DS Who!? Student Champions – who are they and what do they do?

By Tyler Arthur

The De Montfort Students’ Union is in a state of constant change and this year in particular a new role has been introduced: Student Champions.

Student Champions take on this role while still studying at De Montfort University.

There are 12 of these Champions, all with previous representative experience, chosen after a thorough selection process that included writing a personal statement as well as an interview.

But what do they do? Follow this link to see the Students’ Union’s introductory video to the new role.

The role fits underneath – and works closely with – the Executive Officer positions both held by returning officers from 2017/18; Deputy President Education Mollie Footitt and Vice President Student Activities Derrick Mensah.


CHAMPIONS – Some of your new Student Champions, wearing their recognisable SU T-shirt. Image Credit to De Montfort Students’ Union

The 12 Student Champions are:

  • Renique Appeah (third-year Psychology with Health Studies BSc);
  • Thom Chapman (third-year Business and Globalisation BA);
  • Tom Guyton-Day (second-year Economics and Politics BA);
  • Gavin McMinn (second-year International Relations and Politics BA);
  • Myano Myano (second-year Accounting and Finance BSc);
  • Vivian Nwagboso (fourth-year Biomedical Science BSc);
  • Connall Pugh (second-year Law LLB);
  • Diya Rattanpal (third-year Law LLB);
  • Loren Short (second-year Nursing with NMC Registration BSc);
  • Lydia Turner (third-year Politics BA);
  • Tyler Arthur (third-year Journalism BA);
  • and Suresh Vaddiraju (second-year Biomedical Science BSc).

But what do they do?

The Union website says: ‘Student Champions will take the temperature of student opinion at DMU through going out and talking to students, and will play an active role in the students’ union’s review of our Constitution and democratic processes.’

Diya Student Champ.png

HERE TO HELP: Diya Rattanpal, who is a third-year Law student, says: “I just want to be a friendly face on campus and I want to make sure that people can turn to someone.”

Loren Short, 21, who is studying Nursing and has become a Student Champion in her second year at DMU, said: “Student Champions are approachable members of the Students’ Union, who serve as the voice of unheard students.”

“We build the bridge between students, staff and executive officers in order to bring about the change that the students want,” she explained.

Gavin McMinn, 19, is another Champion, who added: “We wish to represent and voice the opinions of all students at DMU.”

The role is still young, but the people who are in it have all had previous representational experience through the Students’ Union.

Connall Pugh, 21, who studies law, said: “It has given me an opportunity to be a voice for those who can’t always be heard and also a point of contact for any students who need help.”

“Many of us have a good social presence and I encourage people to contact us through social media if they want to speak to us or come down to the SU and ask to talk to someone.”

If you see a purple shirt, you can always approach them and ask them a question, they’ll be more than happy to talk.

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