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Amar Shandabar

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Campaign Video


What is your background?

Prior to coming to SOAS, I was vigorously involved in organizing campaigns, activities, and events such as fundraising parties and protests for grass-root human rights organizations in Egypt and Lebanon. During my undergrad, I was president of the Women’s rights club and coordinated panels with visiting academics in my university.

I am currently the campaigns officer for the LGBTQIA+ Society at SOAS and during this time, have coordinated with Palestine Society on anti-pinkwashing and Boycott Divestment Sanctions events, will be representing SOAS as Black Minority Ethnic Groups rep at both NUS annual Women & LGBTQIA+ conference, and have been actively involved in student activities on and off campus.

What are the two most pressing issues facing students on campus today?

As everyone is aware there is a serious issue with accessibility and support within SOAS as an institution, which I want to tackle in order to allow everyone to have equal access to the union space and its facilities.

What are your top priorities in this role?

I’d like to create a space that everybody can enjoy. My focus for next year will be:

  • Film, Art, & Music Festivals
  • Freshers, Post-grad, undergrad, and Bi-weekly late license parties
  • Competitive and non-competitive sports alike
  • Non-alcoholic events
  • Lobbying for more union space (particularly with the move to Senate House in 2015/2016)
  • Opposing the privatization and marketization of our education

How can the union improve as an organisation representing such a diverse group of students?

I want to create a Student Union that is an inclusive space for all SOAS students next year. The SU should be a space that undergrads, post-grads, those doing their year abroad, and all members of our community can access, use and feel comfortable in. Working with liberation and focus groups, I want to create alternative ways to participate in the UGM, events, societies, and other union activities.

What is the most important quality for a member of the union executive to have?

Compassion – because at the end of the day we are all students and we need to stick together, listen and support each other in our struggles. We need to work together despite our differences (or similarities!)

If you could invite any three people (alive or dead) to a party, who would they be?

I’d love to have Vijay Prashad, Judith Butler, and Tintin over for dinner to discuss urban representation of the global south and orientalist tropes in comic books.

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