Get to know your new VP Science and Engineering, Aphrodite, who talks about what she has planned for the faculty for the upcoming year!
As part of our introductions to your Students' Union for the next year, we're releasing profiles on your new Exec Team! Next up in our profiles, is our new Vice President Science and Engineering, Aphrodite;
Tell us a bit about your journey here at Queen Mary so far?
I've wanted to study Zoology before I even knew what the scientific term for the it was. I've always known that I've had a great interest and compassion for plants and animals. Queen Mary's Zoology course was the best I'd seen, with a great balance of lectures and firsthand experience - it's taken me all over the world! I think I may have collected a skull or bone from almost every trip I've had. Please don't think I'm creepy, I use the excuse that I'm a scientist as a guise for my deep-rooted fascination of bones.
My friend convinced me on a shift (the day before nominations closed) to go for the new role of Vice President of Science & Engineering! I'll also never forget my brother's wise words of encouragement - 'If you did it, you've done it'. I guess I did it.
What’s your go-to order for Drapers or The Griff?
Sweet potato fries. I miss the onion rings they used to do as well! Also, any juice-related beverage. Like any.
Favourite spot on any of our campuses?
It has to be the rooftop area on the Fogg building. Most people don't know about it because you need certain types of access (luckily for me I was doing a study). We have a hive of bees on the roof and loads of plants (two things I love) and it's peaceful. The view of the skyline isn't too shabby either!
If you could start again, what would be the first society you’d join?
I think Lacrosse is a sexy sport, I know it isn't a society, but I think for me, it's the perfect balance of ferocity and skill. I would also have liked to have joined Film making society - I used to make 'quality' homemade films with my siblings when I was younger... they were great.
What’s your favourite non-campus place in East London?
I enjoy taking walks around Lee Valley, it feels like you're taking a temporary break from the hustle and bustle of London whilst not having to travel too far. Plus, because it's a regional park it's massive so you can always find new areas to explore.
If you could tell the incoming students one piece of advice, what would it be?
Take first year seriously. By this, I don't mean don't have fun, I mean know that it matters, know it counts. For some people the transition from A-levels (or an equivalent) can seem overwhelming. Please, please, please reach out to people, your peers, lecturers, us here at the SU or advice and counselling if you are having a hard time. Don't be embarrassed, I know it can be tough and hard to open up but we all want you to thrive here. Get involved in things that interest you; that passion and intelligence will become inherent and project into everything you engage in.
As one of the new Executive Officer positions, how are you going to interact with the schools in your faculty to improve the experience for students?
As we all know, this year has hit a little differently. In some ways it hasn't come with the energy I wished for 2020, but in others ways people around the world have really stepped up, supported one another and challenged injustice. I hope to do the same. I know I can't change the world simply working for the SU but I can give my time to people. It's going to be tricky this year, I need to reconfigure some of my manifesto points because I didn't predict a pandemic, but I would really like to engage with school and course reps more frequently. Moreover, I'd like to have a bigger role in DEAG meetings (where the Dean's of Education deliberate) in hopes of accurately representing the needs and desires of S & E. With my team I'm also in the process of reassessing the Education Manual in hopes of making it more palatable for teachers and students alike. Students know best what students want and I'd really like to give more time to you this year. Expect a lot of Zoom calls!