Election: Leadership Race 2021

Category: Sabbatical Officer


Date count run19 Mar 2021
Election rulesERS97 STV
Candidates running4
Available position1
Total ballots3653
Valid votes3653
Invalid votes0


RoundGigi VinodAyman BenmatiKeerat SinghRON (Re-Open Nominations)ExhaustedSurplusThreshold

Count of first choices. The initial quota is 1826.50. Candidate Ayman Benmati has reached the threshold and is elected.

Winner is Ayman Benmati.

Keerat Singh

What do you hope to achieve in the role if you are elected?
- Value for Money
More financial help especially for students who don’t qualify for merit or need based funds and internationals.
- COVID Catch-up programme
Create opportunities for internships, lab practicals etc from department budgets. Improve UCL careers support, including post-graduation.
- Feedback
Improve the rep system by making it more consistent; clarify purpose of Unitu, forums.
- Learning community and mentorship
Extend and introduce a vertical transition mentor programme. More personal attention.
- Work with postgraduate officer on shared goals
Eg. better facilities

What will you bring to this role (e.g. experience, skills or qualities)?
I’m Indian and grew up in Kenya. UCL being a top university and my experience (or lack of) as a biochemist studying remotely since March 2020 (missing all my labs, not being able to use resources, paying international fees) motivated me to run for election. I have experience working with senior leadership to improve policies, fundraising for projects, constantly working under pressure and juggling multiple projects from being a Head Girl and EAMUN committee member. 2020/21 has been incredibly challenging and I am very determined to bring about lasting change that positively impacts us all.

Anything else?
I will always be open to hearing from you and encourage you to tell me - how has this year affected your learning? What do you want changed at UCL? If you vote for me I can promise you I will push for real change. We students do have power and a voice and I hope you shall let me make yours heard!

Gigi Vinod

What do you hope to achieve in the role if you are elected?
- ease the transition from remote learning to in-class lectures
-re-explore the options for potential tuition refunds due to the effects of COVID-19
- optional weekly meetings with instructors if students need help- “office hours”- in an effort to help students not feel as isolated in their studies
- have more scholarship funding opportunities for postgraduate students similar to the CSC-UCL scholarship
-add UCL student ID to phones so that libraries are more easily accessible
-Instate coffee and tea carts in libraries so students don’t need to leave to get a cuppa- “Bentham Breweries”

What will you bring to this role (e.g. experience, skills or qualities)?
Hi Everyone! My name is Gigi and I am running for Education Sabbatical Officer this year. I am originally from the U.S. and am currently studying Engineering and Education at UCL’s IOE. I think being an international student, postgraduate, and academic rep for my course has given me a good perspective on how education is being approached here at UCL.
Although our uni is consistently ranked as top ten in the world, I think there are still some challenges we need to overcome so that UCL can continue to be a welcoming, diverse and inclusive institution of learning.

Anything else?
With your help and insight, I hope to holistically achieve the goals listed here during my time in office. I hope you give me the opportunity to represent your voice and I promise to give it my all as your education sabbatical officer over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year :)

Ayman Benmati

What do you hope to achieve in the role if you are elected?
This year, we saw the student voice come at the very bottom of the pecking order of UCL’s priorities. I’ve seen UCL's flaws, first hand.

If re-elected, I’ll:
• Continue to spearhead the national effort for tuition fee refunds.
• Push UCL to carry out a safe graduation ceremony this year
• Ensure students are completely involved in planning next academic year
• Continue working to decolonise the curriculum whilst closing the BME awarding gap
• Make constructive and detailed feedback mandatory for all pieces of work
• Address the over-assessment of UCL students compared to other un

What will you bring to this role (e.g. experience, skills or qualities)?
I’ve had the privilege of serving as your Education Officer this year, listening to you at every step of the way. So far I’ve
• Represented London Russell Group universities in the campaign for fee refunds
• Secured up to 84 days of self certified mitigation for students
• Won £1 million for postgraduate bursaries
• Secured self-certified EC’s for all students permanently
• Championed the student voice, developing the Provosts to-do list
Whether it’s the transition out of a COVID world, or working with a new Provost, change requires someone experienced - absolutely committed to students.