Candidates in the Union of UEA Students 2015 student election were contacted by The Norwich Radical. Responses received by the deadline are presented here, unedited, on an equal platform – candidates are listed in alphabetical order. Manifestos can be found here: www.ueastudent.com/manifestos Voting closes at midday on Friday 13th March. Vote online here: www.ueastudent.com/vote
Why should students support you, in light of The Norwich Radical’s founding statement?
I am standing for Non-Portfolio Officer as a single issue candidate in regards to the extortionate prices of food and drink on campus. With reference to the founding statement, my aim is to ease the financial pressure on students and families who have already been hit by a low, unfair student loan system. The student union has been non-existent in dealing with the huge mark up on items in Blend and The Campus Kitchen, and I believe that is a huge failing on its part when many students already believe the Union shop to be poor value for money.
My campaign is effectively asking UEA a question- Do you think our campus is too expensive to spend an extended amount of time on? For first years, the union shop is too expensive to do a small shop for dinner. For those who live off campus, the suggestion of a quick snack outside of the meal deal is a luxury- £1.60 for a muffin in Blend is simply disgraceful when Greggs can do a better tasting muffin for half of that.
I am aware that the Student Union has no direct control over Blend and The Campus Kitchen, but I believe it should do more. If elected, I will fight against the private company getting rich from the emptying of students pockets with no alternative. I will lobby them, and I will organise Union campaigns against them in order to help make UEA’s campus a more affordable place to study and socialise. I will push for a decrease in prices in the Union Shop, and even in the Hive.
This year, as a Non-Portfolio Officer, I’ve tackled real problems that students actually care about. I fought against the decision to allow only first-years into Freshers’ Week, a decision that was subsequently overturned. I got involved in the Defend Education ‘red box’ protests, as I believe that education is a right and not a privilege. Also, I’m currently working alongside staff to reduce queues and waiting times in the LCR. Going into my third year, I’d love to continue making positive changes for UEA students, such as making sure that student officers are available at times convenient to students. Furthermore, I want to make sure all student societies are involved in relevant decisions, and continue to work on getting you the best service from your venues.
To me, it’s of the utmost importance that students are the driving force for change hyperlocally – dealing with issues on campus such as gender neutral facilities or Lad-culture, whilst also campaigning for change on a much wider scale – putting pressure on companies, news organisations and governments to created a fairer society, now and for the future. We need to ensure that no student who comes to UEA should feel like they can’t be how they wish to define themselves, or join in with any activities because of who they are. Some of this will be able to be achieved by campaigning to councils and the executives of the university, but other changes will come about as a result of education and attitude changes within the student body, and the union should do as much as possible to effect these changes