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Indian Woman to Head Oxford University Students’ Union

Indian Woman to Head Oxford University Students’ Union


NEW DELHI, Feb 13: Rashmi Samant has emerged the first Indian woman to head the Oxford Students’ Union. An alumnus of Karnataka’s Manipal Institute of Technology, Rashmi Samant is currently reading for a masters degree in Energy Systems with a focus on sustainability in Oxford.

Samant won the students’ union election with 1,996 votes, more than all her opponents put together, the university said in a post on its website. She will also be joined by other Indians on her team, including Devika as Vice-President Graduates-Elect, and Dhitee Goel as Student Trustees-elect.

In her manifesto, Samant promised to “tackle the institutional homophobia and transphobia,” “decolonisation of the syllabi” and “remove all statues proven to be imperialist, including Chritopher Codrington.”

In her profile she said she was “a sustainable energy enthusiast who believes in effective policymaking and energy equality for healing the deteriorating climate of the world.”

The president-elect of the Oxford Students’ Union plans to “lobby for the University to waive residency requirements, extend safety net and mitigating circumstances until WHO declares end of pandemic,” as the world reels under the effects of an unprecedented coronavirus pandemic, according to her manifesto.

Samant said she would try to make quality mental health resources accessible to all, extend group counselling themes and inculcate diversity during recruitment of counsellors. In keeping with her course studies, she also aims to “decarbonise the university,” her manifesto read.

(Manas Dasgupta)



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