Democracy Week: Q&A with your Students’ Guild President, Lily Margaroli

November 15, 2022
  1. What made you want to run for Guild President?

I ran to be Guild President because I wanted to help make every student enjoy their time at Exeter and get a fair deal. I really enjoyed my time as a student, but I could see many things that could be improved, and I also saw many students who were not as lucky as me and did not enjoy their experience as much as I did. Running for Guild President seemed like the best way for me to be able to use my skills, knowledge and passion to drive change for students.  

  1. Why is it important for students to get involved in democracy?

In terms of University/Student Democracy - Students are experts in what is going well in their lives and what isn’t, they also often know the solutions when things aren’t going well. Getting involved in democracy doesn’t simply mean voting (although that is really important and a great thing to do too!) it is about having your say, getting your voice heard and being part of making your experience what you want it to be. There are loads of students at the university, and all of your voices (especially collectively) are so powerful!

  1. What’s the best thing about being a Full Time Officer?

Working with students. Students have so many great ideas and are so passionate about making change, it is so exciting to work with all of you. Making changes, lobbying and working with the university to implement things which tangibly improve the lives of students is an amazing feeling.  

  1. What’s your proudest achievement from being the Guild President so far?

In February I led the Guild’s LGBTQ+ History Month campaign, this was in collaboration with many of our students and fantastic student groups:

  • LGBTQ+ Society
  • Queer & Bame Collective
  • Campus Cinema

The month consisted of a host of events and workshops for students. As well as this we had lots of content on social media via blogs with personal testimonies from students and Alumni. Additionally, we ran a survey to gain information on the experience of LGBTQ+ students at Exeter and have used this to start implementing changes.  

  1. How can students get involved with democracy at university, locally and nationally?

Keep an eye on your emails and our social channels for opportunities to involved with democracy at your Students’ Guild – we have lots of opportunities for students to fill in surveys, vote in polls and give us feedback. You can become an academic rep for your course and create positive change for you and your peers. If you have an idea about a campaign or change you would like to see then talk to one of your officers. We are always available via email, you can chat with us at Guild Café's or we can organise a private chat. And if you’re really keen, run for a Guild Officer position in our elections next term.

If you want to make changes locally (and nationally), don’t forget to register to vote! Other ways you can use your voice include:

  • Starting a campaign
  • Getting involved in a political party
  • Write to your MP
  • Start a petition