Max Kafula – BME Students Officer

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Max Kafula is running for the position of BME Students officer. His reasons for running come from personal experience, including seeing the discrimination against the Hong Kong society with freedom of speech. He volunteered to help for 3 weeks, saw how discrimination was swept under the rug, and how some students said that they didn’t feel safe. He aims to tackle the lack of awareness and discrimination that they faced, and wants to do something more about it.

He is a PPR FASS rep, and is used to representing interests of students, and gave the example of trialling paperless submissions within this department. He is used to working with both the students and the university and liaising between the two.

Max’s first priority would be to rename the role from BME (black and minority ethnicities) to BAME (black, Asian, and minority ethnicities), as Asians make up a substantial population of the university and are underrepresented. He also aims to reform the BME forum and bring societies together to tackle important issues such as the attainment gap, tackling these underlying issues.

When dealing with issues of racially targeted abuse, he would like to create disciplinary protocols, as ‘enough is enough’, and is willing to go directly to the vice-chancellor to enact meaningful change.
He also wants to promote more BAME culture as the only time he thought there was sufficient promotion from the university was during Black History Month, and would like to run more campaigns based on Asian culture. The creation of a liberation space for BME students is also a goal for him, as they are potentially not as connected and don’t know where meetings are. He would use social media to promote the forum and form a BME forum exec to create an organised structure and a dedicated space for them.

Along with this, Max would like to send out emails to BME students with lists of societies and events for them to get involved in, and would connect with other societies and liberation groups to promote inclusion and break down barriers in order to help them be themselves. Another aim of his is to decolonise the curriculum and bring more attention to effects of imperialism and colonialism. Max wants to improve the visibility of the PTO officers, as he feels that they are not as visible as the FTOs. Improved visibility would show students that there are people dedicated to their support and needs.

In his closing statements, Max wanted to reiterate that he was incredibly passionate about issues faced by BME students, saying that ‘I do care, I will try to fight for them, to make sure your voices are heard’.

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