Your VP for Academic Experience candidates: Lupe Sellei

Tarini Tiwari 4 March 2021

Image by: Lupe Sellei

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

Lupe seemed energised about the upcoming academic year but reiterated how much work was yet to be done to improve the academic experience for students.

She discussed how, in her three years at Kent, she had been largely uninvolved in societies and wants to make them more accessible to students as they return to campus. She also discussed mental health and accessibility to therapy as a major issue facing students.

She said that “I was extremely blessed that my family can afford [therapy] privately” but that students need more than “five to six sessions” with the university mental health services.

Lupe also talked about the importance of improving the course rep structure to make them more visible, as well as having more regular feedback forms for lecturers and seminar leaders.

When asked about possible compensation for students after the pandemic, she warned against being unduly idealistic about it.

“Of course I want to be super optimistic and say yes, the university will give us all our money back. But the reality is, over half a million students have gone to the government and the only response they got was ‘go deal with it through your university!’ The university then says no, forget about it.”

As a message to students, she said to do research on each candidate regardless of who they choose to vote for to make sure they vote for a candidate that represents them “not only in what they say but in how they carry themselves and interact with others.”

She added: “I just want students to know that I’m here to help give them the experience that I didn’t get and give them the academic support that I didn’t know I could access. I just want it to be a conversation, I don’t want it to be policies imposed from the top. That’s the way students feel heard and valued.”

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

Lupe was very easy to talk to. She is extremely energetic and clearly feels strongly about her capabilities as a candidate. She seemed realistic about what could actually be accomplished but still made it clear that she would fight for fair treatment of students. What could end up setting her back in her role as a full-time officer is the lack of experience she’s had with societies and Kent Union during her time as a student. She could find that dealing with organisations she’d previously been unaware of can prove difficult. On the whole, she’s 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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