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17th February 2021 Costi Levy (2019, Philosophy and Spanish)

Introducing Exeter’s new JCR and MCR Presidents

JCR President Ella Stadler and MCR President Alex Stephens

JCR and MCR presidents Ella Stadler and Alex Stephens

At the end of Michaelmas 2020, the new JCR and MCR Presidents, Ella Stadler and Alex Stephens, were elected.

Ella (2019, History) takes up her position as JCR President with a wealth of experience, having acted as JCR Secretary last year. MCR President Alex (2020, Robotics) is studying for a DPhil in Autonomous Intelligent Machines and Systems and is a keen member of the Oxford Robotics Institute.

New to Oxford this year, Alex comments that ‘the Exeter MCR has been a cornerstone of an incredible experience’. A social hub and source of welfare support, the community has had a transformative effect on his life as a graduate student. ‘I was keen to contribute in any way I could to provide others with the same positive experience that I have had’, Alex notes, explaining why he chose to run for President.

Ella witnessed the way in which College staff and students came together during lockdowns in 2020, responding to challenges with ingenuity and flexibility. ‘I really enjoyed seeing how quickly changes could be made’, she notes, citing the library booking system as an example. ‘The timings that we had weren’t working and people weren’t enjoying it. We spoke to the librarian and by the next day we had changed it.’

Both Ella and Alex have appreciated College’s willingness to work with students during this difficult time. ‘Input from myself and the rest of the MCR committee has been consistently welcomed in discussions, and it is comforting to know that the College is actively listening to the needs of the students, particularly as we continue to deal with the uncertainty of the Covid-19 pandemic’, Alex explains. Ella adds that, ‘if anything, we can make more impact on day-to-day student life in the current circumstances’.

Becoming President during the pandemic has brought on diverse challenges, from managing student needs to spending hours in College Zoom meetings, but both Ella and Alex are sure to have a positive impact and look forward to managing Exeter’s transition out of lockdown.

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