Your VP for Postgraduate Experience candidates: Laura O'Callaghan
Juliette Moisan 9 March 2021
Image by: Laura O'Callaghan
Laura O'Callaghan is running for VP of Postgraduate experience. She is currently doing her Masters in Creative Writing.
Laura said that her lockdown is pretty banal and that currently, she doesn't feel like a uni student: "I'm just in my room and there's not much to do".
She said that she felt a bit disengaged this year, and that she had been "left to it".
While Laura acknowledges that events couldn't happen in person this year, she wishes that the current Postgraduate VP had done more to reach out to students and that online events could have been held to encourage people to engage in their uni life and not feel abandoned.
She said she was getting "very annoyed of things being always online" and of "not getting any apology to make up for uni being entirely online", which is what motivated her to run in the election.
She added: "I was tired of waiting for someone else to do something, of saying that it would get better when actually you need to stand and actually make it better by yourself.”
Running in the election has been a challenge for Laura, who said that she still felt shy sometimes although she said that "university has given me confidence".
One of her main aims to give a voice to students "like her", who are disengaged from university life.
Laura said that what makes her stand out in the campaign is her passion and drive.
Because she is also working part-time, she didn't have the opportunity to get involved in the union, explaining that she had to do "sacrifices". However, she did take part in university activities, such as volunteering and taking part in committees.
Laura stressed that despite her lack of experience compared to other candidates, which she reckoned was her biggest weakness in the race, she was "definitely willing to learn" and would fulfil the prospective role with passion and hard work.
One of the things she's said she has preferred in the campaign is getting to meet very different people she wouldn't have otherwise met, as well as learning from them. She has spent a lot of time on Instagram sharing content and interacting with students.
What matters for Laura is "listening and hearing their voices, their passion, their ideas and their drive, which will allow me to represent them, as well as champion their issue with the uni and give them a voice.”
On the topic of potential presidential candidates to back, Laura said that while all of them had very different attributes, all had something to bring to the table, and she still hasn’t made her mind up.
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Laura seems like a very sweet person, and it is refreshing to see someone be so candid, especially because she puts the accent on how out of her comfort zone this endeavour has been for her.
She is very enthusiastic about being able to give a voice to those who don't necessarily feel they have one, which is very interesting as there is a growing number of students who feel disfranchised from the university due to the Covid restrictions. She also often describes herself as an "average" student on Instagram and strives to represent the largest number.
However, I feel she might lack a bit of experience in contrast to the other candidates, which could play against her as she might not necessarily be able to carry out the things she wants to implement.