OUSU has revealed that OUSU Vice-President for Graduates Yasser Bhatti resigned from his position on 19th December 2014. Bhatti’s resignation is due to take effect on 19th January, with a by-election to be held in Hilary Term.
The role of Vice-President for Graduates is to be fulfilled in the interim by other OUSU sabbatical officers. Bhatti’s role is to be chiefly covered by Louis Trup, OUSU President, and James Blythe, OUSU Vice-President (Access & Academic Affairs), who will act as the principal point of contacts for his work.
Bhatti, who was on the ‘Jane4Change’ slate, was elected in Michaelmas Term 2013 and was meant to fulfil the role of Vice-President for Graduates for the academic year 2014-15. In the 2014 OUSU elections, Bhatti was elected to the position with 231 votes.
Before taking up his post, Bhatti was a member of Green Templeton College and a Higher Education Commission doctoral scholar at the Said Business School. At Green Templeton he was President of the GCR. Bhatti previously attended the University of Oklahoma and the Georgia Institute of Technology.
Prior to coming to Oxford, Bhatti had also worked as an IT consultant for the United Nations in Pakistan from 1999 until 2004, as part of the United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF.
The role of OUSU Vice President for Graduates involves representing and supporting graduate, international, and mature students studying at Oxford, including on many University committees. The work also requires working closely with graduate student groups in college MCRs in order to support college activities and bring together campaigns on wider graduate issues.
OUSU President Louis Trup commented, “Yasser has been a valuable member of the OUSU team, working tirelessly to represent the graduate students at this university. It has been an honour to work with such a capable, innovative and dedicated person. Alongside everyone at OUSU, I wish him all the best in the future.”
Yasser Bhatti told Cherwell, “In some ways I regret to make this announcement but in other ways I feel more at ease with myself and family. Regrettably, I made the decision to step down as I feel I am unable to juggle the role of VP Graduates along with my family responsibilities. I apologize for stepping down from the opportunity to further strengthen and serve students and the University, but the intensity of this role is just too much for me and more importantly for my two little girls who are only 5 and 2 year old respectively. For instance, I have not seen one of my daughters in 3 months and now especially, with her turning two soon, I no longer wish to miss precious moments with her.
“Therefore, on the more important personal front my family has decided I need to stay more at home with them while my wife completes her own PhD. On the professional front, I will revert back to my research activities.
“Despite the challenges, it has been a wonderful opportunity to serve OUSU and the wider University for seven months. I have learned much more than I ever imagined on how this world-class University works, and often in rather complicated ways. Towards representing, enhancing, and supporting students at Oxford, some of my notable achievements for OUSU include:
“MAJOR WINS FOR STUDENTS:
1. Bus card discount of 10% to be extended to all students;
2. Pushed University to include student representation at University strategic committees on Innovation and Entrepreneurship;
3. Proposals on “Managing Supervision Expectations” accepted for implementation by all divisions at the Graduate Studies Administration and Procedures Group (GSAPG);
4. OUSU Policy on Part Time courses approved by council and disseminated to Education Policy Support;
5. Negotiated lower rate on cleaning charge for Grad Accommodation and helped remove £110 charges for extension applications.
“I hope I have been just and fair to this position and its responsibilities. I look forward to staying in touch on OUSU’s continued success.”