News, On Campus

4th March 2020

(2/3) Student Officer Election – Candidate Interviews 2020/21: Why they chose to run and their campaign impacts

Here’s for the next round of questions!

So, we know who our running candidates are, we know a bit about their campaigns and their policies, but why did they choose to run? This section of interview content from the Student Officer Candidates Interviews focuses upon the reasons why they all decided to run for the position and how they think their campaigns/policies will impact the students at UoL…

Question 3: Why did you decide to run?

Question 4: How do you think your campaigns/policies will affect the students at UoL?

Imogen de Castro Gray

3) Too many reasons; I am the President of the Advocacy society and with my amazing team, have achieved so much through it. I have learnt a lot about myself and how I can fit myself into that role and take it out on Presidency. The other reason is, every single thing I have included, I have been through personally and its things that really need to change on campus.

4) I made sure everything I put on my manifesto was to do with everyone. I would be very surprised if someone was to sit down and read it any of it and say that no, it doesn’t affect them. It’s something for everyone and it’s something that affects everyone.

Imogen de Castro Gray

Brad Rees

3) So, basically over my two years at the University, I saw a couple of changes that we could realistically make. Most of my platforms were developed by comparing my previous University experience to my current one and in doing so, I saw a couple of things that we can realistically change.

4) I believe my campaigns are very realistic and accessible to all students around campus. They are all orientated toward mental health and well-being, having more gym membership access by lowering cost is undoubtedly going to impact well-being on campus. By offering more study spaces, apart from the library, people have new places to study and this will also impact mental health in a positive way. Finally, access to medicine by promoting it on campus, this is another thing that will impact student’s mental health in a positive way.

Brad Rees

Lily Denny

3) I really like to push myself and challenge myself. I thought this would be very suited to me. I’m very driven and I’m proactive and I definitely won’t stop pushing until I get what I want.

4) My campaigns will affect students daily lives, it will make the guild a much nicer environment to be in, it means there’s more stuff going on so more events, and it will make students safer with the taxi scheme so if you’re in town you can home a lot easier.

Lily Denny

Olivia Mackender

3) Ultimately, I feel like I’ve been screwed over a lot by the University and I have a lot of friends who are in the same position, and I don’t want anyone to have to go through that again. Also, there’s a much brighter side to this, because I really love Liverpool, and I do not want to move on. My masters is in Glasgow, but if I get elected I get to spend another year in this city, which is awesome.

4) I think, realistically, when I implement them, they’ll just be a way to give more agency to the student, whether this is financially or socially. They’ll be held back less, people will be more aware and knowledgeable about the issues going on and they’ll have far more freedom to do what they want and how they want to do it.

Olivia Mackender

Hafiz H. Barakzahi

3) Honestly, I always take leadership positions and I feel like a natural leader. I want to be able to help people and make a difference in our student body.

4) I believe it will have a positive impact – I believe more people, or at least I hope, more people will go to the gym, and that everyone has a more satisfying University experience.

Hafiz H. Barakzahi

Che Spencer Pote

3) Honestly, I wanted an excuse to stay in Liverpool. I love the city and I love uni so I wanted to stay for longer. I think I’ll be good at it and there are lots of things about the uni that I would personally like to change.

4) So, my first policy is that I want a mental health specialist in every single University accommodation. I think first year is the most vulnerable time for students, and it would alleviate so much pressure on the mental health services at the uni that are severely lacking at the moment anyway. So I think it would help in a number of areas if we just gave first years a bit of extra support.

My second policy is to scrap the £3 entry fees into the gym that sports clubs have to pay every time they train. I think it would make sport more accessible and honestly it is just a profit-making scheme from the University, there’s no reason we have to pay this. So I want to totally scrap that.

My third policy is to support the landlord licensing scheme in Liverpool, which essentially means that tenants have more rights and landlords are held accountable and have to provide fair and safe housing. This affects tenants across the city, but particularly students, because obviously student landlords are probably the worst of them all.

Che Spencer Pote

Chloe Fields

3) I love the city, I love the University and I love the people in it, so I just want to stay here and commit my time to helping make the University as best as it can be.

4) I think it will just improve the lives of students during their time at University, making it a more pleasurable experience, because sometimes you forget how lonely and isolating University can be, so I think it’s just making sure students are protected.

Chloe Fields

Atina Ndindeng

3) As a masters student in Human Resource management, I am well equipped with the skills and tools that are needed to lead an organisation. These tools include strategy, leadership and people management.

4) My campaign will create more awareness into grey areas which have been pushed under the bus for a while. My campaign is going to improve the welfare of the students at the University.

Atina Ndindeng

Ffion Thomas

3) I’ve been thinking about it for the last 3 or 4 years, and felt like now was the time to challenge myself. I’ve seen plenty of things that are wrong with the University and feel like through their leadership opportunities I’ve been given, I’ve developed my self confidence and I’m now in a place where I can lead the guild and fight for things that students believe in, to make this place better for everyone.

4) They will massively impact people, especially if we can get funding for mental health, that affects absolutely everyone in one way or another. Through cutting sports costs, we can encourage more people to do sports, and that will have knock on effects on wellness and general well-being. In terms of module selection, we can reduce the stress and anxiety caused by it. I had to take a year out of my degree because that messed up so much and I don’t want anyone else to be in that position.

Ffion Thomas

Ely Votaw

3) I chose to run because I’d like to say I tried everything to the best of my ability, and not say, “I’ve done my degree and I wish I tried to do something more.” It’s an opportunity, take it.

4) Positively! I’d like to think that students will empathise and see themselves in my campaign and want that to become a reality in the University.

Ely Votaw

Adnan Hussain

3) I decided to run last year because I thought I could do it, I realised I could do it, so I think I’m going to do it again.

4) For starters, I think that students would be able to access gyms cheaper, at cheaper monthly rates like PureGym’s and JD gyms. Other Russell Group Universities already do this, so why can’t we do it here? I’m already in talk about it currently, so I will hopefully get it sorted ASAP.

Adnan Hussain

Anna-Maria Hartley

3) I didn’t really know what being a student officer was about, so when I applied I was very lost and once I got to know about it, I realised there were so many things that we need to do – mental health and fitness especially.

4) I think it’s a massive problem, especially mental health, you can see so many student officers speaking about it. It would make such a big difference for everyone to have more mental health awareness and cheaper fitness and gym memberships.

Anna-Maria Hartley

Baptiste Audidier

3) Since it’s my fourth and last year, I wanted to get involved. I got to know the other candidates and what they stand for. Actually, when you’re campaigning, you learn so much about the University and you realise that half of your campaigns are being achieved at the moment when you’re picking.

4) Imagine – you know at all times on the timetable app, what the societies are doing. So many opportunities – you could volunteer as easily as it is to order a pizza. That would be a game changer!

Baptiste Audidier

Sanjana Pattar

3) Last year during the elections, the campaigns and policies really inspired me to think, “I could do this, I want to make change.” I want to make the University of Liverpool a better uni, I want students to get everything they can out of their University experience.

4) Ultimately, I want them to have a positive effect on the students at Liverpool: I want students who need mental health services to have a positive experience, those who are apart of AU to have a positive experience, same with housing, financial help and those who need sexual assault help. It’s just to have a positive, helpful effect on their lives. 

Sanjana Pattar

Sam Lange

3)  It started when I decided I wanted to stay in Liverpool for at least a year after I graduate. Mainly because I live with four medics, they were going into fifth year and asked if I wanted to sign the house with them and I was like, “yeah sure, I’ll figure out something to do.” But then I was thinking that I’m always saying, “this could be better and I really want to change this”, so I thought, why not actually just step up and do it? I have the ideas and I know how to lead, I just really want to help people. That’s why I decided to run.

4) Hopefully my campaigns will just make everyone’s lives easier around campus, from the society leaders to general society members, to everyone around campus. To do with mental health issues I want to tackle, to do with the strikes that I want to help bring to an end. 

Sam Lange

Summary

So, there you have it! All 15 candidates, their campaigns and policies, motivation for running and how they think their campaigns and policies will affect the students at UoL. We have another instalment of the Student Officer Candidate Interviews coming up which is a more informal, ‘getting-to-know’ type of article…

See the highlights of the Student Officer Candidate Interview via the link, made by our TV team at Liverpool Guild Student Media.

Co-authors: Beth Ure, Hannah Webber, Mila Vasey and Gemma Watson.

In-text and Featured Image Credit: Liverpool Guild Student Media