Joel Butterworth is running in the 2021 SU elections for the role of Community Officer. Impact’s Joe Hughes caught up with Joel to ask them a few questions.
What do you think makes you a good fit for this role?
I founded the Notts Uni Rent Strike and have helped organise over 1,000 students threaten to withhold £2 million pounds in rent from university accommodation providers. Because of the pressure applied by the Rent Strike, we have won hundreds of thousands of pounds in rent rebates, holding the University Executive Board to account.
I will fight for a university that is run for its students and staff, in the interests of learning and improving lives, not as a business and not for profit.
I want to continue to grow this student solidarity and fight for the ‘Students Deserve Better’ campaign
Why did you run for the role of Community Officer?
I ran for the role of Community Officer after being inspired by the thousands of students who came together to push back against the Universities’ ‘business as usual’ approach in the form of a rent strike. If we work together, we can achieve change. I want to continue to grow this student solidarity and fight for the ‘Students Deserve Better’ campaign within the Students Union.
How will you implement your proposed “‘Report & Support’ system for reporting acts of harassment, discrimination or hate”?
This scheme is heavily inspired by the University of Manchester’s ‘Report & Support’ scheme (https://www.reportandsupport.manchester.ac.uk). Students will be able to choose either to report something anonymously or choose to speak confidentially to an advisor.
I want to bring power back to the community, and stop bad landlord practices
If the pandemic continues to disrupt the accommodation and private rental arrangements of students, how will you continue to hold the University accountable and challenge bad landlord practices?
- Continue to support the Notts Uni Rent Strike and demand that we are given adequate rent rebates.
- Approved student housing (like Snug in Sheffield) across UoN and NTU.
- Work together with tenants’ unions like ACORN to bring power back to the community, and stop bad landlord practices such as evictions.
- Work with local housing co-operatives to find cheaper alternatives to private landlords.
- Rent Cap and Breakdown of Rent Fees.
COVID permitting, Ocean or Rock City?
I’m more of a £2 Bodega Lager kind of person!
Featured image courtesy of Chiara Crompton. No changes were made to this image.
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