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Your Sabbatical Officers


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Day in the life of an LSE student



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  • Fri 12 Feb 2016 11:38

    LSESU’s Entrepreneurs Society has had a remarkable year, hugely expanding its range of events and activities while also boosting its membership numbers. We caught up with Andrew Mitson, the society’s president, who has spearheaded its growth…

    Tell us in one sentence why your society exists.
    To provide opportunities for LSE students to get actively involved in entrepreneurship.

    How has your life changed through being a part of the society?
    I literally found my dream job at our Kickstart London Launch Event. After graduating, I’ll be working at an EdTech startup, getting paid to make educational videos to help students learn economics and get full marks in their exams. That connection would never have been made were it not for my involvement within the society.

    What is the one activity you have planned for the year ahead that you are most excited about?
    There’s too much going on for me to narrow it down to just one! I’ll give you my top three: Sparks, the biggest student-run entrepreneurship conference in the UK featuring Google, Twitter, Red Bull and Cobra Beer; the Kickstart London Finale, where our Kickstart London teams will pitch their by-then-developed ideas to a panel of VCs, Angel Investors and tycoons; and our Weekend Entrepreneurship Challenge, which will provide LSE students the coding talent needed for them to transform their ideas into workable technologies.

    If someone is considering joining your society, what can they expect if they join?
    At least two events a week (a speaker address and a hands-on workshop), one big social with UCL and Imperial each month (previous venues have included the New Victoria Boat and Jerusalem Bar), and one seriously high-profile event with industry-leading speakers and mentors, plus powerful, cutting-edge resources and information.

    Anything else we need to know about your society this year?
    We’re adding new divisions virtually every two weeks. The committee has grown from two last year to fifty this year. Our events and programmes are backed by the likes of Microsoft, KPMG and Google; and we are absolutely committed to adding serious value to our membership base.

    You can find out more about the Entrepreneurs Society and join them at their page on the SU website here, and keep in touch with them at their Facebook page here

  • Fri 12 Feb 2016 10:39

    Have you ever come out of a lesson thinking it was a waste of time? Or felt frustrated that you can’t find a computer in time to print out a summative? Should there be greater student representation, or more support for under-represented causes?

    A few months ago, the Officers in the SU were just students. There were things they disliked about how the School and the SU were operating, and they decided to do something about it. They ran for election.

    We spoke to some of the Officers to ask how they’ve found the role itself, what progress they’ve made, and what it’s actually like.

    The responses below are from Environment and Ethics Officer Elena Bignami, Women’s Officer Lena Schofield, Disabled Students’ Officer Isobel Clare, BME Students’ Officer Mahatir Pasha, AU President Julia Ryland, Community and Welfare Officer Aysha Fekaiki, Mature and Part-Time Students’ Officer Boian Niki, International Students’ Officer Damien Kemfack and Education Officer Jon-Rhys Foster.

    1. What are you most proud of achieving so far?

    Elena Bignami (Environment and Ethics): For me, it would be working as a part of LSE Divest where we campaigned for the School to divest away from fossil fuels and tobacco. Being involved in the running of Green Week and the climate competition that went with it was also special.

    Lena Schofield (Women’s): I’d say being a part of the ‘Women in Journalism’ panel and setting up the Women’s Committee were the most valuable.

    Isobel Clare (Disabled): I set up a Disabled Students’ Committee this year which was fantastic.

    Mahatir Pasha (BME): The one that stands out is the Blackout Beaver - it had never been done before!

    Julia Ryland (AU Pres): Working to tackle sexism and homophobia in rugby was a very proud achievement for me.

    Aysha Fekaiki (C&W): I loved helping organise Black History Month.

    Damien Kemfack (International): We increased visibility for the tuition fee campaign which I’m very proud of.

    Jon-Rhys Foster (Education): I set up the ‘Beyond the Classroom’ series of lectures and workshops at the SU.

    2. What’s been your biggest challenge?

    Elena (Environment and Ethics): I would say it’s getting people to turn up to events, time, stress, getting through to Craig Calhoun for divestment - he repeatedly refused to meet LSE divest (even though it has become a prominent issue on campus).

    Lena (Women’s): I disliked LSE’s resistance to change and the amount of time it takes to get things done which causes stress and impacts on my degree.

    Isobel (Disabled): It’s been the LSE management.

    Boian Niki (Mature and Part Time): There’s a lack of structure and networking for mature and part time students.

    Mahatir (BME): When I was creating a BME bursary it was difficult to co-ordinate and know who was responsible for things like fundraising and admin.

    Julia (AU): Working with Men’s Football has been a bit difficult.

    Aysha (C&W): It has been a challenge to work with societies effectively.

    Damien (International): Mobilising the student body is something I care about deeply but it’s been difficult.

    Jon (Education): The School decision-making structure doesn’t make things easy, and I’ve also struggled with engaging students with the education agenda.

    3. Sell your role in 140 characters…

    Elena (Environment and Ethics): Activism experience, learning and growing experience, research about low carbon & economy transition (fusion, smart grids).

    Boian (Mature and Part Time): Represent, advocate, defend, protect a group as diverse as the LSE itself.

    Mahatir (BME): Be an ambassador, represent & promote, engage BME students, lead SU exec.

    Julia (AU): Social planning, mediation, solving problems, supporting and encouraging.

    Aysha (C&W): Student-facing, welfare, liberation, high-energy, directly impactful.

    Damien (International): Opportunity to make whatever you want of representing students.

    Jon (Education): Frustrating but ultimately rewarding.

    4. What qualities do you think are important to be good in your role?

    Elena (Environment and Ethics): Communication skills: tell people about events that are going on, organisation, time management, learn how to manage criticism.

    Lena (Women’s): Stamina, organisation, commitment, interpersonal skills, empathy.

    Isobel (Disabled): Persistent, compassionate, stamina.

    Boian (Mature and Part Time): Dedication, patience, resilience, confidence.

    Mahatir (BME): Compassion, empathy, confidence, openness, leadership.

    Julia (AU): Thick skin, good organisation, ability to keep things in perspective.

    Aysha (C&W): Positive outlook, confident, thick skin, excellent organisation skills, prioritisation of tasks, committed to liberation, enjoys speaking to students.

    Damien (International): Building relationships, organisation, confidence, creativity.

    Jon (Education): Resilience, patience, diplomacy, sustained motivation, outrage, building relationships.

    5. What inspired you to run for you current position? Has your experience changed this?

    Elena (Environment and Ethics): I was prompted by the importance of climate change, and the necessity of integrating sustainable development into common knowledge. My experience has changed this, and it’s raised awareness of LSE Divest.

    Lena (Women’s): I was inspired by feminism, and the need for change at LSE.

    Isobel (Disabled): I saw that LSE needed to change, and I had an interest in Disabled Students’ rights and activism.

    Boian (Mature and Part Time): I was nominated by someone.

    Mahatir (BME): I came from a state school from East London and experienced first hand the structural prejudice and oppression of the BME community.

    Julia (AU): I wanted to give as many people as possible the experience that the AU gave me at LSE and I wanted to improve it.      

    Aysha (C&W): I wanted the ability to change school policy and influence the student union directly. There was also a political aspect which was about affecting people’s lives for the better.

    Damien (International): I had a desire to engage productively with issues pertaining to the school.

    Jon (Education): I was outraged over the School’s failure to take teaching seriously, and the inability to deliver the most fundamental aspects of education. By collaborating on things like the Educational Covenant, I think I’ve helped that to progress. 

    It’s easier than you think to stand for election.  You can find all the essential dates, and crucial information at:

  • Thu 11 Feb 2016 12:13

    Tensions were high yesterday evening as the LSESU Women and Men’s Table Tennis teams went up against the University of Surrey and the University of Kent respectively. For the Men, this game was to decide who would be promoted to the First League and thus, who would be named winner of the current league.


    I arrived without knowing quite what to expect, but Men’s Table Tennis Club player Charlie Chow welcomed me and took me through the team’s history. A table tennis veteran with 14 years’ experience, Charlie has known other team members since primary school and play to the high level you would expect for a First team. Back in Hong Kong, our table tennis club members participate in national competitions. 

     In its individual focus, table tennis is different to other sports - team members explained that the outcome of the game is determined entirely by oneself. According to Charlie, the key to mastering the game is to “keep calm, react quickly and make intelligent decisions.” Strategy and coordination is essential to mastering the game. This was clear during the matches; each team would eye up the techniques of their opponent and respond accordingly. For example, acknowledging the strength of a serve from your opponent and repositioning yourself to return the ball - adjusting your technique to maintain the upper hand. Like many other sports, it requires a lot of thinking on your feet which adds to the pressure. 

    As the game progressed I became more and more intrigued. I was excited to see how the match would pan out and how our men’s team would fare. The fast pace was apparent from the start, the intensity of the game was visible from the various facial expressions and of course the quintessential tennis grunts caught my attention!


    Charlie stressed that often the outcome is very unpredictable and it takes a lot of partner practice to reach a competitive skill level. Hence, the club train weekly on Mondays and Wednesday with fixture sessions on Wednesdays. Fridays are reserved for social sessions which are also a big part of the club. Alongside the intricacy of the sport itself, the club members enjoy the new friendships their sport brings them, and the bond they share as a team.

    After a very intense round of games the scores came in at 10-7 to our Men’s team. Very close but a definite win - hurrah! This means the team have now been promoted to the First League. Not a bad way to spend a Wednesday afternoon…