Voting closes: 17:00, Friday 10th November

Click here to vote (Student Card ID number required)

Meet the candidates

Voting opens on Monday 6th November at 12:00pm – Friday 10th November at 5pm

The candidates for the GSA Council elections 2017 are:

Council Chair

Abdikadir Dayib Askar

Saad Alzahrani

Events Officer

Annie Harrison

Mei Huang

Aziz Davlatov

Equality Officer

Tianyao Fan

Sports Officer

Alessandro Cecchetti

Student Trustee

Liam Cutler

You can read their manifestos below:

Abdikadir Dayib Askar - Council Chair


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Being a leader in different capacities, particularly from household-level, youth organization to international organizations, I have learned that leadership skills are inevitable to our lives. We always need it no matter the time and the situation. Resilience, team work and problem-solving are among the key skills that I have developed throughout my leadership career.

During my high school days, I was the Editor of student-owned magazine called The Moon Light where I had the exposure to express my views and influence others to shape their thinking towards becoming good citizens. I then appointed a Minister of Sport at SOS HG Student Government of which I pioneered Inter-Class Football Tournaments. Upon completion of my high school, I was elected as General Secretary of our school’s first Student Alumni Association (SSAA). That post helped me exchange views with public in open platforms and later on documents our key discussions. I also pioneered Fursado Online Portable to help our Somali youth get to know to the scholarships, fellowships and job opportunities. I became Executive Director of YOPAD for a year, too.

I was voted for to become the first vice president of Uganda Somaliland Students Association. A couple of years later, I was elected as the Minister of Finance for Kampala International University Student Guild. Being a minister at our university was a golden opportunity for me because I led and learned a lot from students of diverse cultures.

On the academic side, I am currently pursuing an MA in Conflict, Developmetn and Governance at the University of York. But prior to this, I have a postgraduate diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies and hold a degree in Public Administration which helped me possess intellectual qualities in handling conflict situations and make decisions on publish spheres.

However, I feel that every stage of the leadership process, human beings should be given the utmost respect they deserve and then always be mentored while showing the right path to do so to undertake the business for them creatively later on.

I am a blogger now who publishes stories and articles in both English and Somali, used by our local newspapers and sometimes the international websites on the issues that are of a greater importance to our societies. [Follow this link to view my posts, www.siraskar.wordpress].

Lastly, if I am nominated for this position, I will be able to explore the high heights in leadership. I hope remarkable opportunity will help me lead and influence the life of nearly 4000 postgraduate students of University of York. I will make sure to be their voice and serve their interests. This will all shape my leadership and intellectual qualities further and I will replicate the lessons learned back home and follow the exemplary British leadership to save country from the ashes of poverty, bad governance and poor leadership.

Saad Alzahrani - Council Chair

If you go alone, you might go fast. If we go together, we’ll go far.
Always be together.

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As the former chairman of the Saudi Students Club in York and the president of the Saudi Students Society at the University of York, my group and I were able to organize a lot of attractive events for our members during the last two years. Our events were varied to satisfy all Saudi postgraduates and their children and, as a result, we were amazingly grateful to have each other as postgraduate students at York. That was really a supportive factor to encourage us to go fast in our studying and was essential for our progress. Yet, there was something crucial missing; diversity I believe. Although there were few international students involved in those events, I hoped we could’ve experienced more engagement from different graduate students of different backgrounds. Indeed, in order to make a big change, you need more than everything one group knows. So let’s go together. Let’s go far.

As I believe that the value of experimentation is trying again and again, I decided to look to a world beyond my own where I am sure there’ll be room for improvement; GSA, a place for my passion to flourish. As the GSA Council Chair, I’ll be willing to serve and to stand shoulder to shoulder with the elected officers. Together we are working towards an environment where a huge majority of graduate students go to the university every day inspired to contribute to something greater than their own research. Our university will be stronger when we work with each other for each other to build the perfect environment for everyone.

I’ll be proud to propel the elected officers forward so that they can meaningfully touch the needs of postgraduates. We need GSA events to engage as much students as we could in meaningful ways so that we all live in a more fulfilled environment. To achieve this, I’ll be proud to work toward putting the elected officers in the driver’s seat so that their potential can be revealed in order to create meaningful experiences for every graduate student at York where every person matters. Since I also believe that strong relationships are based on communication and trust, I’ll support our network coordinators and ensure that our officers will regularly gather feedback on all of the future GSA events.

Together we are working towards making GSA a place that elevates the contributions of every postgraduate student so that we can celebrate our diversity and make our life at the University of York our extraordinary experiment.
If you go alone, you might go fast. If we go together, we’ll go far.
Always be together.

Saad Alzahrani
PhD students in psycholinguistics.

Annie Harrison - Events Officer

Uni Events for You!

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Hello, my name is Annie and I’m hoping to be your next GSA Events Officer!

University is full of amazing and unique experiences, from weird fancy dress parties to guest lectures presented by world renowned academics. I would love to be a part of the hard-working GSA team that organises so many exciting events for students to enjoy, and make sure we host the type of events you want to attend.

If elected for this role I aim to:
– Arrange a variety of events and trips that cater to a broad range of tastes
– Hold workshops that encourage learning fun new skills
– Run more events that promote student wellbeing
– Take on board suggestions from fellow students

My mind is buzzing with ideas for future events we could hold, I’m a good organiser and I have previous experience planning an array events and working with volunteers. I’m creative, friendly, and most importantly I will work my hardest to bring you the events and trips you want to see during your time as a postgrad student at the University of York.

Voting opens on 12.00 Monday 23rd October and closes 17.00 Friday 27th October, go to to have your say!

Mei Huang - Events Officer

A Vote for Me is a Vote for You, Vote Mei Huang to Represent You!

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I am an international student from China. After completing my Bachelor of English Education. Currently, I am a first-year MA in TESOL student in the Department of Education.
As an postgraduate student, I was involved with the society called Theater in School and I was elected to be the session coordinator, during that progress, I’m very enthusiastic with the session process, since when look through all of the programmed the last coordinator did before, I have make use of the advantage and make brief survey of the volunteers which one they are more interested in and observe which one is more popular with them, so based on that, I have created some new ideas and revised program, and the put them into practice, which made a good achievements, and also guide me to be a I’m confident and full of motivation to make some contribution to a good events officer, I believe.
All in all, I’m very interested in become events officer, because it can not only help process the events of GSA, but also it is a good opportunity to enrich my experience and make more progress. Hoping to give me this opportunity.

Aziz Davlatov

You Deserve Outstanding Events & Enjoyable Trips!

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Dear University of York postgraduate folks,

My name is Aziz, I am 31 years old and I am a postgraduate student at the Department of Politics. As you know there will be 2017 Graduate Student Association’s (GSA) council elections very soon.
Therefore, I put my candidacy forward for the Events Officer position to serve the UoY postgraduate family to the best of my ability. Honestly, it is an honour and a great responsibility to serve such outstanding people like you guys. Although, I am not a smart cookie as you are, however, a call of duty to help makes me confident to run for this position.
I will strive to make sure that GSA events and trips run smoothly and that you guys enjoyed those events and trips. During 2017/18 academic year, I will work hand in hand with each of you and the GSA to make our study and life at the UoY as good and harmonious as possible.
I dare to ask you to support my candidacy for the Events Officer position for our common happy and productive academic year ahead. The ball is in your court now. Thank you for your support!

Aziz Davlatov

Tianyao Fan - Equality Officer

I am an outgoing girl and you can always seeing a sweet smile with me. I feel it a pleasure to service you if I can get this opportunity!

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In my opinion, university is not only a place for studying, but also a place to train our personal ability. This is a very valuable opportunity for me to improve myself. During my undergraduate years, I did not pay much attention to improve my ability of solving problems so that I really miss many chances. I did not understand the importance of personal ability until I graduated from my university. As the fierce competition in the market now, I realize I must do as much effort as I can to prepare for the condition that I will face in the future.

Another reason is about my English studying. Studying English need to read books as well as communicate with others. This work will require me to talk with other people and listen their opinions. This will deeply benefit my English skills.

Finally, I believe I am competent for this position. In our university, Chinese students become a significant part which can’t be ignored. As the same thinking logic and habit, I can understand their mind easily. In this way, I can provide deeper and more complete suggestions.

Alessandro Cecchetti - Sports Officer

More Sport

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My name is Alessandro Cecchetti, I’m from Italy, I’m here at York studying for a MSc in Economics and I’m running for the GSA Sports Officer position for this year.
These are the reasons why I think I would be great at this role:
1 When I arrived to York I was in a completely unknown environment and I didn’t have any friends. Now, I can rely on a wide group of friends at this University. Sports sessions and clubs played a relevant role in building these friendships and I feel so grateful for this. That’s why I would like these sessions to be even more attractive to students and if possible, to organize more events and offer more opportunities to everyone.
2 I love sports. During my undergrad in Italy sports played a very little role in my university experience, when I arrived at York I was amazed by how sport is integrated in University life. This is such a good opportunity and I would like everyone to make the most of this.
3 Being an Economics student at York is tough, but you get to learn many useful things. For instance, how to use resources in a more efficient and effective way. I’m sure skills like these will be needed when it comes to allocate budget’s money in sports’ activities.
4 As an international student I had to take big decisions and plan several things in order to study here. I am very committed and when I decide to face a challenge I put all my efforts in that.

Liam Cutler - Student Trustee

Vote for the 3 E’s, vote for the Economist, vote Liam Cutler for Student Trustee.

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I am Liam Cutler, studying a Masters in Economics. Why should you vote for me for Student Trustee? Well, the three E’s – Experience, Efficiency, Everyone.

Experience: Being the trustee of a youth-led charity is something I know well. I have previously been the Vice-Chair of the British Youth Council, one of the largest youth-led charities in the UK turning over £1m annually. I have led high profile campaigns as a trustee – such as the Votes at 16 Campaign, and have even given a speech on marriage equality in the UK House of Commons! This means I know what is important to ensure a charity is successful, as well as having the experience to make it happen, and will be putting both to good use to ensure the future success of the GSA.

Efficiency: As an Economist, I know how important it is to minimise cost while maximising benefit. The GSA is no different. An example of where I have achieved this before was as the Treasurer of a Swimming Club at my old university. By reducing costs, and increasing the number of members, we could offer an additional swimming session a week – at no additional cost to the members. Think of it this way: if £100 could be saved in admin costs, that’s £100 that could be funding your welfare services, your sports teams, or 50 free pints on the next GSA bar crawl…

Everybody: The GSA needs to represent every single postgraduate at York. Whether you are Masters, PhD, or Diploma; from the UK or international; from an underrepresented background or not; your voice is important for setting the strategic direction of the GSA. Why just have my opinion, when I can have thousands of yours instead?

Vote for the 3 E’s, vote for the Economist, vote Liam Cutler for Student Trustee.