The Norwich Radical contacted all candidates in this year’s UEA Students Union officer elections for comment on why they’re running and what they stand for. These articles are intended to offer an insight into the current and future state of the union and of the UEA more broadly.
UEA Students can vote at uea.su/ueavotes until Tuesday March 21st.
The responses of those candidates for the four Non-Portfolio Officer positions that responded by the deadline are presented here, unedited. Candidates are listed in alphabetised order.
Hi, I’m Chris Ball, and I’m re-running to be one of your Non-Portfolio Officers! Over the past year I have been busy, from organising UEA’s first World Mental Health Day Fair, to fighting for a suitable and permanent space for Nightline. If you elect me I will: Cut costs on campus – student bus prices, more meal deals and a second hand textbook market. Continue supporting your mental health – increasing the number self certs and giving advisors mental health training. Give students a greater say – reintroduce a petition system, let students choose Damn Good Themes and create an Officer Question time.
I believe our students are also part of our city. Many of us live off-campus, work off-campus and socialise off-campus. Working part time in Norwich as an undergraduate, and full time as a graduate, I noticed a need for more communication between campus and the rest of Norwich. I’m bisexual and non-binary and have seen first-hand how dangerous and uncomfortable the political disconnect can be.
We do great work on awareness raising and liberation on campus, and when we take it into the city it has a real impact. I would collaborate more with the wider community by hosting café conversations between students and non-students in the city centre and working with the millennium library and local businesses/community centres to extend awareness student-led awareness campaigns.
On campus, it can be difficult for a lot of students to feel represented, in SSLC meetings the lack of easy communication between staff and students, and the union and students, as well as the lack of student engagement, is a regular issue – I would push for a non-judgemental Student Apathy Review to comprehensively examine this and generate policy, making it easier for students to get involved and feel communicated with.
Hi! My name is Finn I’m a second year LDC student and one of the current No-Po’s . A non-portfolio officer has significant freedom to address a huge variety of issues and I want to ensure that the focus is on the kind of fundamental issues that students face everyday. I’ve been politically active since I was 15 particularly in relation to anti-austerity and environmental campaigns.
Students are poorer now than ever. I want to run a campaign to address this: through keeping the freeze on student bus passes, introducing a printing allowance and listening to students on what practical changes can be made to save students money. And Mental Health services on campus are underfunded and ill-equipped to deal with the volume of students who need urgent support. I will fight for more investment in counselling and more stress-management support for students.
Because I have chosen to focus on key issues that I care passionately about and will willing dedicate significant amounts of effort into fulfilling my promises. Having been involved as an activist for many years, I’ve got the skills and experience to mobilise effectively on the issues the Union prioritises!
I’m Jemma Bailey, a third year history and politics student, treasurer of the Politics Society, academic representative on the Societies Executive Committee and a union council rep. My focus is on everyday problems that students face on campus; struggling to get a decent response from the Hub, funding your society, dealing with broken or unclean facilities in Union House and trying to ensure employment once you graduate. I’m a down to earth candidate, aiming to make visible and effective changes to our university experience. If these are issues you face, check out my manifesto or drop me a message.
I have been writing for the Norwich Radical for a year now, and I’m delighted to be able to use this platform to talk about the campaigns I want to bring to UEA as non-portfolio officer. All of policies are on affordable accommodation for students because I believe that this is the single most important issue that affects every single student. Whether it’s protecting students from dodgy landlords, or campaigning against UEAs extortionate accommodation process, I promise to ensure all students have access to safe, affordable housing.