Interview with Vicente Sanchez-Lavin, Lonsdale JCR Presidential Candidate – Michaelmas Term Elections2023


Caitlyn Taft from SCAN interviewed Lonsdale JCR Presidential Candidate, Vicente Sanchez-Lavin, on why he is running for Lonsdale JCR President.

Over the past few days, I have interviewed various JCR Presidential candidates across campus. I asked them all nine questions, two tailored towards their personal lives and previous work on the JCR.

  1. What are your reasons for running for Lonsdale president?

At the beginning of the interview, Vicente told me about his role as President of the Latin American Society. As an international student, he spoke very passionately about diversity and inclusivity.

“Lonsdale has such a big population of international students; I want more promotion to celebrate the wide diversity of the college. Working closely with the international officer and the socials officer will help me engage with students more. Lonsdale is competitive and I want to drive that competition and get excitement around events like Founders.”

2. What are the main points of your manifesto that you would like to emphasise?

Vicente continued about bringing the Lonsdale community closer together and being able to celebrate the experiences that all Lonsdale students, from any year, have.

“Bring[ing] the community closer together, not just the international students but everyone, creating more events to connect students, even from other colleges, is the main point of my manifesto.”

3. What sets you apart from the other candidates?

Mentioning his role in Latin American society, Vicente told me he has the skills to lead a team.

“We’re [Madison and himself] friends so we’ve been wishing each other well. I know what it’s like to lead a team and have the skills to keep everyone organised.”

4. What would your priorities be if you win the election? Alternatively, what would be your first priority?

One of the main priorities that Vicente has already addressed is the inclusiveness of Lonsdale and ensuring that Lonsdale students have a sense of community.

“We learn more about the U.K. by learning about different cultures, it’s how communities grow. Celebrating the diversity of Lonsdale and ensuring the welfare and well-being of students are both crucial. I want people to experience what I have experienced, having this sense of community and belonging.”

5. What do you want to change about your current JCR?

For this question, Vicente mentioned more about connecting and engaging with promotional material and the social officer/s.

“I want to work closely with the social officer/s as promotion through posters and social media is key in making events successful. I want to create a calendar of events to get people involved in certain big events like Founders, the Winter Ball, and Extrav.”

6. Can you tell me a bit about your college and are there any parts of it (social events, welfare talks, group/JCR activities, etc) you are wanting to continue with/ develop on?

Vicente expressed this immense sense of community seen in what Lonsdale does best: their sports teams.

“[The] football and netball teams both have strong senses of team bonding which make up the basis of the college. There are so many opportunities here in Lonsdale. Also, I love the green spaces we have here.”

7. As you’re the President of the Latin American Society, what have you learned about managing a team?

As Vicente has already told me about his time as President of the Latin American Society, I asked him to explain what he has learned about managing a team.

“Communication is key. Always ensuring the team that you’re doing what’s best for the society or for the team. Speaking to everyone beforehand and allowing people to know your expectations and goals has helped me immensely. I’ve become better at decision making and I’m able to adapt from the failures and learn from them.”

8. Coming from a diverse society like the Latin American Society, what will you use from your experience to ensure that international students feel connected to Lonsdale?

Relating to the previous question, Vicente continued:

“My goal is to use my experience and bring that sense of community among international students and different cultures. I want people from other colleges to be thinking of Lonsdale.”

9. What’s your college slogan/saying/song and what does it mean to you?

As ‘Lonnie Lonnie Lonnie Oi Oi Oi’ is a simple but sportsmanship chant, I asked Vicente why it’s important to the college.

“It’s patriotic. When you chant it, you feel proud of Lonsdale. It’s empowering.”

Voting for JCR President opens today. Check out the SU website to vote for your college JCR members this year.

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