We asked FTO candidates what they’d change about the uni

We interviewed your candidates for VP Societies and Media, and VP Union Development

With elections opening tomorrow for LUSU Full-Time Officers, we interviewed your candidates so that students could get to know them a bit better.

We asked candidates what their main goals are, what sets them apart, and what they would want to change about the uni if elected.

All of the FTO candidate manifestos can be found here.

VP Societies and Media: Santi Siabato

Via @santi3262 on Instagram

1) What are your main goals for the role?

“My main goals can be broken down into three main objectives:
“1. Transparency and Ease- transparency in the sense of allowing students to know what I am getting up to and working towards, also by continuing to work with the Societies Commitee, it will not only allow us to get more input to help deal with the backlog of issues we’ve had with affiliation, but also allow students to gain really valuable experiences by working alongside with the SU. I also want to make affiliation as easy and stress free as possible for new societies as it is currently a very time-consuming process. I also want to ensure that I have at least one weekly drop in session for students to come ask for any support they may need from me😊
“2. Representation for Societies and Media- we will be having a home Roses next year, I want to make this event as inclusive, diverse, and fun for as many people as possible. The best way to do that is by increasing the amount of societies participation we have at roses!
“From friendly matches to arts showcases in the great hall during the evenings! This will allow both York and Lancaster to showcase the wide variety of activity and passions students have for a whole range of societies!🤩
“Also- in order to show appreciation, we need Societies and Media awards back! We’ve not had them this year and I think it’s such a crucial event to have in order to celebrate and commemorate the achievements of Lancaster’s incredible societies😍
“- also, society and arts showcases needs much bigger promotion and SU involvement, I also want the media we have on campus (Such as Bailrigg and LA1) to cover and commentate during these showcases☺️
“3. Societies affiliation with sport-
There needs to be an internal sports and societies review in order to make sure that societies, which aren’t currently listed and affiliated with Sport Lancaster (Cheer, LUDANS, HIPHOP etc.), have the appropriate space and facilities made accessible to them!💃🏻📣”

2) What would you bring to the role that you think your opponents wouldn’t?

“I’m thankfully running unopposed for this role, so just me and RON this year! – I think what differentiates me from any other hypothetical candidate though is that I am part of two society execs (LUYoga- Treasurer and LUSing- Social Sec), on one of two national Comp squads for LUHIPHOP, County College’s current President, an Academic Rep for LUMS, and a member of the SU’s SEC (Student Experience) Commitee… if that isn’t enough for you then maybe the fact that out of the 15,000 students we have on campus, I was the only one who cared enough about the role to apply should do!😂 I have the determination, experience, vigor, commitment and adoration for societies and media to know that there couldn’t possibly be a better candidate running unopposed for the role this year!☺️”

3) What are the main changes you’d like to see in the university?

“People getting stuck in, trying something new and finding pride in not only being a Lancaster University Student, but in the wide range of activities there are on offer! – I want students to be able to express themselves as freely and openly as possible, and the best way we can do that is by opening affiliation as soon as we can in order to support more student groups!😊- the biggest change I want to see is the funding put into societies, we currently only receive £7k for the +200 student groups we have on campus. This needs to increase to match the economical impacts student groups are currently facing due to the cost of living crisis! If we can achieve this then it will allow student groups to worry about the running activities instead of how they’ll financially support themselves, when there’s more the SU should and can do.❤️”

VP Union Development: Tom Cross

Via @tecross17 on Instagram

1) What are your main goals for the role?

“I’d split my goals into 3 main areas: supporting students through the cost of living crisis which would involve a low income bus pass and building on events like supper club the SU have going on.
“Make the union student led by bringing in student volunteers to increase job experience and boost staff numbers.
“Combat the climate crisis with a push for renewable energy on campus to reduce emissions and reduce energy costs on campus.”

2) What would you bring to the role that you think your opponents wouldn’t?

“I bring a more radical vision for how the SU should work including moving away from expensive and unaccountable full time staff.

“As well as experience as union assembly chair including coordinating the SU’s responses to issues like strikes. Finally, I have a lot of experience in building up and leading societies which gives me valuable insight into dealings with the union outside of its leadership.”

3) What are the main changes you’d like to see in the university?

“I’d like a different approach towards SU commercial services so they give back to students such as a sugar loyalty scheme and looking into whether central can offer better prices for its customers.
“I want people to know what the SU does for them and how to get involved which it’s sadly failing to do at the moment.
“This includes graduate students who aren’t given the treatment they deserve despite making up a quarter of the student population. I would continue consultations and explore college affiliate membership for graduates as well as a new post graduate board structure.”

VP Union Development: Harrison Stewart

Via @harrisonstewart4vpud on Instagram

1) What are your main goals for the role?

“• Greater support in the Cost of Living Crisis
• An SU that is visible, involving and effectual
• A strengthened collegiate system
• Real action on the Climate Crisis
• Cheaper, reflective campus
• Deserved representation of Postgraduate students”

2) What would you bring to the role that you think your opponents wouldn’t?

“There are several, but the main one is my experience in the Collegiate system, of which VPUD takes lead on. I started off as a Media & Communications Officer for Cartmel JCR, and am now honoured to say I’m Cartmel’s President. I’m constantly involved with the other College leaders and the current VPUD, which gives me invaluable experience that allows me to understand JCRs, their needs, the flaws in the system and how best to fix them. Becoming VPUD is a natural step up for a College President, so I’d have a much quicker and smoother ride transitioning into the role and going about making our SU better.”

3) What are the main changes you’d like to see in the university?

“I want our University to change into a cheaper, greener and more involving place to be. I want the prices across our campus to come down, I want our students to be champions of sustainability and be proud to study in a green place, and I want all the amazing things this University has to offer to involve itself with students – I want these things to find students, rather than leaving it to students to find.”

Elections for FTO open Tuesday 7th March at 10am.

Featured image via @lancastersu on Instagram, @santi3262 on Instagram, @tecross17 on Instagram, @harrisonstewart4vpud on Instagram

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