SU Elections 2022 Winners: International Student Officer – Sharleen Kirubi

George Scotland

Sharleen Kirubi (She/ Her) has been elected as your new International Student Officer for 2022/23. Sharleen was declared the winner after winning 14 votes, in comparison to her closest opponent’s 11. Impact’s George Scotland caught up with Sharleen to ask her a few questions.

What are you most looking forward to in your role?

I’m really looking forward to cementing all the things I’ve done over the past year, developing what I’ve done from this past year, and continuing it through to this year. I’d like to make more concrete plans, one of which is the international student mental health project which I would like to make more frequent.

Could you please tell us some more about the International Student Mental Health Day?

I really want to set up an International Students Mental Health Day because as international students we face challenges that are very different from the challenges faced by home students. Obviously, we’re so far from home and have a minimal support system. Also, some people are unfamiliar with the language and customs so it can just be very difficult to integrate. These are all the primary challenges that I feel international students face and I think it’s important to commemorate a day focusing on the potential impact being an international student can have.

What was the highlight of your campaign?

I think having people come up to me and tell me they believed in me and what my manifesto said, I think that was definitely the highlight of my campaign. Having this support really helped ease my nerves during an intense week, and meant so much to me.

Did you face any challenges while campaigning?

There were definitely challenges whilst campaigning. There were times when I was anxious and stressed but I think I managed it pretty well. In terms of the difference between online and in-person campaigning, I’d say primarily getting your face out there is important, like being in Portland and handing out leaflets which I think really makes the difference. There’s not much difference in terms of the actual planning between online and in-person, both are time-consuming, but being more visible and able to reach out is much better.

When did you decide to run?

I knew from the start of this year I was going to run as I really enjoyed the role and I knew this was something I wanted to take forward.

How are you going to be celebrating tonight?

I’m going to go to sleep after a stressful week and I just want to rest. Maybe we’ll talk about celebration towards the end of the weekend. Maybe a few drinks, but for now the most important thing is to sleep before I take on this important position.

What policy are you most looking forward to implementing?

I think my biggest policy currently is the events involving welcome week which I’m really looking forward to implementing. I think these types of events will really boost engagement and will really drive our values of Nottingham and who we are as international students.

Is there anything you’d like to say to the people that voted for you?

First of all, I want to thank people for believing in what I say and taking the time to go and vote. I promise after being elected as International Student Officer to enact all of my pledges where possible.

How are you going to make sure you are committed to your campaign pledges?

First of all, I think it’s important to keep posting and engaging with the UoN international students page and keep people updated with what I’m doing so they are connected with this process. This allows me to maintain a direct link with those who hold me accountable.

George Scotland

Featured image is courtesy of Chiara Crompton. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of Max Harries. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to these images.

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