Your VP for Academic Experience candidates: Ellen Land

Tarini Tiwari 4 March 2021

Image by: Ellen Land

Ellen Land is running for the role of VP for Academic Experience. InQuire sat with her to discuss her priorities for running.

Ellen said her main reason for running is that “a lot of students just don’t feel represented by their union which is incredibly unfortunate and I can totally understand how that feels. She said that, through her campaign, she hopes to create a “more transparent environment” with the union.

Ellen was eager to promote her involvement with her course, saying she was on the committee for her course’s society as well as being a student rep in her final year. Should she win, her focus would be on “understanding why inconsistencies in departments are happening and if we can stop it.” She also would want to improve the relationship between students, course reps and faculty.

“I’ve always been an activist and I’ve always gone to protests for lots of causes, and this is the one that I feel most strongly about.”

When asked about culls to teaching staff in certain courses and how that might affect these inconsistencies, Ellen said “In terms of funding, I think it is absolutely unfair that students are suffering because the uni has mismanaged its finances. And, if it’s resulted in students feeling dispassionate about their subject, then the university has just abjectly failed its students.”

She then cited how sessions where students in Stages 2 onwards could help out students in lower years with the course, creating an academic community that can make students feel more involved in and passionate about their course.

As a message to voters, Ellen said “I just want students to know that they have not been left behind. I’m a student myself, I’ve felt like I’ve been left behind by my department and the university. I’m one of them, and I’m campaigning with them. Talking to students is something that I absolutely love and I feel that I’m definitely going to try and bring that more ‘approachable approach’ to the role.”

Quick analysis

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of InQuire Media

Ellen seems very approachable and kind, and behind her soft-spoken nature is a clear determination to fight for what students want and deserve. A shortcoming could be that many of her ideas link back to improving upon student reps and allowing other improvements to stem from that, rather than presenting concrete ways that the university could improve upon how they deliver lectures. The way all her policy ideas centralise around one core change could be how she wins or it could end up being her downfall. Still, she seems very driven and well-experienced with the Union, which makes her a strong contender for the role of VP for Academic Experience.

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

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