Image courtesy of: Emily Heath
Current Vice President of Postgraduate Experience, Laura Carlin, has decided against re-running for the upcoming 2020 Kent Union elections.
In a blog post titled ‘From Student to Staff’ posted on the 15th of January, Carlin reflects on her transition from ‘student to staff’ and highlights her reasons for stepping back from re-running of the role she pioneered.
Carlin states that she will, in short, not be re-running in the elections ‘for the role’s benefit’.
Laura Carlin said: ‘‘Building a community for ourselves is a huge achievement, that has happened through postgraduate taught (PGT) breaks, even though it’s only ten or twenty people who come in, that’s every week we have postgraduates coming in and they chat, get on, it’s amazing.
“You get people who come in by themselves and walk out with friends.”
She added: “It is really hard to fight for PhD students because I’ve never experienced it, even though I spoke to as many PGT students as I could.
“Building the trust between the Union and the postgraduate students was a priority.”
She also described a feeling of having ‘impostor syndrome.’
She said: “You feel like you’re not good enough, not worthy of a PhD, constantly trying to prove yourself and not taking breaks.”
According to Laura, not understanding what the students that she represented were going through was a struggle at first, hence the significance of building a community and engaging with students.
She said: “I’ve done right by starting with community and engagement. My knowledge will only take me so far, but it will allow someone else to bring in something that I couldn’t with my background.”
When asked whether Carlin was content with her decision to step down, she said: “I think I always expected myself to re-run.
“Naturally you would want to go for one role and then eventually run for president – I don’t want to be president; I don’t want to go up.”
She concluded: “Someone else coming in and shaping the role will be really beneficial.”