I can’t believe I was elected as your Vice President Education and Democracy for 2021/2022. I know a lot of people are shocked too, as I’m only a first year! But I am so honoured to be taking this position and continuing on from Avila who has done so much this year, despite it being such a difficult year.

A big thank you to my campaign team who supported me all the way through the campaign, up until the point where my picture appeared and they pretended they didn’t know who won as the live stream was delayed for me. Even when I went completely silent while they were all cheering and trying to get me to come out of panic to attend the Zoom interview that I was super late for (my apologies). A massive thank you to Holly and Josh who were there the second I pinged them on Discord to help me make sure I had the wording correct, or my sentences made sense. To Saule for coming in and making it look like I knew how to use grammar and my statements weren’t just commas (a bit like this blog post). To Skye for constantly cheering me on and just being there when I needed her. To Gigi for translating my manifesto and points so I could reach all students at the university. I didn’t even consider a campaign team when I first nominated myself, and I was almost anxious to ask, but my campaign team were incredible and I’m so so grateful I had their support all along the way.

I also want to say thank you to the (unofficial) UoS Discord server for cheering me on, even when I tried to tell them to shh and we weren’t campaigning. To Ollie for randomly popping up with supportive messages, to JJ and Ross for the constant support. To Gabe for just being Gabe and keeping me smiling and helping me word and organise my manifesto.

Even when I thought of giving up, you were all reasons I continued. There are so many more people I can thank, the entirety of Bread (I’m not listing your names, alright?) for just being constantly supportive, my friends from home, the National Society of Apprentices who without them, I’d have never done anything like this, and generally all the other support I received from people willing to provide quotes, messaged me to check in and just make my campaign exciting and fun.

I don’t think I’ll ever get over the fact that the majority of students who did vote (although a low turnout) chose me to represent them next year. I know there will be some trust issues as I am only a first year and I haven’t lived the proper university experience but I am willing to learn and work with you to make sure that you are represented, democracy is fair and you are provided with a good quality education, regardless of circumstances.

Thank you for believing in me, and know that I believe in every single one of you.