Image: Loic Verstrepen Sande / The Boar

Meet your candidates: SU Ethnic Minorities Officer

Meet the candidates running to be your next Students’ Union Ethnic Minorities Officer in this year’s spring elections.


Sobia Inayat

My name is Sobia, and I am running for Ethnic Minorities Officer. I am currently in my second year of studying History and Politics.

I was born in Norway but with ethnic roots stemming from Pakistan. My drive to help others transpired from a young age experiencing first-hand the differences between the countries.

I am currently the Women’s Captain for Warwick Handball and the treasurer for ANSA Warwick – Association for Norwegian Students Abroad. I have previously worked in Amnesty International and Red Cross. In the past I coached handball for children and was active in the Student Council in Norway.

Why are you running for this role?

Growing up in Norway, a predominantly white country, I didn’t actually see anyone who looked like me until coming to Warwick. My childhood has allowed me to grow into a person with a strong drive and devotion to help others.

I am running for this position because I can bring my knowledge and experience into the role. I am here to listen to your problems and fight for solutions. I can and will help to change things for the better.

What, in your opinion, most needs changing at Warwick?

We need to address the fact that the mental health of students is deteriorating. A healthy mind is the foundation of everything, and we can’t make progress without it. There needs to be more wellbeing resources aimed at ethnic minorities and their needs. Societies and clubs need to create an accommodating environment, as do faculties and departments. By doing this we can start to tackle other issues such as lack of academic diversity and lack of diversity training for staff.

What has been your favourite memory from your time at Warwick?

This is a hard question, but all my memories are related to diversity. I have gotten the opportunity to experience so many different cultures which I wouldn’t have otherwise. I have absolutely loved meeting new people and engaging in their culture, way of living, ideas, thoughts, values and traditions. In the past years I have played Korfball and Canoe Polo, watched Belly dancing and Indian classical dance, and I have eaten Injera, Tagine, Dolma and Malaysian Mee Goreng noodles!

Zoya Kamran

I’m Zoya Kamran and I’m running to be your part time Ethnic Minorities Officer. I will work towards protecting marginalised communities and ensuring ethnic minorities feel heard and seen at Warwick. I will fight to create an accessible platform that will allow all individuals to speak about issues they are passionate about as I feel the university doesn’t offer this. I intend to help create a true sense of community between ethnic minorities to help us all thrive whilst at university and enjoy our time at Warwick. I have previous experience in organising protests and awareness days which I believe will be valuable to my role.

Why are you running for this role?

As a young Kashmiri woman studying in a predominantly white university, I understand the issues faced by ethnic minorities at Warwick. The disconnect created by the pandemic has led to many students feeling isolated and unsure of the support available for them. As a big believer in the power of solidarity between marginalised communities, I know the importance of bridging this gap and I intend to do so as I believe everyone deserves to have their voice heard.

What, in your opinion, most needs changing at Warwick?

Ethnic Minorities at Warwick deserve a safe and appreciative community. The current system is not working. We need more accessible, more publicised, and more efficient methods of reporting any issues that arise and a way of dealing with them together. I believe we must create a safe environment for ethnic minorities where they know their voices will be heard, listened to, and valued.

What has been your favourite memory from your time at Warwick?

The COVID experience of Warwick has been a strange one to say the least, but it has been a good one so far. It is hard to pin down a single favourite memory, but I would say spending Saturday nights competing in drunk sports day would have to be it. I have created deep friendships with my flatmates at levels that I probably wouldn’t have reached if it wasn’t for the pandemic.

Magiesha Maheswaran and Fatima Soomro ENE

Hi everyone, we are Magiesha and Fatima running to be co-Ethnic Minorities Officers in this year’s Spring Elections! 

During this pandemic where ethnic minority communities have been disproportionately been affected, the University showed time and time again that it’s priority is not student welfare, and especially not it’s students of colour.

Having each been a part of Warwick Anti-Racism Society exec and a Widening Participation Officer, we believe ourselves to be committed to supporting marginalized communities not just at Warwick but beyond.

Vote for us as your EMOs, for Education Not Exploitation, to have your voice heard!

Why are you running for this role?

As a part of the cohort that had it’s first year cut short by COVID, we witnessed the number of ways in which the University neglected it’s students’ needs; from slow responses to paying extortionate fees for services we don’t even have. We recognise that the University’s callous attitude affects it’s students of colour tenfold and we’re simply tired of being treated like this.

What, in your opinion, most needs changing at Warwick?

The acknowledgement that being an ethnic minority (EM) is not an isolated identity. Our identities as students of colour intersect with gender, sexuality, disability, widening participation etc. You cannot place all students under a singular umbrella term but the way this university has treated students during COVID has says the complete opposite. The university has a duty to cater to the intersectionality of our needs as already marginalised communities.

What has been your favourite memory from your time at Warwick?

Magiesha: I’ll always remember my first WARSOCxWASS book clubs where we chatted for over an hour about our ancestry! As a Tamil girl coming from East London, it became a space where I could critically engage with the structural inequalities I saw, and be a part of a wholesome community!

Fatima: My favourite memory at Warwick has been competing in moots! As a law student, the experience has allowed to practically apply the legality of real world issues to complex cases

Harry Sun

Hi there! I’m Harry from Hong Kong and I am running to be your ethnic minorities officer 🙂

Ever since I founded my own charity when I was 12, I’ve been passionately advocating for ethnic minority and refugee rights in my city, so much so, I’ve even published a book on ethnic minority refugees during the COVID lockdown. I would love to serve as your EM officer, and to listen to your ideas on how to increase racial equitability at Warwick. A special shoutout to fellow international students who may have just arrived in the UK for their first time!

Why are you running for this role?

I’m running because of personal experience with racial prejudice – less than one hour after I arrived in the UK for the first time, I was told by a man at London Euston station to “f**k off back to China with [my] corona”. Experiences like these are unacceptable, but are also unacceptably common and under-reported. I want to empower BAME voices around campus, and change the culture of intolerance experienced by many of my fellow BAME friends.

What, in your opinion, most needs changing at Warwick?

Warwick and the SU needs to formulate a stronger and swifter response to allegations of sexual misconduct on campus, a response that extends beyond strongly-worded emails into solid action.

Allegations of sexual misconduct must be investigated by an impartial panel, who should offer support to victims and take swift action to remove perpetrators from campus (permanently) once misconduct is established. Anything short of this would allow our University’s culture of sexual misconduct to fester, failing many who have been assaulted.

What has been your favourite memory from your time at Warwick?

As a first year, my favourite memory was having Christmas dinner with my flat. While our cooking skills proved disastrous (think: raw chicken), it was a special moment of bonding for our flat.

My most striking memory was arriving on campus for the first time and seeing hot water flooding out of my room due to burst piping. Standing there with a massive suitcase and bags of Tesco shopping, I knew this would be a memory I’ll keep for good.


Disclaimer: candidates’ answers have not been edited. The opinions featured here do not reflect the opinions of The Boar.


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