Yay to girl power as Rashmi Samant has created history by being elected the first female President of the Oxford Students’ Union. Samant is an alumnus of Manipal Institute of Technology, Karnataka who has posted in her LinkedIn profile that she believes in “effective policymaking and healing the deteriorating climate change of the world.”

Landslide victory for the energy enthusiast

According to an Oxford Student report, the election saw the university students casting 36,405 votes which was historic as it was the highest voter turnout for the election. Samant had a landslide of a victory as she received 1966 of the 3708 casted votes for the position of SU (Student Union) president. Her victory can be considered a landslide one as she accumulated votes more than all the other three candidates that were running for the position combined.

Rashmi Samant’s Manifesto that made her win the Oxford Students’ Union Presidential elections

According to the manifesto of the bright Indian student, her presidency will have her work on four focus points:

Decolonisation and Inclusivity: As a BAME (Black, Asian, minority, ethnic) woman from a country that was a former British colony, Samant remains empathetic towards the struggles faced by people from marginalized communities. Samant also promised to “tackle the institutional homophobia” and “decolonisation of the syllabi” by removing the statues that prove to be imperialist in the Oxford campus.

COVID-19 interventions for all: Samant in her manifesto promised that she would work towards waiving off the residency requirements until the WHO declares the end of the pandemic.

Access to Quality Mental Health Resources: Her manifesto stated that she will lobby towards increasing the funding for the mental health strategy and work towards helping people have better mental health.

Decarbonising the university: Lastly, Samant promised that she would work and try to convince the Conference of Colleges to shift their focus on the ways University is using fossil fuels and divest from these sources of energy as soon as possible.

Early life of Rashmi Samant

Hailing from Manipal, Rashmi is the proud daughter of equally proud Vathsala Samant and Dinesh Samant. Her early education took place in Manipur and later from Udupi. She continued her journey by completing her graduation from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal in Mechanical Engineering.

According to reports, the prestigious Manipal Hackathon was conceived and initiated at her graduation university primarily thanks to her efforts. The Manipal Hackathon is a yearly event that incubates teams from Universities across India who present digital solutions to societal or economical challenges. The MIT staff, director and other officials have praised Samant’s achievement and have wished her success in her future endeavours.

Meanwhile, Rashmi is joined by two other Indians, Devika, and Dhitee Goel in her team. While Devika is elected as the Oxford Students’ Union Vice President Graduates-Elect, Dhitee is awarded the title of Student Trustees-elect.


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