The time has come for us to say goodbye and good luck to some of our Officer Team. It has come to the end of Laura, Diya and Aisha's time as Executive Officers, representing the student voice at De Montfort University (DMU) and what a time they've had.
Laura Flowers (Academic Representation), Aisha Ismail (Student Opportunities and Engagement) and Diya Rattanpal (Equality and Diversity), were elected into Office by you, back in 2019. They were the first people to step into the latest De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) Officer Team structure. These three stepped an Executive role, each focusing on enhancing and bettering certain areas of your students experience.
Making up part of DSU's very first all-female Executive Officer Team, Laura, Aisha and Diya have formed a friendship like no other, working together and individually to get the student voices heard and represent you at the highest levels of University discussions, as well as on a local and national scale.
Some of their achievements include (and are definitely not limed to):
- Representing your voice during the Covid-19 pandemic at top level University discussions
- Working on the No-Detriment Policy and the Safety Net policy
- Creating a brand new Equality, Diversity and Inclusion strategy for DSU, including making a pledge made during Black History Month 2020
- Campaigning for rent refunds
- Introducing a new Equality, Divesity and Inclusion team at DMU
- Are You Okay Camapign
- Give it a Go
- Working on the No Space for Hate project
- Asking for your opinions and thoughts to ensure their campaigns and work is supporting DMU students correctly
- Organising and leading our annual Light the Night walk (and virtual walk) in support of those who have experienced sexual assult or violence
- Visiting Parliment to help reform student finance
- Raising awareness of who Simon De Montfort was while working with the University to be an inclusive institution for everyone
- Supporting student groups through initiatives such as the accredditation scheme
- Atteneding their regular Zone and Council meetings to keep you informed of their latest projects and work
- Leading on campaigns, awareness days, weeks and months to raise awareness of important topics and informations as well as celebrate our diverse student-body
Diya Rattanpal (she-they):
Diya has been an activist during her time at DSU and we couldn't have asked for anyone more enthusiastic about representing the under-represented. Over her two years as the Equality and Diversity Executive, Diya has worked on a variety of campaigns to raise awareness and make lasting change across DMU to better the opportunities and experience for a variety of students.
Diya's passion shone through everything that she worked on and it's been fantastic to watch her grow into a confident person who fights for equality and inclusion. From organising Pride History Month to having important talks at the highest levels of University dicssuions, holding them to account on big and important changes that have been essential to the student expereince, Diya has astounded us with her determination.
It's common knowledge in the DSU office that Diya can't stand her photos and videos from 2019 so just to embarass her one more time, you can watch her introductory video below:
For more of Diya's highlights of the past two years, check these out:
WATCH: Cook with Diya | Cauliflower and Chickpea Curry
READ: Black Lives Matter | A statement from DSU
WATCH: Black History Season | Our Pledge to You
WATCH: Equality and Diversity at DMU with Ben Browne
READ: Celebrate Leicester Pride with us!
WATCH: Happy Holidays from DSU
WATCH: Say It Right
Laura Flowers (she/her):
Laura has been a brilliant Academic Representation Executive over the past two years. With the Covid-19 pandemic, she was swept off her feet, making sure that your voice was represented when some of the most important decisions were being made about extensions, policies and structures. Somehow, Laura made all of this seem effortless.
Leading on multiple surveys throughout her time as an Officer, hearing your thoughts and opinions on topics are what mattered most. She then took her findings to back up arguments and decisions that needed to be made in a range of really important meetings across DMU.
Amazingly, Laura has also been a part of the All Parlimentary Group for Students, taking your concerns to a national level when it comes to topics such as accommodation and student finance payments. Laura doesn't just think on a small scale and that evident in the work that she has put in to representing the student voice during her time as DSU's Academic Representation Executive.
We filmed a Day in the Life video with her before the pandemic so you could understand what Laura did on a daily basis:
For more of Laura's highlights of the past two years, check these out:
WATCH: Meet your Officer Team: Laura
WATCH: DMU Pride 2020 Launch
READ: Light the Night 2020
READ: Laura's Big Win! Your two week extension
READ: Laura's fight for the No-Detriment Policy
READ: Student Voice Research Findings
WATCH: Pancakes with Laura
WATCH: Happy Holidays from DSU
READ: Are You Okay? Our Findings and response
READ: The University's response to your concerns over the Safety Net Policy
Aisha Ismail (she/her):
Aisha has done a fantastic job as our Student Opportunities and Engagement Executive over the past two years. Her sheer enthusiasm and excitement to get students involved has seen many wins for our student groups and volunteers. She has also just hosted our annual Student Group Awards which aims to recognise the achievements of our student groups and volunteers. It's been amazing to see all of the hard work everybody has been putting in and with such fun outcomes for our students!
From introducing the Accreditation Scheme to launching our Give it a Go campaign to allow more students to get involved without the committment - Aisha's hard work has been valued by many.
You can watch her very first introductory video below:
For more of Aisha's highlights of the past two years, check these out:
WATCH: Give it a Go Launch
READ: Give it a Go Week 2020
WATCH: Winter Wonderland Highlights
READ: DSU Celebrates 2020
WATCH: DSU Results Night Highlights 2020
WATCH: Happy Holidays from DSU
WATCH: An introduction to Ramadan
WATCH: Student Group Awards 2021
WATCH: Cook with Aisha | Garlic and Herb Pasta
We will be sad to see the 'fab 3' go but wish them all the best of luck with the future endeavours - we will miss them terribly!
Both our current Union Development Executive, Joanna Dine-Hart and Welfare Executive, Benjamin Smith, will be staying with us for their second term in their positions. On Thursday 1 July 2021, they will also be joined by our new Officers, Ruby Rawles as our Academic Representation Executive; Puja Subramanian as our Equality and Diversity; and Aashni Sawjani as our Student Opportunities and Engagement Executive.