Wessex Scene interview Mingjie Yu, who is running for the position of VP Communities in the 2018 Union Spring Elections.
Why have you decided to run for the role of VP Communities?
I am an international student and I want to help other international students to solve their problems. When I came to the UK I faced many problems, about life and about studying and SUSU helped me. I want to use my experience and skills to help others.
What experience do you have that would make you the ideal candidate for the role?
I’m the course rep in my major, so I am a bridge between our team leader and our classmates. I always help my classmates to solve their problems, get their voice heard and give advice for our team leader. I think I have the communication skills and the problem solving skills necessary. Also before I started my masters I worked in a big company so I have managerial experience and so I think I can create a social cohesion between the communities.
What do you think are the main issues that exist around the current VP Communities role and how would you solve them?
I think the student communities organise parties and different activities but they don’t stress the different campuses that need connecting. I live in Winchester, so I have experienced cases when they don’t have club and society activities available and we have to go to Southampton campus. I will organise more activities in WSA and stress the connection between the different campuses. I also think they need to know the different cultures better, there are many international students here and sometimes it would be nice to have more activities for those cultures.
As you’ve mentioned in your statement, you’re a global media management student and you study at Winchester as well. Do you think that gives you a different perspective and different experiences to some of the other candidates running for the role?
Yes. I think this experience will improve myself. I can touch many platforms and reach out to many different people because of my experience.
What would be your three most important objectives for the year if you were to be elected?
Firstly, I would stress the connection between the different campuses. Secondly, I think I would have more patience because I am an international student and I understand the problems they have. The third is my slogan, ‘We stand together’. I can help them, I can support the student voice.
As an international student yourself, what would you do to help other international students?
I think sometimes when students come to a strange country they feel lonely and maybe and sometimes they are quite shy. I think the language is a big problem for them and I understand this. I can find a way to communicate with them and solve their problems.
You’ve mentioned the language difference being an issue, do you think at the moment there are some international students that aren’t getting all the information they need?
I think sometimes they worry about their English, so while I talk with you now I worry that you can’t understand me. I think in that moment we need more patience and need to give them more help. I think having another language is one of my strengths to help them.
There are a lot of mature students here studying, how would you aid them better and give them great representation?
We can take a stand and organise a group to help them. It’s a good way to connect with the different types of students, not just the international students but all types.
To find out more about Mingjie Yu and what she wants to achieve if elected as VP Engagement, read her personal statement here.