Benjamin Dada

Why is this role important?

Getting quality education is an important part of being a Student. Hence, a position such has this should not be taken lightly. It is part of what makes up the rankings on league tables. Also, while several education policies are currently being passed down there has to be a stable representation from the students who are also stakeholders in this education process.

Why I want to be in the role?

I believe I am the best person for this role because of these 3 things;

  • Previous experience: During my undergraduate years, I was the President of a student-led organisation which supported and motivated students through their Academic sojourn in the University. By my graduation year, we were acclaimed one of the largest student groups in the University, boasting an average of 100 attendees per weekly meeting. 
    Also, I have fought for students before within those years I was made the Programme Representative for my Degree, a position I held till my final year. Within that role, I interacted one-to-on with my coursemates, sort out areas where they might be having difficulties; perhaps, something the lecturers should have explained better. I took the responsibility to organise tutorials and facilitate some of them myself. After my graduation, one of my coursemates ran to me and jumped on me saying “thank you”.
  • Interest: My interest in the Educational sector is now being sparked up by the role of the VP Education, rather I see this as an opportunity to contribute more value and giveback to Lancaster. Personally, I run a blog with a section for Education. Where I communicate my opinions on bogging student issues such as Why do we need to go to college? After College, what next? etc. I reckon that the Educational institution is a long-standing one and it would take more than a year to revolutionise it but I believe my time in power would be a step in the right direction, following up from where Nick Dearman stopped.
  • Alignment with Manifesto promises: I am a firm believer in the impact of extra-curricular activities and how it shapes students through their academic journey. I jokingly tell people that their University Fees are not all about tuition (which would involve activities taking place in the classroom) even though that makes a larger chunk of it. But the reason for being in a school is to benefit from the social interactions which has been structured into things like associations, unions and societies. One of the major reasons of running for this position is because of my belief in legitimacy of extra-curricular activities.

My promises

While I would be playing the role of an unjust judge. I intend to bring in some of my experience as a BME International PG Student and see how I can work with the existing structures to make the transitioning smoother. This would also lead to an increase in diversity of the student governing board, LUSU. Hence, the different sectors can be well-represented at discussion and policy-making meetings. 

Also, I would like to address the recent TEF and HE Bill. While it has good intentions; the dark sides might be overlooked to easily. Should I be given this role, I would lobby the University around the future academic planning which would undoubtedly involve increase in fees. I, with the support of the LUSU team negotiate a freezing of fees as it better enables students and parents plan towards given their children quality education at such a prestigious University as Lancaster.

Also, I would be looking into things like BME Attainment Gap, to see if such hypothesis hold true at Lancaster. Given my background as a Masters student, I would be organising well thought out surveys and field experiments to get a true description of the current situation of the BME Attainment Gap at Lancaster University. Chairing and supporting campaigns like Why is my Curriculum White?

Also, the impact of BREXIT on the cost of running the institution. I would work closely with the University’s top management to the extent of my power to see areas where a compromise can be reached to have something favourable to both the University and the Students (prospective/current).

Finally, Free Wednesdays, should be elected into this position I would lobby for an incorporation of extra-curricular activities into a student’s curriculum. Thereby, taking the “extra” out of the extra-curricular. It needs to be engrained. Research has shown that participation of students in extra-curricular activities improves their employability’s by helping them develop skills such as Time-management, teamwork etc.