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Rashmi Samant: First Indian Woman To Win Oxford Student Union Presidency

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Rashmi Samant wins Oxford Student Union Presidency: An alumna of Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), Rashmi Samant won the presidential election for Oxford Student Union on Thursday. She is the first Indian woman to achieve this feat.

Samant, who hails from Karnataka, is also an alumna of Manipal Academy of Higher Education (MAHE). She became the first Indian woman to be elected in the position of Oxford Student Union President. Samant took over as the president of the union on February 11 this year. She is a graduate student of MSc in energy system at Linacre College.

Samant received 1966 of the 3708 votes that were cast, bagging more than the combined votes of all the other three candidates.

“My major goal is just that I want to make sure that every student, no matter their background and their identity, feels like they belong here,” said Rashmi Samant during her interview before becoming the President-elect.

Reform Oxford is my tagline: Rashmi Samant, President of Oxford Student Union

Who is Rashmi Samant?

Samant was largely behind the launch of Manipal Hackathon and worked as the women’s representative at Linacre College. Prior to that, she served as the Sabbatical Officer at Student Council (India). She received her early education in Manipal and Udupi and completed her graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, before travelling to Oxford for her Masters.

The dynamic student leader was born to Vathsala Samant and Dinesh Samant, who hail from Manipal. According to a statement from MIT, at the institutes, she was known for her leadership skills and spirited nature. 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.

Her four main focuses as the Oxford SU president will be: decolonisation and inclusivity, COVID interventions for all, access to quality mental health resources, and decarbonising the university.

Feature Image Credit: Times Now