Your VP for Postgraduate Experience candidates: Atchana Ganesalingam

Juliette Moisan 9 March 2021


Photo by: Atchana Ganesalingam


Atchana Ganesalingam is running for VP of Postgraduate experience.


She is currently doing her postgraduate degree in Canterbury, after taking a small break in her studies to go back home due to the pandemic.


Atchana's slogan in this election is "Experience is key", and, with 4 years of experience working both with GKSU and KU, she feels like she has a "solid background" that would help her if she won: "I can contribute a lot, and I know how things work".


She said she wanted to work for inclusion and to have students' voices be heard better because sometimes decisions are taken that are not in the students’ interests.


In addition to her experience, she also said that she felt she stood out as she's an international student, so she knows the process of coming to the UK and going through all "the Brexit stuff", and she's also from a minority background.


For her, all of this makes her a good candidate to represent people from all background, who don't always feel that their voice is heard.


She said: "I don't have one set view; I can take different angles".


When asked what she felt her biggest weakness in the race was, she reckoned that it was her lack of campaigning: she hasn't taken the time to campaign and has just recently started an Instagram account.


She said that, had she been more active on social media, "people would know me and I would have gotten to interact more with students.”


She stressed that even though she chose to prioritize her academic work during the campaign, she would "love to win, and take it seriously if elected".


For her, UKC is a university with a "whole feeling of internationality", and she particularly stressed the fact that she feels university is about being able to "get out of your degree" and try different things – something that hasn't been possible lately.


According to Atchana, COVID-19 has taken its toll on all of us, and she said that she would work to get back to a normal life.


She said that she felt the current VP had handled the situation as well as possible.


However, had she been VP this year, she would have wanted to ensure that people knew where to turn and where to find the resources they might need, because this hasn't been advertised as much and as well as it should have been.

Finally, on the topic of the elections themselves, Atchana considers that everyone would be a good fit for the job, and she felt this year especially will be a very tight election.


Analysis

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


Speaking with Atchana, I could feel how confident she was and how competent she would be if elected VP. Her background working with KU and GKSU gives her a solid experience that I feel she would be able to use her advantage and to the student's advantage.

The fact that she's done her undergraduate in Medway is also very interesting, as students from this campus often feel a bit disengaged from UKC: having someone who knows the other campus could be a way to improve engagement and community.

However, I feel like Atchana's biggest weakness is her lack of campaigning: this year's campaigns have been conducted online and not having an Instagram account or any other social media on which to communicate puts her behind other candidates, who have already interacted with students and who have made their voices be heard. Additionally, this can make us wonder if she will actually be able to prioritize her commitment as VP if she is elected.

Still, she seems very motivated and capable, and I feel she is a strong contender for the election.


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