UCDSU By-Elections 2022: Graduate Officer Candidate Amit Wasnik

Image Credit: Amit Wasnik

ith experience in Event Management and Volunteering, Amit Wasnik is running for the position of Graduate Officer.

Wasnik, currently undergoing an MSc in Information Systems, hopes to use his experiences as an international student to help others who are making the same transition. Through his leadership and cultural skills, he aims to create a sense of “community and solidarity among international students in UCD.”

Throughout his manifesto, there is a clear intention to address many of the concerns that international students face during their time in UCD, addressing the connecting of international students with the whole of the university as the most important part of the position. He acknowledges the troubles that many face in the adapting to a new culture and how it can affect inclusion, noting that there is “much that can be done to improve the support available to students who live thousands of miles away from home.” Speaking with the University Observer, he offered an anecdote into his experience in running for graduate officer, noting that he had difficulty in finding the relevant answers relating to Visa prerequisites. This is something he wants to address as graduate officer, stating that “everyone deserves to get an answer, everyone deserves to get their problem solved.”  Other keys goals as part of his manifesto include the spreading of awareness of the rights of international students, the insurance of equal opportunity through UCD’s Jobs and Careers centre, the promotion of international communities and their events, ensuring representation of the voice of international students on campus, and the introduction of additional opportunities for international students at the Freshers’ Fair. His manifesto also opens himself up for opinions of the University’s level of equality, diversity and inclusion. 

Given the centrality around international students’ issues as part of his manifesto, the University Observer prompted him about more general plans should be be elected as Graduation Officer. He highlighted the post graduate students as his “main priority”, but maintained his original stance that there are a plethora of issues facing international students. He believes that the domestic students he spoke to had “ample knowledge” regarding their pathways as postgraduate students, and has insisted on his approachability regarding any feedback, suggestions or particular problems they may be facing. While he aims to “keep in touch” with these students, he stresses the importance of addressing the concerns he has with the availability of information to international students. 

Regarding changes to be implemented to aid the SU’s efforts in equality, diversity and inclusion, Wasnik did not express any need for a drastic change. He expressed a great deal of respect for the fighting done by the SU thus far relating to equality but remained open to addressing any concerns as they arise. 

Noted in Wasnik’s manifesto was the potential creation of an “administrative system” for students to help in their integration and inclusion. When prompted to expand on this idea, Wasnik noted that while he did not have any immediate complaints regarding existing systems, he noted of experiences that other students spoke with him about. Such complaints included international students missing out on key courses despite having the necessary qualifications, and any attempts to query their possible next steps were left relatively unsatisfied. Such interactions were cited as possible blank spots that future administrative systems should address. 

Wasnik stands firm in his ability to fully address the concerns of post graduate students as a key factor in why students should vote for him. While expressing a great level of respect for his opponents in the graduate race, he maintains that his approachability and leadership qualities would make him a great candidate for the position of graduate officer.