Term may be winding down, but preparations are busily underway in the SU for two brand new elected Full Time Officers to begin their terms. During the handover period, we caught up outgoing President Eva to gather her reflections on her time at Goldsmiths, the SU’s biggest achievements this year and her post-Goldsmiths plans.
For Eva, rent reimbursements stand out as one of the SU’s major successes this year. After a three year campaign, the rent strikers secured £650,000 in reimbursement for rent in halls, alongside assurances for better quality and more affordable accommodation.
The partnership between students and the Union contributed to the successful conclusion of the strike, Eva emphasises: “The rent strike didn’t begin in the SU, it was brought into the Union by students”.
Likewise the energy, determination and creativity that emerged in the recent UCU strike was a major highlight for the outgoing President: “Students were self-organising, we had workshops, Student Assembly packed out the cafe,” Eva said.
Throughout her time in the Union, Eva’s worked closely with the lecturers' union, UCU, and reflected: It’s been great to work with UCU on the Goldpaper, including the three issues of mental health, housing and governance, which are all incredibly important to students’ lives. The ideas around democratising the College, if acted upon, could make Goldsmiths a much better and fairer place for everyone.”
Eva is especially proud of increasing women’s participation in sport at Goldsmiths and the growing prominence of sport in the College more widely. She points to the success of the ‘Gold Girls Can’ initiative, a Goldsmiths version of the This Girl Can project, which promotes women’s participation in sport and physical activities. “The fact that last year it was all women who were running to be Sports Officers made me very happy. Getting people involved in sport in the Union and bringing sports back into the Union is something I am extremely pleased with,” Eva adds.
Before becoming President, Eva graduated with a degree in Fine Art and History of Art. She will be now moving to the National Union of Students (NUS) to take up her role as Vice President Welfare, where she aims to harness the success of Goldsmiths campaigns at a national level, as well as mobilising students on housing and mental health.