Tell us a little bit about yourself!
My name is Haryati. I’m from Singapore. I moved to Leeds 16 years ago when my son started school. I’ve just completed my part-time Child and Family Studies degree with the Lifelong Learning Centre at the University of Leeds.
I’ve got a few interests, but food is definitely one of the main ones, which means I have too many cookbooks and spend quite a lot of time watching cooking shows on telly. A recent favourite is Three Meals a Day (English title), which is a Korean cooking/reality show that I binge-watched recently when I was back home.
Why did you want to join the Exec?
Honestly, I never thought about joining the Exec. And then I found out about the free food…
Seriously though, in the past, whenever I’ve tried to engage with any of the activities that take place at the Union, it’s always been a case of ‘I’ll have to leave it at that’ mostly because, as interesting as they were, I felt they missed the mark at catering to students like myself – mature students with caring responsibilities, minimal time and even less money.
Whenever the topic of LUU came up, the conversation always ended with how the Union doesn’t represent us, let’s say your ‘non-typical student’, for example, mature students and students with caring responsibilities. So, I wanted to change that, and it became clear that being an Exec is one of the best, if not the best way to implement change.
Being a student, for me, is fundamentally about overcoming barriers. This is true for many students, whether it is moving to a new city and all the challenges that come with it, being able to enrol for the modules you want, balancing personal and University commitments or any other barriers that stop you from having the best academic experience possible.
For our liberation groups and other marginalised groups, these barriers are consistent and more widespread since they’re part of broader systemic issues.
What are your priorities for the year ahead?
One of my main priorities is to make help and support more straightforward to navigate without having to trawl through websites and pages.