Manipal, February 2021.
Ms. Rashmi Samant, an alumna of Manipal Institute of Technology, MAHE created history by winning the prestigious position of Oxford Student Union Presidency on 11 February 2021.Ms Samant is the first Indian woman to occupy the position of President of Oxford Student Union. Incidentally ,in the historic win, Ms. Samant bagged more than the combined votes of the other three contestants for the post.
Ms. Samant, is a graduate student of MSc in energy systems at Linacre College, Oxford University. She ran for the post of Oxford SU President with four main priorities: decolonization and inclusivity, COVID interventions for all, access to quality mental health resources and decarbonizing the university. This election saw 4,881 students cast 36,405 votes, an SU record as it was the highest voter turnout ever. Ms. Samant recieved 1966 of the 3708 cast for the position of President, more than all the other candidates combined, in a landslide victory.
According to her manifesto, Samant intends to lobby the University and Conference of Colleges to remove all statues proven to be imperialist, including Christopher Codrington’s. She will also push for residency requirements to be waived until the World Health Organisation declares the end of the pandemic, lobby to increase funding for the mental health strategy and work for convince the Conference of Colleges to divest from fossil fuels as soon as possible.
Ms. Rashmi Samant, daughter of Vathsala Samant and Dinesh Samant hails from Manipal. She had early education in Manipal and Udupi. She completed her graduation in Mechanical Engineering at Manipal Institute of Technology (2016-2020 batch), Manipal. She was known for her leadership skills and spirited nature at the institute. She was the Technical Secretary of the Student Council at MIT, Manipal and was instrumental in initiating a number of constructive activities at the institute. Manipal Hackathon, an event to incubate modern digital solutions to the societal challenges, was conceived and introduced at MIT primarily because of her efforts.
Officials of MAHE, the Director, MIT and the staff members of the institute are immensely proud of Ms. Rashmi’s achievement and wish her all the success in her role as the President of Oxford SU.