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Union News

Interview: VP Education & Democracy Candidate, Izzette Encarnacion

Where are you originally from?
I am from the Dominican Republic. The centre of the Caribbean.

What course are you on?
I am doing a Master’s in Educational Leadership and Management.

What drew you to the University of Portsmouth?
1. The weather. It’s the hottest place in the UK. 2. Plus the global office. The work they do is amazing.

What is your favourite thing about the city of Portsmouth?
I really like the view of the sea during the sunset.

Who is your idol and why?
I really like The Rock. He’s really handsome. I like the way he advertises himself. He’s close to people and really humble.

What is your dream job?
I probably wouldn’t be working! I would really like to be the minister in my country. To make changes.

If you won the lottery what’s the first thing that you would buy?
That I would buy? A plane ticket to my country! Just to go there.

What was the primary reason for you running in the student elections?
It sounds fun and it would be nice to be a sabbatical. Also, I want to know the behind of things. Such as how the university works, what is it that you do to make it outstanding? I would love to explore behind the scenes further.

If you could change one thing that would instantly improve everyday life for students at the university, what would it be and why?
I would change the way lectures are. I come from a different country, a developing country. When I imagine myself here, doing a master’s, I imagine the location being different. When I got here and I saw the same slideshows, the same teacher talking, I was a little bit disappointed.

So it’s really similar?
It’s really similar. I’ve come to the UK and I was expecting something different but it was the same.

Would you say other international students have found this as well?
Yes, I was speaking to other students and they were telling me they found it the same.

Sum up your manifesto in ten seconds.
1. To make lectures more practical, with real life content. 2. To promote and create more societies. Some students get left behind. 3. If we could vote and decide on our timetables before they are set.

As the role includes democracy, how important do you think it is for the union to be politically engaged?
I think it is important, but not the most important thing. They should be involved because politics affects students as well. For me, there should be a balance.

With regards to education and academic matters, how would you look to build on and maintain a positive relationship with the university whilst ensuring the needs of students are met?
To make decisions you need to look at the facts. If you analyse what will happen and what will be affected. If you try to look at it as objectively as possible, you can decide.

Free speech is a big topic for institutions at the moment. What is your view on this?
I think everyone should talk. Sometimes you don’t want to listen to what someone else has to say, just because you don’t like it. But then you want to be heard. You want people to know that you have these beliefs. You have to accept each other and listen to each other. There are things that I don’t like, everyone does. If i’m not giving others the chance to talk, I am disrespecting them. Free speech, I go for. And people should be more open to listening to others.

What do you feel is the biggest academic issue affecting students at UoP?
I would say there are two. 1. Timetables. Students are crazy about that. 2. Evaluation. The way university provides feedback to students, it’s not actually something students can put into practice.

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