Presidential Candidates Question Time

The candidates running for President in this year’s Students’ Union elections took part in a hustings earlier this week. The returning officer was SU President Ismail Sadurdeen, who chaired the session.

The Question Time began with the candidates giving a one minute introduction to themselves.

Joshua Chan started by explaining his desire to have more of a community feel within the University.

Rahul Jaju explained his three key manifesto points of inclusivity, diversity and solving problems within the Union.

Cameron Prentice demonstrated his positive approach by explaining his “Yes We Cam” slogan, which incorporates both legacy and welfare.

“Sweep suggested that students should be able to create their own hopper bus stops outside their houses”

Alan Holey said he is very passionate about making change and that he has five “super aims” which are: SU 4U, Student Services, Inclusivity, International and Legacy.

Francis Dwan did not want to use any buzzwords and instead gave his three main aims which were: to hold nightclub bouncers accountable for their actions, to reduce the campaign week to 5 days and to reinstate the 7-Legged bar crawl.

Sooty (through his helper) explained that he had 50 years experience and wants to drain the lake to obtain more space for students, as well as having non-stop hopper buses.

Finally, Sweep said he wants to flood the lake to give wildlife more habitats and increase the University’s nuclear arsenal.

“Sooty (through his helper) explained that he had 50 years’ experience and wants to drain the lake”

The first question concerned how the candidates would continue the work of the current Officers.

Sooty explained that magic would be useful to solve all of the difficult problems, whilst Sweep shot down the concept of magic itself.

Francis highlighted that he had overlapping manifesto points with the previous Officers as a way of continuing their legacy.

Alan and Cameron both spoke about the great work of the current Officers, and in particular the Global Buddies scheme. They also mentioned how key the handover period is for legacy.

Rahul agreed, and added that it is important to have new ideas to stand out; Joshua wanted to extend the current work within events such as International Welcome Week, including more city tours.

“Most candidates believed that none of their manifesto points were unachievable”

Another topic that came up was trusting Officers’ promises on their manifestos.

Most candidates (Cameron, Alan, Francis, Sooty, Sweep and Rahul) believed that none of their manifesto points were unachievable because they came from research from students.

Joshua did admit that some of his points were harder to achieve than others, but wanted to work hard to achieve as much as possible throughout the year.

Alan also explained that some points which weren’t included were done because they were not possible, despite student demand.

“Francias was the only candidate against the [Portland redevelopment], saying it was “absurd”

The final stage of the Portland redevelopment was then addressed to candidates and they were asked to comment on their thoughts and ideas for it.

Francis was the only candidate against the plan, saying that it was “absurd” that the money wasn’t instead invested into Sutton Bonington (SB), which, he believes, do not have anything close to the facilities at University Park (UP).

The other candidates explained different features of the plans and how they would want to utilise them properly, such as engaging with faith groups to use the new faith areas.

Sooty and Sweep both gave more abstract ideas, such as turning the building into a robot (Sweep) and having a paintball session to colour the outside (Sooty).

Impact then asked the candidates about their plans to better include the satellite campuses in SU-related events”

Candidates were then asked about their feelings for or against gender neutral toilets. All candidates were in support of the policy, and most highlighted how hearing student voices and engaging with them is pivotal.

Impact then asked the candidates about their plans to better include the satellite campuses in SU-related events.

Joshua explained that this is his main manifesto point, and explained how his plans predominately revolve around better hopper bus services for those students.

Rahul added to this, by suggesting places where there should be more hopper bus stops.

Cameron explained the structure of the SB Guild, and suggested that University Park could use some of its ideas, such as events timetabling, to help make events more accessible.

Alan wanted to create an interactive events calendar which will make students more engaged with satellite campus events.

Francis repeated his point about the wasteful spending by the SU, on things such as the chess board, which could have been used for the other campuses.

Sooty also repeated an earlier point by mentioning his non-stop hopper bus idea, in which students can jump on and off as they like, and suggested the possibility of teleportation.

Sweep suggested that students should be able to create their own hopper bus stops outside their houses.

“Cameron explained the structure of the SB guild and suggested that UP could use some of its ideas”

Other highlights during the hustings included: Sooty’s plans for GoPros to be attached to all the Officer’s heads to be fully transparent; Francis wanting students to judge him by what he does at the end of the year; Cameron’s feelings towards redesigning SU online space to make it more open and transparent.

Rahul furthered this point by including the idea of an SU app, with all of the latest news available.

Joshua felt that monthly presidential question times were necessary, which Sweep hesitantly agreed with, but in the form of a primary school assembly.

Alan also highlighted his support for the range of new features that the Portland Building will have.

Finally, the candidates were asked to sum up themselves and their manifestos in one word:

Sooty: Magic

Francis: Friendly

Alan: Enthusiasm

Cameron: Passionate

Rahul : Tomorrow

Joshua: Approachability

Sweep: Bearphobia

Luke Norman

Image: Rhys Thomas for Impact Images

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