Profile: Ruth Ochugboju

This week, we sat down with Ruth, a second year Politics and International Relations student and vice president of the FXU Politics Society, to have a chat about politics, gender, and feminism!

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about you? What made you decide to study in Cornwall?

It’s gonna sound so cheesy and lame, but I was looking at both this campus and main campus, and the picture next to the information about this campus was of a group of people doing a peace sign on Gylly Beach, and I thought “This looks so great!” I’m quite creative, so I like the fact that we’re connected to an arts uni here, and also the course here was more suited to me, as it was more focused on writing than research.

What made you decide to study Politics?

I didn’t really know I was going to choose it until my last year of sixth form, and when I was choosing a uni and looking at courses, I thought that my skills, especially in terms of writing, and the subjects I was doing at A-Level worked really well with politics.

What does Politics mean to you now you study it?

It’s so complex, because there’s no right or wrong way to look at politics. It’s just your view, and everyone has their own views. It’s individual.

How do you think that opportunities for careers in Politics are limited for women, or other minority groups?

It’s a very male-oriented environment. I guess people associate power with masculinity, and then women might look at positions in power as something that isn’t right for them.

How can we overcome this? How can we make Politics a more inclusive and diverse space?

I think if we change the image of politics and make it come across as something that everyone can participate in, it would make people think, “Hey, I can do this!” I also think that education is important; learning about politics in secondary school will get people way more interested from a younger age, and encourage a more diverse selection of people to get involved.

What are your opinions on Theresa May, as a female Prime Minister?

As a left wing student, her policies don’t align with mine. I don’t agree with her priorities; I think the NHS is a national treasure, and shouldn’t be privatised. Because she was unelected, I don’t feel like it’s that progressive that she’s a female and Prime Minister. I’m glad that there is a woman in a position of power, but it would’ve been much more of an achievement if she’d been elected democratically.

How can we make our voices heard, have political agency, and make change as females and students?

We should not be afraid to have our own views, and to voice them, and to have comfortable debates with people that have different views to us, so we can look at our views in different ways and keep growing. Eventually, you’ll come to a point where you’re comfortable in your beliefs, and you’ll find a political party to get behind whose policies align with yours.

What would you say to anyone who feels disillusioned when it comes to Politics right now?

I understand your pain! But don’t give up hope in politics, because the more people who lose hope, the less likely we’re going to make change.

This profile was arranged with the help of our Women's Student Officer, Mackinlay Ingham