Third-year students Raphi Diamond and Ella Rose have launched their campaigns to be the next Union of Jewish Students’ president.
The two candidates have spent the week touring campuses across the country and meeting members of Jewish Societies in a bid to gain support.
Voting takes place from December 4 to 11, with the winner announced at the annual UJS conference on December 15. The victor will officially take over from current president Joe Tarsh in the summer of 2014.
Here, the two runners explain their policies and their personal visions for the future of the UJS.
Raphi Diamond, 21
University of Manchester, Psychology
Slogan: “Play your cards right, vote Diamond”
Previous experience: A year as a member of the UJS national council; has worked closely with Manchester JSoc; madrich for Limmud, Tribe and Bnei Akiva.
What is your vision for the UJS? “Communication, community and continuity. UJS does not need another huge revamp; what it needs is a year to progress and publicise. This means small changes that will have big, positive impacts on students.
“I aim to put in place a simple handover between new and old committee members, so that campaigns and event-planning of previous years won’t be forgotten. ”
“I also want to increase cross-communal interactions and let every affiliation of Judaism have a voice on campus. ”
What qualities would you bring to the job? “Good management and communication. As UJS president, you need to be a motivator, a mentor and a friend, and you also need to make sure you can steer it in the right direction — I believe I can do this.
“I spent the lead-up to my campaign researching what different JSocs require and what they think of UJS, so that I can lead it towards the best outcomes for students.
Ella Rose, 20
University of Nottingham, History and Politics
Slogan: “Watch UJS bloom”
Previous experience: Campaigns officer for Nottingham JSoc; role on the national council, ambassador for the European Union of Jewish Students; sole representative of UJS at a meeting of the World Union of Jewish Students with the president of the World Jewish Congress.
What is your vision for the UJS? “It should be a grass-roots, peer-led organisation and this needs to be our focus in coming years. It should not be directing JSocs, rather it should be there to help them navigate the path that is best for their campus. It’s not about bringing the students to UJS; the union needs to come back to the students.
“This can be done through more structured and regular feedback from students, not just JSoc committees.
“An online suggestion box would further representation and accountability within UJS. “I want to set up a Jewish students studying abroad network to help those going on a year or semester abroad.
What qualities would you bring to the job: “Experience. I have been involved with UJS on a local, national and international level. I understand the role of president and the work it entails. I have learned about our union, what we need to make us bloom.”