Caitlin Sweeney is running in the 2022 SU elections for the role of Women’s* Officer. Impact’s Lucinda Dodd asked her a few questions.
Q1: Why did you run for the role?
So initially, I didn’t know anything about [the role] and then when the spiking situation kicked off a few months ago, I felt quite agitated that I was in a position where I couldn’t do anything other than raise awareness between my friends. This really pushed me to [realise] I need a role where I have a platform and can implement change and ideas that I’ve thought of myself, using community and university resources.
“I’m extremely passionate”
Q2: What makes you a good fit for the role of women’s officer?
I would say I’m extremely passionate. I’m fighting for things that I don’t think are [just] problems within our community, I think they’re worldwide problems. I feel like the first step is implementing [change] in small communities, and hopefully things spread from that.
Q3: What steps should be taken to make women safer both on campus and in the city centre?
There are areas on campus that I personally believe could use more light for when women are walking at night. We all know that when it’s dark it just makes you feel that little bit more scared. I’d love to work with the police and the university to get more lighting on campus.
In the community, in terms of spiking more specifically, I think we need more work with not just clubs, but the security and bouncer companies that clubs hire because these are the people that actually engage and see [spiking] happening.
On top of that, I think the staff that work in nightclubs need to be more engaged because I believe a lot of the spiking is actually from people that work behind the bar, not just people in the club.
“I really want to strengthen the Women’s* Network media page”
Q4: How can you help combat misogynistic outlooks on campus?
There’s a few initial campaigns and posters that I want to get out there and hopefully they can be put in toilets and hotspots on campus, for example, Portland Coffee and the library.
I think as well that, in terms of misogyny, a lot of it happens online, so I really want to strengthen the Women’s* Network media page, and directly confront and have warnings and penalties for university students that engage in misogynistic behaviour online.
Q5: Which woman in politics inspires you the most?
That’s a really hard question, I’d say Michelle Obama. I think she is amazing.
Voting for the 2022 SU elections closes at 1pm on Friday 25th March.
You can read Caitlin’s manifesto and vote in the elections here.
Featured image courtesy of Chiara Crompton. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article image courtesy of Lucinda Dodd. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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