Anvee Bhutani, an Indian-origin student from Magdalen College at the University of Oxford, has been declared the winner of a Oxford Univerity Student Union election. She was declared the winner on Thursday night.
Anvee said she felt humbled by the support she had received and excited about her plans for her upcoming term. She had fought on a platform of reform across key areas of access and mental health at the university. And she feels that is what won her the backing in a byelection that saw the highest-ever turnout.
Oxford University selects Indian Student as President:
Oxford has historically been a place for the white elite to attend university, so to even be here feels like a great honour. Bhutani said I never imagined I’d one day be standing for the presidency of the SU and have the chance to represent the entire student body and I feel so humbled to have won.
“The SU fundamentally needs to be a union that fights for students’ rights, and I’m really excited to have run on a platform to bring reform. The four key areas: access and academics, community affairs, welfare and mental health, and societies and clubs.
She said, I want the SU to go back to being a hub that supports students and provides them with the resources they need. Bhutani said I’d genuinely like to extend a massive thank you to everyone who voted for me. I’m so excited for where I’ll take things with the other sabbatical officers this year. And I am eternally grateful for your support,” she added, in reference to her new Oxford SU team.
Indian elected as vice-president:
The vice-president-elect in the team for the 2021-22 academic year is also of Indian-origin, Devika, as is trustee-elect Dhitee Goel. Ms Bhutani’s experience includes being co-chair of the Campaign for Racial Awareness and Equality (CRAE) at Oxford SU and President of the Oxford India Society.
She has also worked as a shift leader at Turl Street Homeless Action. And in her manifesto suggests working with this group to support the local homeless population via food and supply donations.
Bhutani had used her manifesto to detail priorities of campaigning for the implementation of the Oxford living wage, delinking welfare services and disciplinary action, and diversifying the curriculum.
“Lobby for more funding towards existing mental health support programmes including for graduate students; work towards more access and lower wait times for university counselling services,” it notes.
Around 2,506 students turned out to vote in the leadership contest, which had the highest turnout. The leadership contest also had the highest number of candidates ever in an Oxford SU President election, 11 students running for the spot.
The byelection followed the resignation of Indian student Rashmi Samant, who was forced to step down soon after her election to the post in February amid a row over her past social media posts.