New DSU President vows to expand and improve sexual harassment awareness at DMU

by Tyler Arthur

After a long and controversial process, the De Montfort University Students’ Union has confirmed its officers, and the DMU President – potentially the last ever ‘president’ is Jessica Okwuonu.

Jess, who has been the DSU Vice President Student Welfare and Community this year, will be replacing Ahtesham Mahmood as President next year and she has many goals for the coming year.

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“I think we did a great job this year in the SU, but we can always be better.”

As well as plans to make sure that the Union ‘fights for students’, and make sure that all voices are heard, she has vowed to prioritise improving sexual harassment awareness, amongst her other key pledges, such as making students feel more employable.

“Sexual harassment is something that unfortunately does take place in our society, communities and at times on university campuses.”

It’s so important that we raise awareness about this and let people know that there are people out there to support you and it was not your fault.”

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Jess (DMU President 2018/19 / VP C&W 17/18) with Sophie Hamilton (VP C&W 18/19) and Mollie Footitt (DPE 17/18) – Before the ‘Light the Night’ walk.


The Mandala Project aims to ‘empower students and staff to feel confident to challenge inappropriate behaviours or situations which could escalate into harassment’.

This project runs the #dmuisitok? campaign, which provides workshops for student societies and sports clubs who wish to learn about consent and harassment in the university environment. Teams or societies also create a pledge on how they are going to work towards creating a safe environment for their members and others.

The Mandala Project also run events, most notably the ‘Light the Night’ walk which it hosted in February. On this walk, DMU students gathered together and travelled through the campus and into the city centre, finishing outside the City Hall.

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People who took part in the ‘Light the Night’ walk outside City Hall

This year, however, Jess wants to make sure that the Mandala Project returns even bigger and better.

“I want to continue with our ‘Reclaim the nights’ [like the LTN walk], have more ‘I <3 consent’ t-shirts. Do more workshops and have mandala champions. Basically, my goal is to make sure that Mandala is visible everywhere on campus.”
Jessica is incredibly passionate and is a proud president-elect; with a message for all DMU students.

“I look forward to working for you guys next year. If you see me around, come and say hi! I honestly love speaking to new people. Also, don’t let anyone tell you no, that you can’t do something. Because I promise you, you can, and you will.


  1. […] importantly, drinking coffee. Jessica, 23, is currently Vice President Welfare and Community, but has just been confirmed as next year’s DSU President. Jessica watches anime, and enjoys technology. Both of them are vegetarians, though Jess eats meat […]

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