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Manifesto Analysis: Director of Education


HITANISH BADANI


Ms. Badani holds true to her emphasis on accessibility as evidenced on the manifesto’s first page, which provides a Linktree QR code making herself easily contactable. It also alludes to her dedication to an improved social media campaign to effectively engage with the University’s student population. She clearly lists out her four main priorities — accessibility, belonging, careers and decolonisation, or the ABCD — which are distinct and easy to understand. Not to mention, her manifesto is visually engaging, suggesting that she has put a sizable amount of time into perfecting her nomination. 


Ms. Badani shows a history of consistent engagement in education decision-making across her higher education career, which demonstrates her sustained passion for the role. She mentions her time as Arts and Divinity Faculty President, in the Academic Senate, the Learning and Teaching Committee and the Student Experience Strategic Management Group, to name just a few — she has held virtually every other education-related role available to students, many at a high level, so there is no doubt of her experience. Several of the experiences on Ms. Badani’s list reflect her interest in access and decolonisation, indicating there is experience and substance to the other points on her manifesto as well, and that they fit into her education remit.


Ms. Badani has clearly thought in detail about careers for various types of students - domestic, international, and graduate, demonstrating she understands the needs of a wide range of members of the university community, and draws from more than just her own lived experience. Ms. Badani’s manifesto repeatedly references collaboration with other Sabbatical officers, and links between union committees, indicating cohesion and teamwork will be key focuses during her time in the role.Her accessibility promises are practical, fairly simple and lower-cost, for instance standardising vending machines, quiet zones, and microwaves in all school buildings, demonstrating pragmatism. Ms. Badani’s academic policies reflect an understanding of the day-to-day problems students encounter with lectures and reading lists, with a focus on accessibility for those with disabilities or who are neurodivergent, demonstrating a down-to-earth attitude and again realistic goals. Ms. Badani’s promises are specific and measurable. Her calls for an improved extensions policy, better academic advising for joint-honours students, and maintaining Covid-19 modifications long-term reflect deeper, embedded concerns of students. However, it is unclear how these fit into her 4 priorities, and the many sections of Ms. Badani’s manifesto does raise concerns about splitting her focus and time between them over just a 12-month term.


Ms. Badani emphasised the importance of inclusivity in a variety of different ways. She wants to increase accessibility for disabled students by making certain study spaces and lecture halls wheelchair friendly, ensure that the University does not lose momentum post-Covid for positive remote learning experiences, improve extension policies, and advocate for support for joint-honour students. Ms. Badani also stresses the importance for the University to support those working part-time jobs. She cites her own experiences balancing her own part time job with her studies, indicating she will be a voice for lower income students in what is traditionally a wealthier environment. She also does so through her commitment to decolonisation, which would work to make the University a more inclusive and safe space for BAME students. She seeks to further promote the BAME Student’ Network self-report form for instances of decolonisation, advocate for the greater inclusion of EDI class reps and promotion of EDI and anti-racist training for teachers and students alike, and pursue intersectionality in societies, events, and extracurriculars. This also ties to another one of her four pillars — belonging. Ultimately, Ms. Badani seeks to create an inclusive, accessible, and welcoming environment for all students. 


 


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