This week sees the UEA Students Union officer elections 2018 take place at Norwich’s largest educational institution. The Norwich Radical contacted all candidates in the election for comment on why they’re running and what they stand for. This article and the others in the series 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 in the elections at uea.su/ueavotes until Tuesday March 6th.
The statements of those candidates for the four part-time Non-Portfolio officer positions that responded by the deadline are presented here, unedited, along with their manifestos. The manifestos of the candidates who did not respond are presented without comment. Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.
I am running to be Non-Portfolio Officer for the SU in 2018 because I believe making a difference starts at grass-roots level. I have been a member of the SU Council this year, standing as Accommodation Representative for Nelson Court. I have been to practically every council meeting, and I have kept the residents of Nelson Court up-to-date as best I can. I have also attended a DUP meeting to try to resolve communications issues between me and my constituents. So I am dedicated to this role, and I will be dedicated to the role of Non-Portfolio Officer as well. If elected, I aim to improve mental health services, by working out a way to offer alternative therapy sessions (i.e. not just run by Student Support) and working to improve the Warden System so that more residents are able to get help, as if wardens come in once a month to residences to meet with students they can then get the help they need, but were unable to get beforehand. I also aim to assist students with planning a budget, so they can make the most out of uni, and to cut prices across campus to make UEA more affordable for students.
Henry J Bowen
I’m Matin – a second year Biology Student and union councilor for BioSoc– and I’m running for non-portfolio officer for the coming academic year. My main priority, as many other candidates, is your wellbeing. However, there is difference in the way I believe we should go about it. Mental health awareness has increased recently, and I believe current officers and councilors at the SU are doing as much they can to get us the best services. I think it’s amazing what some are doing, but I also think that we should bring other things to the table as well. I want to work on student-led services and provide societies and clubs with the tools to support students who waiting months for a counselling session at the SSS. I am not trying to replace the SSS, obviously none of us are qualified for that, but many organizations including Student Minds have stated that peer-support is extremely valuable and that students with past experiences in mental health difficulties should play leading roles when it comes to awareness and support. However, as this is all about you, your voice should shape the way we go about mental health as much as mine. So, get involved with your society, your club, your SU. Have your say in all this, we’ll listen, because your voice does matter!
My name is Thai Braddick and I’d love to be one of your non-portfolio officers. I want to promote three main things on campus – solidarity, equality, and honesty!
In solidarity, I want to create a subsidy system in the SU Shop. This system will partially subsidise essential goods on campus (sanitary pads and tampons, basic foodstuffs and hygiene products), therefore lowering the prices in the SU Shop and making life a little bit easier for students.
For equality, I want to help engineer a ‘One Kingston’ style, university-wide Equality Strategy for UEA, the emphasis being on helping tackle the attainment gap for students who may be BAME, LGBTQ+, working class, or first-in-family.
Finally, I want to demand full honesty from the Vice Chancellor on the cuts to the SSS. Students now pay £250 more per year for fewer services, and I want to help found a concerted, ongoing campaign to demand that that money be put into the SSS where it belongs. I also want to work with local Norwich and Norfolk mental health charities to bring mental health first aid training and support to the UEA campus.
So remember, for honesthai, equalithai and solidarithai – vote Thai #1 No-Po!
[The Norwich Radical was unable to reach this candidate and they did not submit a manifesto to uea.su]
Hi! I’m Zoe, a second year English and American Literature student that is running to be one of your new Non-Portfolio officers! I have sat on Union Council for the past two years, and I have become increasingly interested in becoming more actively involved in student politics. I chose to run for Non-Portfolio officer as there are a range of issues I care about and want to be involved in working on!
I decided to focus on three areas in my manifesto: education, mental health and cutting the cost on campus. These are all things I myself, my friends and other students I have spoken to have all been effected by at some point during out university life.
I want to establish better connections with academic schools to look at creating an inclusive and representative curriculum, and also the possibility of less ‘one summative’ modules to bring up grades. I also want to work closely with Student Support next year to create a strategy to reduce waiting times for counselling and CBT, and increase awareness of Norwich based services. Finally, I want to make living and studying on campus more affordable. I will consult the bar, the shop and other outlets at UEA on the changes you would like to see.
Featured image credit: UEA SU
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