Your VP for Student Engagement candidates: Carolina van Eldik
Alex Charilaou 10 March 2021
Image by: Carolina van Eldik
Carolina is a third and final-year International Business student running to become Vice-President for Student Engagement. Her experience includes being President of the Fencing Committee, a former Team Kent Network chair and a member of the Union Executive Committee.
Carolina says she has ‘very good leadership skills’, using her tenure as President of the Fencing Committee and learning from Kent Business School as evidence of this. Despite saying Kent Union has been ‘trying their best’ to some extent, she does not think they have been especially ‘proactive’ and in some cases they’ve been ‘passive-aggressive’. Carolina would make sure that the Union is adequately supporting societies, especially in the context of the pandemic.
Carolina explained that one of the things she would be interested in doing if elected as VP for Student Experience would be leading a team of voluntary students and Kent Union’s staff to improve the Union’s social media channels, both in terms of content and outreach to students. She also promises to remain in consistent contact with students, something she believes to be lacking with the Union currently.
When we asked Carolina about her priorities as a candidate, she stressed the importance of being ‘realistic’ in what Kent Union can do. Something Carolina would try and implement if elected is to get a monthly gym membership for students and ensuring it opens at weekends. She would also endeavour to promote men’s mental health concerns at Kent, including through outlets like The Good Lad Initiative.
On the current Sabbatical team, Carolina described what they’d done over the last year as ‘a great job’, though did say that the Kent Union President, Josh Frost, ‘required improvement’.
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Carolina came across as calm and warm in our interview, whilst also making clear that she is confident, experienced and, as she spelt out, ‘a good leader’
Carolina’s experience is impressive, especially in regard to her roles on the fencing committee and as part of the UEC. This experience will likely serve her well if she is elected on the 11th. I was also impressed by her reluctance to support things pragmatically – if she doesn’t think something’s realistic to push for, she won’t drop it altogether, but will seek to compromise. This attitude will take Carolina far if she is elected.
Ultimately, Carolina is a strong candidate for Student Engagement VP, and voting in this category will be a difficult call.