Oluwakemi (Kemi) Agunbiade (Law, 2018) becomes Vice President, Women, and Keisha Asara (Oriental Studies, Chinese, 2018) is Vice President, Welfare and Equal Opportunities.
Commenting after the election, Kemi said: “I’m so elated to be next VP Women for the University. I can only owe my experience and knowledge to all the women (staff and students) I know at Wadham. I hope I can address the issue of sexual violence within the university more thoroughly and platform the voices and experiences of women marginalised within the feminist movement who are not straight, white, cis or non-disabled. Without the support of this college’s SU, both during my campaign and as women’s officer I would not have been able to achieve the goals I had and I hope to represent their interests the best I can.’
Keisha describes the imposter syndrome that influenced her early Oxford experiences: "I have a distinct memory of first arriving at Wadham, and my imposter syndrome being so bad that I feared my name would not be on the fresher's registration list. This fear journeyed with me throughout my first experiences at Oxford. Every time I was confronted with a register of names, I also had to confront my own fear of it being impossible for someone like me to exist in a space like Oxford. Throughout my three years here, I have learnt a lot from others. I pass my time being in awe of the friends I have made, the tutor who has supported me and the activists and fellow students within the movements and societies I have joined. It has been through everything I have learned from them and learning to trust more in myself and my own abilities that I was able to secure the position of VP WEO. Although it has been full of ups and downs, I am grateful for the journey I have had so far at Oxford and excited to see what the future, both doing this role and beyond Oxford, may bring.
Kemi was Wadham SU Women’s officer in her second year is currently Co-Chair of the SU anti sexual violence campaign, It Happens Here. Her manifesto includes organising sexual health and mental health education events and speakers, introducing a women’s caucus to amplify voices and encourage participation in the student council, encourage gender, trans and racial bias training throughout colleges as the norm and lobby for a staff student relationship ban.
Keisha’s manifesto includes support for students during and post-pandemic, working with the Oxford Mindfulness Centre and Counselling Service, and lobbying for next year’s finalists to be given mitigating circumstances. She also hopes to streamline the process of reaching out for support and help, introducing a system to choose a counsellor with whom students feel most comfortable. Intercollege buddy systems, essay workshops and improved handling of issues regarding discrimination are all part of her plans for the coming year.
More than 4880 students voted in the elections with turnout highest from St Catherine’s College and Wadham College respectively.