It’s the final day to vote for your favourite candidates in the University of Brighton Leadership Elections. But if you’re still not sure, or you need that last little bit of persuading, we’ve put together some ‘Closing Comments’ that we collected from the full-time candidates manifestos and comments at the Elections Introductions last week.
Candice Armah: a third year Geography student is running for Union President and hopes for a better understanding of the full responsibilities for an elected Union official. Making sure to connect with students through posters, handouts, and other forms of information to aid in this understanding. She believes her experience as Black and Minority Ethnicity Students Campaign Officer and a Union Representative at both the NUS Black Students conference and NUS LGBT conference has prepared her for the responsibilities of Union President.
Lloyd Whiting: another presidential hopeful, intends to reconnect the role of Union President to the student body through interpersonal interactions and emails. He believes that the fees for halls are too expensive and students miss the experience and excitement of living in them as a result. He also wants to encourage the university to change students timetables so they are more efficient, he will try to put a mentoring scheme between the final years and the first year students because some first year students feel overwhelmed at the start of university, and he thinks the prices of halls are far too high.
Jacob Brand: also a candidate for Student Union President, wants to increase funding for societies and sports clubs alike, he wants longer library opening times at weekends, extended opening times of SU shops and cafes and he wants to build on what the current SU has achieved and make the SU even more visible to students. He believes that he is the best candidate because he is strong, confident and willing to put his neck out (even if he knows it may cause some controversy).
Maggie Garabedyan: a candidate for Vice President of Academic Affairs, who full heartedly embraces this notion of information accessibility. If elected, she hopes to persuade professors to record their lectures and seminars and post them on Student Central; to organise extended studio hours for architecture students, larger spaces and longer hours for arts students; larger investment on IT infrastructure, greater availability of books in the library, timetables and reading lists to be given to students at least a week prior to the start of the term.
Alan Courtney: is running for VP of Academic Affairs states three of his main priorities in his manifesto: Library fines are too expensive and they should be reduced, a university that charges £9000 for its fees should not charge students £1 a day for an overdue book; Feedback given by students should be more highly valued and more action should be taken because of it; and easier and more effective ways of communicating with the university need to be established so if something happens, students know they matter.
Daniel Simmonds: is running for VP of Academic Affairs and his main pledges are: to ensure students feel the university is providing academic services and resources which are adequate for Higher Education and to challenge the university when they are not; To make sure the university is doing all it can to make their degrees value for money and to make addition costs clear; to work with 900 course reps and 16 school reps in making sure academic support is available on campuses.
Aimee Alfieri: is running for VP of Activities and Events believes her broad and eclectic past experience has given her the skills and knowledge she needs to be the best in her position. Her aim would be to organise many free events for students to attend as she knows most students don’t have much money. She would also like to organise events relative to all courses studied here and societies should have at least one event a year to showcase what they’re doing.
Joe Harry: is running for VP of Activities and Events and he is looking to create and improve a variety of events for all courses and campuses. As well as students benefitting from social events he wants to create a system in which everyone will have an opportunity to attend, run and help with activities that will further their experience and employability. He would like to push for platforms such as exhibitions to promote your work, job and internship fares which could offer training and advice or even the chance to work for the new university events he creates.
Holly Kavanagh: is running for VP of Activities and Events and she wants to make sure that when you graduate you don’t just graduate with a degree but you graduate satisfied with the variety and standard of social and volunteering opportunities the SU had to offer. She thinks it’s important to build on the many established successes of the sport federation and the societies federation and as the current VP of Activities and Events she has already proved that she is capable of making changes.
Bruno De Oliveira: is running for VP of Campus and Communications and says he wants to bring back the student newspaper, to improve cross-campus communication to keep a sense of community among the different campuses, courses and students of Brighton University. He believes the Union is here to serve the students and not to make profits therefore we need to provide cheap food and cheap cups of tea and coffee. Our Union is there to empower students more than anything else. Our cafes should have more art and photo exhibitions by our many talented students.
Joel Samuels: is running for VP of Campus and Communications and he believes we want everything taken care of with minimal impact to our studies or social life. Each week he makes sure he visits every campus and he is in constant contact with SU reps across all schools so he can constantly provide feedback. He states that you will see better coverage on Union TV; radio or newspaper channels; more efficient use of social media; better equipment in your media centres with more availability; better access to studios and upgraded digital learning and teaching platforms.
Paul Cooke: is running for VP of Campus and Communications and he wants to encourage a greater sense of community within student halls and housing by working alongside VP of Activities and Events; introduce formals, halls sports teams and comedy nights; to create a greater network between university campuses; ensure the students are aware of the necessary steps to take when unforeseen circumstances occur; develop support networks for minorities from over the whole university; work to continually improve facilities and use special media to communicate effectively with students.
Phoebe O’Donnell: a candidate for VP of Campus and Communication wants to price-match the SU cafes and shops with local retailers to make sure that they are offering ‘fairly’ priced foods; she wants to improve the recording studio equipment so media students and media societies have better facilities to use and when asked why she should be voted for she said: “Using the lessons I have learnt from previous experience I can fulfil my manifesto to an extent that will benefit students not just in the year I stand as VP of Campus and Communications but years after.”
Alex Heutson: a candidate running for VP of Wellbeing has three priorities: To improve the accessibility and information students have with housing in Brighton; making rooms cheaper, making more of Student Pad and Uni Homes; improved student services and resources “every student should have access to quality resources, at the moment the facilities aren’t equal and I want to change this”; make the SU ‘greener’ and more sustainable as a way of “proving that students care about their environment and by giving something back to the university by decreasing the cost of energy and putting money back in the student’s pocket”.
Hana Stone: is running for Vice President of Wellbeing and she considers accessibility to the Student Union and a “…union reflective of the students,” pertinent to everyone’s success at university. A third year Politics and Applied Psychology student, Hana hopes to ensure students know how the Union can work for and with you to their benefit; introduce direct emails to you after board and council meetings; regular updates to the SU website including opinion polls; increase access to campus development teams; on-site composting initiatives and meeting with you personally to listen to your problems and coming up with solutions together.
Fliss Newton: is running for VP of Welbing Candidate and says she wants to reconnect and bring together the campuses so that everyone has access to the same information regarding available services. She aims to support and encourage the holding of more social events of varying nature both within societies and within student accommodation. She believes having spoken to students that there is a demand for easier access to information and services that are available, such as counselling schemes and volunteering positions within the community. She says that if we vote for her she will introduce a WELLBEINGWEEK which will be a week of events, lectures and information fairs that will aim to inform and educate students about their rights to wellbeing and the available services that can be accessed in times of need.
Comments collected by Austin Macfadden, William Knight and Alexandra Pollard