‘I can’t really see myself as President’. Girls, really?

Maybe you can’t see yourself as President of SUSU because there have only been four female presidents in the last 23 years.

53% of University of Southampton students are female. Yet these are the only women who have been elected to lead the Students’ Union in over two decades:

Alex Tanfield 2008-2009

Sarah Moore 2007-2008

Marie Heracleous 2000-2001

Hannah Barton 1994-1995

Beckie Thomas quote 1

This year, SUSU has been campaigning for women to lead the way. We held the Inspiring Women event in The Bridge in November, which 100 students came along to, and plans are already underway to celebrate International Women’s Week in March.

Beckie Thomas wordle

The SUSU elections are coming up and a new sabbatical team of seven students will be elected to represent the views of the student body.

There is always the argument that discussing gender issues proliferates them, but with so many intelligent, driven women studying at the University of Southampton, I think it’s time to point out the obvious- more girls should nominate themselves!

Five women were elected onto the 2014-15 sabbatical team, but this doesn’t guarantee female representation next year. We need to continue to diversify the leadership, because we really want to represent the student population we were elected to represent.

Sabbatical team 2No-one expects you to know how to be a sabbatical officer. That’s what training is for! I knew incredibly little about SUSU before I nominated myself. If you have ideas, and you have focus, you’ll be given the support you need to make a real positive difference to students’ lives.

Research by Hewlett-Packard found that women only apply for jobs when they feel they 100% match the job specification; men apply when they meet around 60% of the requirements.

So focus on thinking about all of the skills you already have that you could develop, and the rest you’ll be given the opportunity to gain throughout your year as a sabbatical officer.

Beckie Thomas quote 2

Finally, if you want to find out about the kind of projects and strategies the current sabb team are working on, check out http://blogs.susu.org/sabbs/ . Or, you can find out about my progress six months in here.

If you have any questions about standing for election, email [email protected], or feel free to email me at [email protected]

Nominate yourself HERE, elections close on February 12th.

Seriously, think about it, what have you got to lose?


Leave your response!

  • Not Oli Coles

    And just hope no one bullies you out


  • Rugby Mad Malyasia

    Could you fly all the way over to our campus in Malaysia along with the Chief Executive and then as a result send less cash then half the combined fare of you coming to visit and live it up in 5 star accommodation so we can hire sports facilities….

    Yeah! way to go on making sure you get the most out of SUSU coffers for actual students to do stuff


  • Equality Man/Woman/Unisex Superhero

    Don’t forget that you can run for a sabbatical role regardless of gender, with hopefully the person best suited for the job getting it in the end. I know crazy right?