Re: Campaign for the board or president
I am standing for the Board because I think a programme as special as E.MA deserves an extraordinary alumni association. With the web-infrastructure set up, financial support from EIUC secured and an incredible pool of expertise and experience among masteroni – I think we are in a fantastic place to achieve a great deal and I would like to play my part in a great team of people who dedicate time, effort, expertise and passion to make this happen.
As spelled out in the statute, the E.MAlumni association’s purpose is three-fold:
– To promote and reinforce contacts between its members at a professional and informal level
– To support and help improve the activities of EIUC and E.MA
– To promote Human Rights and Democracy throughout the world
I think that it is vital to focus on the first two aims in order to lay the foundations for achieving the third. I therefore agree with many of the other candidates that to achieve a strong and engaged group of members should be a priority, especially in the first year. One way of achieving this could for example be through a mentoring scheme which would create links across generations of masteroni. It would provide a real additional benefit for those considering doing the E.MA, it would provide a strong incentive for newly graduated masteroni to join the association and is a great opportunity for those further on in their career to connect with less experienced colleagues and enhance coaching, communication and leadership skills. We all know how important it is sometimes to bounce ideas of someone else or to speak to someone who has been through a similar situation, someone who is also trying to combine family and career for example. This is what a scheme like this would allow for.
E.MA thrives from the diversity of its students. And yes, as I stressed at the panel discussion in Brussels, E.MA and EIUC could be more proactive in ensuring everyone feels welcome at the E.MA programme, true to the Human Rights principles of equality and non-discrimination. I would therefore propose to establish a Diversities Group bringing together expertise in different fields and different strands of equality. This group could serve as a critical friend to E.MA and EIUC and make constructive suggestions about how to ensure that E.MA is accessible to a diverse group of people as possible and that everyone feels they can be themselves, regardless of religion, gender, sexual orientation, disability etc. Groups of experts, such as the Diversities Group, might at a later stage also consult other organisations in this area but I believe we have to start leading by example.
I would like to echo the idea of a high quality newsletter which would allow alumni to share some of their experience and which would help better connect members and foster interest in the association. It would also be invaluable to further promote human rights and democratisation and present the activities of the association and individual alumni beyond the members.
I would bring to the Board my experience as a member of the student union during my first degree and the experience of being a student representative for E.MA 2007-2008, a time during which I wrote a guide for future students and student representatives in an attempt to create an institutional memory which would increase the bargaining powers vis-a-vis the administration. I was furthermore very involved in the yearbook production and greatly enjoyed being part of the panel of Human Rights Defenders at the E.MAlumni GA meeting in Brussels and getting actively involved in the discussions around the statute and the direction of the association in general.
I have been working as Education Officer for Stonewall, the national lesbian, gay and bisexual equality charity in Britain for nearly two years. Part of my role is developing strategic interventions with national, regional and local government, working in coalition with other equality organisations and developing resources and publications.
I would like to enrich the Board with this experience and expertise in equality and diversity, human rights education and dedicate my passion to creating something extraordinary.
I am looking forward to working with all of you for the next two years as a member of a fantastic team.