Martha Roberts is running to be UoN’s Students’ Union Environment and Social Justice Officer for the 2020/21 academic year. Impact caught up with Martha to ask her a few questions.
In what ways do you plan to reduce the university carbon footprint?
By diverting food waste from landfill and lobbying the University to do more about water wastage, we can reduce the carbon impact of our campus. As ESJ Officer I want to inspire students as individuals to think about their carbon impact, through education campaigns, workshops etc. I have ideas spanning from menstrual products to better recycling education. The University declared a state of climate emergency in March and are working on their carbon impact and supporting the city of Nottingham’s plans to be carbon neutral by 2028. So as an Officer, I want to work on education of the student body to what is happening at their University and city and how they can do their bit. Because as an individual you don’t know where to help if you don’t know where to look.
How would you go about addressing the huge amounts of waste the university produces every day?
Well, that’s one of my manifesto points! Enva, the company that disposes of our waste, turns the food waste collected from the cafes and Portland into biofuel. But these dedicated food waste bins are not in the Halls of Residence or around campus. By putting bins in these places, it diverts food waste from landfill to be used for biofuel.
“Why should vegetables be more expensive? They shouldn’t”
The reduction of the selling of meat products has been called for by many students. Do you plan to work towards greater choices of vegetarian and vegan options on campus? If so, how?
A point raised by the ESJ committee last year is to improve the plant-based options in the Halls of Residence, as they are a side thought. By making these options more appealing it would encourage more students to go plant-based. Also, a ‘meat tax’ idea is being thrown around, similar to the latte levy introduced by the Waste Nott. Making plant-based options in Mooch etc. the obvious go-to. Because why should vegetables be more expensive? They shouldn’t.
In a university specific context, what is social justice and what are your plans to improve it?
To me, social justice is a levelling of the playing field. An initiative I have talked about in my manifesto is the idea of ‘Friday Food Raves’. These are weekly gatherings to help address rampant student hunger. This would be coupled with food/cooking panels and workshops teaching students how to get the most from their money and food and introducing them to different cuisines. This makes cooking fun, accessible and you can go to the club afterwards!
“I’m driven and I have the knowledge of how the Student’s Union run and how campaigns can influence students.”
Why should students vote for you as their Environmental and Social Justice Officer?
Because I care. Being on the ESJ committee has been an eye-opener to how important the job is and how it needs to be done right. I want to continue the massive strides made by the Network last year. I’m driven and I have the knowledge of how the Student’s Union runs and how campaigns can influence students.
Voting for the 2020 SU elections closes at 3pm on Monday 11th May.
The link to vote for the 2020 Students’ Union candidates is here.
Featured image courtesy of Nina Sasha.
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