Written by Emily Fox. 

We have recently been in touch with some of the outgoing Officers to see what they have enjoyed most about their time representing you and how their experience benefited them both personally and professionally.

How did Diya get involved in the Student’s Union?

In her second year, Diya got involved in the De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) because she wanted to make the most of her time at university, and was inspired by her friends running in the elections. As part of the Union’s governance restructure, she went on to become a student champion, and played an active role in the student’s union review of the Constitution and democratic processes.

After completing her LLB Law degree at DMU, Diya was elected as the first Equality and Diversity Executive at De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU), she is now in her second term. Diya is on the university’s Board of Governors and acts as the student representative, on behalf of DSU.

Her current role involves ensuring that the university is inclusive towards all students at every level, as well as developing equality and diversity strategies to hear the views of all students at DMU. While in this position, she aims to enable a culture, where students feel represented, respected and celebrated.

How has being an Officer benefitted Diya?

Diya said: “It’s given me a wealth of experience, in director, executive and trustee experience. This is something that without being involved in the SU, I would not even be in a position to be in until my late 30s in a career.”

Reflecting on their journey to date, Diya told us; “It seems like such an easy decision to me, you have to get involved to get that experience, put your passions across and find your footing.”

The 2020-21 DSU Executive Officer Team. Left to Right: Laura Flowers, Joanna Dine-Hart, Aisha Ismail, Benjamin Smith and Diya Rattanpal. Credit: De Montfort Students’ Union.

Diya’s achievements as an Officer

Diya was not only the first Equality and Diversity Executive following the DSU governance review, they also currently sit on the Board of Governors for the University.

A handful of Diya’s achievements as a two-term Equality and Diversity Executive include:

  • Organising a conference for Black students to celebrate Black History Month. 
  • Chairing the Liberation Committee to ensure that all backgrounds are represented through the Student’s Union.
  • Leading online drag events attended by hundreds of DMU students. 

Diya, holding one of the gender pronoun badges, introduced by the DSU. Credit: De Montfort Students’ Union.

Why should students get involved in the DSU?

Diya has some great advice if you are considering taking part in any of the activities the Student’s Union has to offer. 

“It’s a really fun and easy way to make the most out of your university experience because you’re actively giving back to the community and developing transferable skills.”

“I think you should absolutely just at the very least, throw your name in, get involved in something, step out if you need to. But I’m sure you’ll find that you will never want to.”

Whether you are a first-year or final year, take this as your opportunity to participate and take the experiences in your stride. Find out more about all the Students’ Union does here and get involved today!