Leadership Elections '24 written in sans serif text with curved edges. The background colours are teal and violet.

LE24: Leading a Liberation and Community Network

Imperial College Union
Wednesday 21 February 2024 09:00

Meet Aglaia and Avi. Aglaia is your Mental Health Officer for 2023/2024, and Avi is your LGBTQ+ Officer for 2023/2024. These two positions are part of our Liberation and Community Networks, giving students direct access to resources and opportunities to create real change and influence amongst the college across various areas of interest.

Liberation and Community Networks are run by students and create a safe space for students who identify with, ally with or are interested in each particular network. They organise campaigns, facilitate the building of community, and are a support network for their members.

These networks are Black & Ethnic Minority, LGBTQ+, Mental Health, Disabilities, Ethnics & Environment, Gender Equality, Interfaith, International and Working Class.

Get to know a bit more about the roles and how they found the positions below.


Why did you run for your role? 


My mental health struggles and academic journey have exposed me to the often inadequate mental health support available to students. But it never crossed my mind to give up on my education…and neither should it for any student at Imperial. I ran for Mental Health Officer because I am committed to making mental health a priority at Imperial and in higher education. Mental health representation has also given me a great sense of purpose.


I ran for this role because of my genuine passion for all aspects of LGBTQ+ advocacy. I have always had big ideas and little knowledge of what to do with them. I saw this role as the perfect opportunity to contribute to Imperial’s LGBTQ+ community.


What have you achieved in your role? 


Throughout my two years in office, I represented students’ mental health needs and worked to improve the experience and well-being provisions in place for students’ mental health at Imperial. I have engaged students and staff at Imperial in conversations around mental health more than it has ever done before by running campaigns to spread awareness and reduce stigma. I am very proud to have co-created Imperial’s first institutional Mental Health Strategy with the goal to achieve an organised whole-institutional approach to make mental health everyone’s priority.

For my contribution to the life of the Union and the College, I have been awarded the Union Outstanding Service Award and the Student Award for Outstanding Achievement. I have also appeared on Imperial’s and ICU’s social media on several occasions, including a mental health promotional video filmed with the president Prof Hugh Brady.


So far, I am proud of all I have achieved as LGBTQ+ Officer. Some examples include…

• Working with various groups to attain a collective win regarding the Redefinition of Transphobia at Imperial.

• Increasing the visibility of support available for LGBTQ+ students at Imperial – for example, designing and presenting a slide highlighting this to multiple cohorts of new undergraduate and postgraduate students.

• Organising and promoting Constituent-Union-specific events such as the Free Coffee and Walk for LGBTQ+ students under the RSM.

• Working with the Student Counselling and Mental Health Service to better their service by ensuring counsellors wear pronoun pins, LGBTQ+ training is reviewed, and their LGBTQ+ Inclusivity Statement is updated.

• Adding the role of Trans+ Representative to the LGBTQ+ Network committee to represent the diverse needs of Imperial’s LGBTQ+ community more holistically.

• Creating the opportunity for union-branded pronoun pins where funds do not limit inclusivity (ie. purchasing the pin-making machine so endless pronoun permutations can be sustainably produced at no extra cost!).

• Working with staff and students at the Silwood Park campus to address different aspects of the cycle of LGBTQ+ discrimination.

• Following an incident of misgendering at a Union bar, working with the security company, TMS Protection, to provide LGBTQ+ Training.

And much, much more…!


What aspect of your role did you enjoy the most?


It's hard to say! I enjoyed every part of being Mental Health Officer. It has been such an enriching experience that has opened many doors to maximise the impact of my efforts. This is especially because I had the opportunity to collaborate with so many people in the college, both students and staff, and built important connections for my personal and career development. Imperial is an extremely diverse and stimulating environment and I would highly encourage students to make the most of their time at Imperial by being involved in its community.


I have enjoyed countless aspects of this role! However, I think my favourite part has been the opportunity to work alongside, liaise with and get to know such a diverse range of people. From the unique expertise of College staff members to the guiding reassurance of the Union’s staff members and the enriching perspectives of my fellow student volunteers - I have been truly inspired by everyone I have met this year.

I have also enjoyed the opportunity to make meaningful changes for Imperial’s LGBTQ+ community. Seeing my ideas and ambitions come to fruition has been a fulfilling experience.


Can you give us three reasons why someone should run in the elections?


  1. Student representation and campaigning is a great opportunity to build new skills and strengthen your CV.
  2. You’ll meet wonderful like-minded people and have fun!
  3. You’ll make tangible impact on the Imperial community and beyond.


1. Having a genuine passion/area of interest: A true passion for LGBTQ+ equity and justice will carry you through a year in this role!

2. Wanting to create systemic change: If you are keen to drive systemic change within an institution, this is the perfect opportunity to enhance the experiences of many students identifying with this minority group.

3. Improving your organisational skills: Finally, juggling this role with my academic and extra-curricular commitments has been challenging. However, I now feel equipped with organisational and time management skills which will be invaluable in my future. If you want to develop such skills, this role offers the perfect opportunity.


A final note from Avi:

Volunteering as Imperial College Union (ICU)’s LGBTQ+ Officer over the past academic year has been nothing short of an honour. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and am excited to be able to share this experience with you.

If it weren’t for the increased academic demands of 5th-year Medicine, I would have taken the opportunity to run again! I will miss this role and have adored every moment of my time as Imperial College Union’s LGBTQ+ Officer 2023-24. Thank you for having me.

If you are thinking of running for this role and have questions or would like to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email at icu-lgbtq@imperial.ac.uk.

Lots of queer love,



You can view all available Liberation and Community Officer positions and learn more about them here.