2 Indian Candidates Win Oxford University Student Union Election

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2 Indian Candidates Win Oxford University Student Union Election

You might think that Oxford University has historically been a hub for the elite, and veritably so. Here is a story of 2 Indian students who created history by winning the Oxford Student Union Election making all the Indians proud and leaving millions inspired.  In this blog, we will look at the winning manifesto, future goals, and everything about the girl power icon and the new president of Oxford Student Union – Anvee Bhutani!

Who is Anvee Bhutani?

Anvee Bhutani is a 20-year-old and a Human Sciences student from Magdalen College at the University of Oxford. She was born and brought up in Canada. Bhutani’s experience involves being the co-chair of the Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE) at Oxford SU and President of the Oxford India Society. Moreover, she has served as a shift leader at Turl Street Homeless Action.

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Anvee Bhutani Winning Manifesto

In her manifesto, Bhutani suggested collaborating with this group to provide support to the local landless population through food and supply donations. Furthermore, Bhutani had used her manifesto to express her priorities for campaigning: execution of the Oxford living wage, delinking welfare services and disciplinary action and diversifying the curriculum. Further in her manifesto, she mentions that she plans on “lobbying for greater funding towards the existing mental health support programs including for graduate students, work towards greater access and minimize wait times for university counselling services.”

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Anvee Bhutani Makes History

On Thursday morning, she was declared the winner of the zealous by-election at the Oxford SU. The byelection happened after  Rashmi Samant, the first Indian female OUSU president also based in India, was forced to quit for her social media posts. Approximately 2,506 students turned out to vote to make the highest turnout. This year’s election also had the maximum number of candidates in an Oxford SU presidential election. Bhutani beat ten other students for the top position. Anvee won by 655 votes after eleven stages of counting in a very close fight against Yannia Baur, the social secretary of the OU LGBTQ+ society, who secured 649 votes. On the win, she said that she was greatly humbled by the support received and exhilarated to realize her plans for the coming term. 

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Future Goals

Bhutani said that she had never imagined standing for the presidency of the SU and be given the opportunity to represent the whole student body. She further said, “The SU fundamentally is a union that stands for students’ rights and I’m extremely thrilled to have run on a platform to bring reform to four key areas: access and academics, community affairs, welfare, and mental health, and societies and clubs. I wish for the SU to return to being a place that supports students and gives them the resources they require.” Bhutani expressed her gratitude by saying, “I genuinely extend a huge thank you to all those who voted for me. I’m absolutely eager for where I’ll take things with the other sabbatical officers this year and I am eternally thankful.” The vice-president-elect in the team for the 2021-22 academic year is Devika, also of Indian origin.

Devika, Oxford Vice President

The vice-president elected in the team for the 2021-22 academic year is Devika and she is also of Indian origin. She is currently pursuing her MPhil in Modern South Asian Studies from the University of Oxford. In addition to that,  she also has an MSc in English Literature from the University of Edinburgh, Scotland. Her research is on the politics of knowledge systems and sexuality in South Asia. Further, she has also researched and presented intensively on postcolonialism, gender politics, sexuality, race and diversity concerns, food politics, and diaspora communities. And not just that, Devika holds 16+ years of experience working in theatre in different capacities such as director, actor, lights, sounds, as well as the backstage team.

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