Get to Know your Student Officers

A new year the SU means there’s a brand new team of Full-Time Student Officers!

Now you may be asking yourself why should I care about this? Well you may have voted for them in our last SU Elections or you this may be brand new to you!

Your Student Officers are elected by you, the students. Throughout your year at uni, they will organise campaigns, take part in external lobbying and run events to make the changes that you want to see at Queen’s.

So with this in mind, here’s the main things you need to know about your SOs…

Beth Elder

Union President

What did you study at Queen’s?

I studied Pharmacy, although this was never the degree I thought I would end up doing, its set me up for a career path as a healthcare professional in the future which I’m very excited about!

What made you run for your post?

I have always been involved with the Students’ Union. I was a Course Rep before becoming a School Rep for the School of Pharmacy, and last year I was the Education Officer. From these roles, I realised I have so much more to offer students, and I wanted to continue to fight for them on a larger scale. Hopefully, as President I can deliver some large-scale change.

What have you got planned for this year?

This year, I want to continue our efforts into Cost-of-Living support with free food, free social events and increasing financial supports available – even if its just a £10 shop voucher or a free coffee, it all helps. There is also something to be said about adding a bit more fun to the SU after what felt like a really serious and difficult year, so let’s see what we can do 😊.

Any advice for new students at Queen’s?

Take advantage of every opportunity you can- get involved with SU Clubs & Societies, become a student rep, join in on activist rallies. They are an unreal way to meet people, develop new skills, interests and make friends for life.

If you ever feel overwhelmed, reach out to your friends, family, lecturers, or to us in the Students’ Union. We are here for you and no problem is too big or small- don’t let it get the better of you!

Aidan Moran

Campaigns & Engagement

What did you study at Queen’s?

Unfortunately, I was one of those Politics, Philosophy and Economics students. 

What made you run for your post?

I’ve been involved in campaigns for a long while, both at university and elsewhere. Pretty much all of them involved working with the community to build resistance to power, so the opportunity to represent the community I’d been a part of for years and help organise the student body to combat the ridiculous way we’ve been treated by those who see us as little more than gold mines to be depleted. 

What have you got planned for this year?

The main aim is to energise students to fight against any injustice they feel is necessary rather than the SU being the sole actor in student politics. We should have some exciting campaigns set up for the new year so that every student should feel able to campaign and take action on any issue that is relevant to them. 

A significant section of that is going to be making sure the Union is more accessible and transparent to students so expect to see a lot more of us in the next few months!

 A large campaign is also going to be on the table to make sure that the Cost of Living Crisis does not fall on the heads of students but on the university, landlords and employers who see students as easily exploited.

Any advice for new students at Queen’s?

Get involved in literally everything. This is the first year in a while that we’ve had a full return to campus so absolutely make use of it. Have absolutely no shame and speak to everyone in your course, to every society and to every stranger in the smoking area. If you’re ever struggling with university (or life), having a solid group of friends around you is always useful. Plus, you might try something for the first time and find out it’s your secret passion!

Saj Khan

Equality & Diversity

What did you study at Queen’s?

I studied politics at Queen’s, so that I could better understand how to make my ascendency to power and rule with an iron fist. Thankfully, my better nature took over and I saw the benefits of collectivism, democratic action, and solidarity.

What made you run for your post?

A combination of peer pressure, delusions of grandeur and the craic. I didn’t initially believe it was something I could do, despite having all the passion for it, but here I am and it’s not so terrible.

Issues of equality and inclusion have directly affected my life, so I saw it as an opportunity to affect change in a meaningful way and take an active role in shaping the conversations surrounding equality.

If you’re thinking about running for a role in the SU, but unsure, I’d say go for it, if I can do it then you definitely can.

What have you got planned for this year?

This year I’m putting particular focus on the normalisation of Irish language, supporting parents and carers with academic flexibility and the promotion of LGBTQIA+ sex education and events.

  • For Irish language I want to work locally to change street signage in the university area, as well as bringing in Seachtain naGaeilge to the SU. On a broader scale, I will be working nationally with other Students’ Unions to prepare for the publication of Irish language standards of best practice, so we can be ready to implement bilingual signage in our unions and campuses.
  • For Parents and Carers’ I want to propose, develop, and implement a flexible academic agreement that considers the impact caring responsibilities can have on education, by providing automatic extensions and targeted support.
  • A series of fun events throughout the year that focus on LGBTQIA+ relationship and sex education. This is the fun stuff 😊

Any advice for new students at Queen’s?

Get involved. University is what you make of it, it’s a self-directed experience, which may be scary at first but it’s a chance to discover who you are and how you can influence the world around you. Obviously prioritise your studies, but I won’t snitch if you skip a class (or two) to come to a SU event.

Networking is often said to be one of the great benefits of university, whilst that’s pretty cringe and corporate, it is truly a great opportunity to meet and collaborate with people of varied expertise and backgrounds and that’s not something to be taken for granted. Go forth ye wretched and rock the boat!

Kieran Minto

Postgraduate Education

What did you study at Queen’s?

I am doing a masters in Ecological Management and Conservation Biology, within the School of Biological Sciences.

What made you run for your post?

I’m not really sure why I ran. I suppose whist I was studying I saw things that annoyed me or things that I thought could be improved, which I had just put up with. Then I thought to myself, no point in just sitting here complaining when I can try and change things. I was involved with the union last year as a faculty rep so I thought being an officer would be something I might enjoy and be good at.

What have you got planned for this year?

Aside from the day-to-day and the inevitable mountain of emails that fill my inbox, I have a couple of things I’d like to work on. Internally, alongside the Undergraduate Education Officer I’d like to shake up the rep system, especially for postgrads; to make sure they are properly representing all students.

In a similar vein I’d like to make changes to education within the university, rationalising systems around lecture capture, assessments, and timetabling. I’d like to work on a couple of projects around campus sustainability and biodiversity, housing co-operatives and improving internal systems for clubs and societies.

Any advice for new students at Queen’s?

I know its clique but get stuck in, especially early on; join a couple of sports clubs and societies, especially if it’s something you’ve never tried, attend events that are put on by the union such as Freshers’ Fortnight. Make sure to go to your lectures, not just to learn but again it’s a good way to make friends.

Don’t just spend all your time with people you’re living with or that are in the same class as you, branch out and chat to new people, remember everyone is in the same boat as you. University is a chance to expand your horizons, it’s never too late to grab that opportunity.

Grace Duffy

Undergraduate Education

What did you study at Queen’s?

I have just completed my BSC with Professional Placement in Psychology. I also worked in the School of Psychology as the Education Support Officer for my placement year. During that year I was seen as a member of staff, sitting on multiple staff committees and providing a student perspective on things like recruitment, education and wellbeing events. I loved my time studying psychology and use my degree and experience in every aspect of my current position.

What made you run for your post?

Education has long held a special place in my heart. However, it was when my sister, who is autistic had to discontinue her studies at Queen’s after just two months due to a multitude of challenges ranging for inaccessibility and academic pressure to a lack of support, I decided enough is enough.

Fuelled by determination I decided to step up and run for this post to make a positive change and ensure that students are listened to throughout the university in regard to their education which is the fundamental element to their university experience.

What have you got planned for this year?

I have three main priorities for the year which cover strengthening student representatives, lecture recording and assessment and feedback along with creating better academic communities.

I plan to roll out the Academic Rep Hub which will provide all students with an opportunity to look up their representatives on their course and for reps to celebrate their wins through rep of the month. I plan to go out to all schools and fight the case for more Student Support Officers’ roles so each school in the university has a dedicated officer.

I plan to support the roll out of Panopto, the online lecture recording system, and continue to fight for a lecture recording policy to be put in place. These are just a few of my desired projects that I plan for this year but there are many more.

Any advice for new students at Queen’s?

Embrace the experience and get involved! University unveils a world of unparalleled possibilities. Whether you’re drawn to clubs, societies, volunteering, enterprise, career development or using your voice to create change, we at the Student Union cater for all these and more! The more you put into it, the richer your university journey becomes.

So, if I had one piece of advice it would be to sign up for at least one thing and come along and try it out. You never know, you could make lifelong friends, find something that relieves academic pressure, discover a new passion or hobby or many more. Seize this moment and don’t let this opportunity slip as these few years are really a once in a lifetime opportunity

Jess Hindley


What did you study at Queen’s?

Here at Queen’s I studied a Masters in Conflict Transformation and Social Justice. I did my undergraduate degree in Politics and International Relations at Lancaster University.

What made you run for your post?

During my year as a Queen’s student the Welfare post was vacant. The absence of a Welfare Officer, especially during the Cost-of-Living crisis, was notable and really emphasised to me how important the role is.

As a student, I worked on several campaigns including a successful rent strike in Lancaster that saved students over £1000 on their rent. I felt that my experience, particularly in housing activism and tenants’ unions would be useful in the fight to reduce the effects of the cost-of-living crisis.

What have you got planned for this year?

Implementing effective drug harm reduction policies across the University and Students’ Union will be one of my priorities this year.

I will also be working on a broad campaign of fostering a consent culture across the university with the ultimate goal of implementing opt-out consent training for all incoming students.

Housing has always been a key issue for students and the cost-of-living crisis has only amplified this. In the long-term, I want to work towards establishing student housing co-operatives, and lobby the government for better protections for student renters. In the short term, I want to build relationships with local tenants’ unions and improve the education that students receive on their rights as renters.

Any advice for new students at Queen’s?

My biggest piece of advice for new students is to get stuck in with the Students’ Union. I’d especially recommend joining a club or society because you can meet lots of people with similar interests that can become lifelong friends.

Queen’s Students’ Union is also a great place to get involved in all kinds of activism – if there is a cause that you care about, there will be a group or mechanism within the SU to help you fight for it.

You can find out more about your Student Officers and read their full manifestos here

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