russian actually... I love singing, I love music, I love playing piano and I love reading Russian and British literature!
Anything you’d like to say to City students?
So, when I initially made my manifesto it was 4 points. When I went to make the poster it was 7 points and now I want to increase it even more! I think the more I go out there and listen to students, the more I’ll want to improve!
Great to hear from you Kristina! You’ll be hearing more from Kristina Perelygina when your Sabbaticals for 2018/19 take office in one week's time. She’ll represent you as your Students’ Union President for the next academic year along with Tuna and Nazia!