Update: Rashmi Sawant has resigned from the post in the light of recent controversial events surrounding her past appropriate remarks on social media.
The world has witnessed many historical firsts for women in the contemporary era that have uplifted them across the world. Today we bring you the first Indian female who was elected as the president of Oxford University Student Union (SU). Rashmi Samant, a former graduate of Manipal Institute of Technology, has made history with a landslide win of 1,966 out of the 3,708 votes cast for the post as the president.
Rashmi Samant’s Indian Rooted Vision
In the Oxford SU leadership election, she proudly highlighted essential topics like the need for greater “decolonisation and inclusivity”. Samant is a graduate student reading for an MSc in Energy Systems, with a focus on sustainability, at Linacre College.
“Together, we can reform long-standing shortcomings at the university, provide students with the resources and support they need to thrive in Oxford and become leading changemakers in our society.”
With her roots deepened in the Indian culture, she vocalized on topics that have an impact on marginalized communities. She had a strong vision statement which read, “Being a BAME [Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic] woman from a former British colony, Rashmi is empathetic towards the struggles faced by marginalised groups.”
“Lobby the Conference of Colleges to divest entire financial portfolios from fossil fuels as soon as possible and push all colleges to sign on to a university-wide sustainability strategy.”
Samant vouched to influence the University and Conference of Colleges to remove all statues that have imperialist conduct and to also have a far-reaching consultation on the decolonisation of syllabi to ensure Oxford course texts “celebrate and educate” students about the accomplishments of multicultural scholarly voices.
Her vision for achieving change owing to the COVID-19 pandemic was equally strong. She vowed to lobby for a safety net and mitigating circumstances for her comrades amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact.
The president-elect for the 2021-22 term also had Indians on her team that included Devika as Vice-President Graduates-Elect, and Dhitee Goel as Student Trustees-elect.
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