Zimbabwean Becomes First Black Woman to be Elected University Of Kent Students’ Union President

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By Kent Union

Gladys Sophia Sasha Langeveldt 
https://kentunion.co.uk/studentvoice/president

My name is Gladys Sophia Sasha Langeveldt but I go by Sasha and I am the Students’ Union President. I was born in Mutare on the 10th May 1997 where lived for six years of my life. I was schooled at Ariel Primary School and moved to the UK in 2003, where I now live and study like many other Zimbabwean diasporas.

I graduated from the University of Kent, Canterbury in 2018 with my Philosophy BA and then went on to be elected as Kent Union’s Vice-President (Activities) in 2018-2019. I then successfully re-ran in the 2019 elections becoming the first black women to be elected as your Students’ Union President; with the election results announced on International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2019.

I previously worked for the Library Café while being on the Park Wood Student Committee as their Campaigns Officer, I was also a member of the Model United Nations society and a Peer mentor to other humanities undergraduates. While a student, I held a peaceful protest representing students’ interests in regards to Black History Month 2016. I believe that with the right mentality change can happen.

Kent Union is one of the biggest charities in the UK with an annual income of £13 million. My role as President means that I sit on the highest governing University boards influencing their discussion making, as well as the being the Chair of Kent Union’s Board of Trustees. Together alongside four other Full-Time Officers we support and represent 20,000+ Kent students, making sure that their rights and interests are protected while enhancing their student experience.

I am an ambassador to a national charity based in London called the Girls’ Network. The charity aims to support disadvantaged young girls, by pairing them up with a mentor in the job force they aspire to be in. By doing this it gives young girls the relevant work experience and motivation they need to support their future.

People often ask me what I would like to be, what I would like to become and the career I aspire for? The answer to what I think, is an unanswerable question regardless of the year, remains the same… I don’t know.

I have no clue what the future holds for me, but what I do know is that I cannot simply do nothing. With that in mind I take every opportunity available to me. I don’t just walk into the unknown, I run with my head held high stepping outside of my comfort zone without looking back. I know that one day, if not now, I will change the world! -KentUnion

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