Your presidential candidates: Aisha Dosanjh
Alex Charilaou 3 March 2021
Image by: Aisha Dosanjh
Aisha Dosanjh is the only person running in these elections that was also elected as a Sabbatical Officer last year. This time, however, she is running for Kent Union President rather than VP for Welfare and Community. Aisha believes that over the past year in the role she has grown in confidence and leadership, and feels that she is ready to become President.
When asked why she wanted to run for this role rather than continuing as Welfare VP, Aisha answered that she wanted to ‘expand’ on her work with a more powerful role, where she can have greater influence with university leadership, as well as the opportunity to make change less blighted by the pandemic. She believes there was a missed opportunity to make a bigger change over the course of the past year.
Aisha identifies equality, diversity and inclusion as an area which she wants the university to expand on, especially at the level of university middle management and the leadership team.
When asked about how much Kent Union can get done with the current university leadership, Aisha agreed that the leadership executive was occasionally a ‘block’ to constructive progress, though caveated that with the fact that the Union must remain on good terms with them in order to get anything through.
Aisha was candid in discussing her views on the current President, Josh Frost: ‘As much as I feel that COVID-19 has really affected students and the ability of the student union to engage with students and to engage with university staff to make change, I really feel that this year has been a wasted opportunity… as with everything, there needs to be a moment where you stop and pause and reflect, and I really feel as though the changes we were making this year needed to help students in the present — the work [Josh] was doing for the future, even though it was good, was being done at the wrong time… there wasn’t the same adaptation to the circumstances as there was for the rest of us’.
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Some would say that the fact that Aisha is associated with the current Sabbatical team is a vulnerability in her campaign – the consensus seems not to be in their favour. However, Aisha has stood out over the last year in her role as VP for Welfare & Communities, being one of the more prominent members on social media, doing great work on EDI and going outside her role as VP to help students directly.
Her experience as a Sabbatical Officer does give her an advantage over the other candidates, and her first-hand knowledge of the Union will clearly be an invaluable asset if she is elected. Aisha will have to make a big leap, as the role of President comes with a whole range of new responsibilities, but I think the competence she has shown in her current role would carry over into a higher position.
Aisha’s kindness and experience shone through to me in her interview, and I have no doubt at all that she would be a dedicated president, working in the best interests of students.
It’s relieving that she seems to understand where the previous Union leadership team went wrong, and Aisha was open about how she’s had to challenge the university leadership and would be happy do so again. She is a very competitive candidate, and one to watch.