Sam Hawkins is running in the 2021 SU elections for the role of Liberation Officer. Impact’s Aidan Hall caught up with him to ask them a few questions.
What do you think makes you a good fit for this role?
As the first-ever Liberation Officer this year, I have the knowledge and relationships to start from Day 1. My manifesto builds on what students told me is important to them, and I would be honoured to be re-elected.
If re-elected, this would be your third year at the SU, why should students vote for you again?
Any institution whose structures and procedures enable inequality for students from the global major is institutionally racist – UoN is no exception.
I have a strong record of delivering results for students and want to apply this to my new manifesto. This involves removing financial barriers for participating in activities, building inclusive mental health services to support marginalised students after the pandemic and events this past year, launching the Decolonise Network raising awareness of harassment and the new support available.
Similar to last year, you have included decolonisation in your manifesto and said that you want to “combat institutional racism” at UoN. Do you believe, then, that the University of Nottingham is institutionally racist, and if so, why?
Any institution whose structures and procedures enable inequality for students from the global majority is institutionally racist – UoN is no exception. This year, I’ve worked to combat the manifestations of this, including the awarding gaps and gender pay- and ethnicity pay-gaps, however, we need to mobilise a student movement to amplify our voice and needs. Therefore, I will set up a Decolonise Network and implement Decolonise Student Representatives in each school and faculty to review structures, procedures, and curricula which perpetuate inequality for marginalised individuals.
This year you have introduced the role of Working Class Officer. What are your thoughts on the arguments being made to introduce a Men’s Officer?
The role of Liberation Officer exists to fight for the rights of students from liberation backgrounds. While patriarchal society does cause issues for cis-men, such as mental health issues and toxic masculinity, these are not the result of historical marginalisation. Systems inherently give men an advantage, so rather, these issues would be best championed through tailored campaigns such as Men’s Health Active and Movember.
COVID permitting, Ocean or Rock City?
Rock City, exclusively funky room.
Featured image courtesy of Chiara Crompton. No changes were made to this image.
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