Noa Holt is running in the 2022 SU elections for the role of Women’s* Officer. Impact’s Lucinda Dodd asked her a few questions about her campaign.
Q1. Why did you run for the role?
I tried to find a lot of resources that I needed on campus as a woman, and felt like I couldn’t access them. The uni has good welfare, but it needs to be more specific, especially given what happened this year regarding spiking. I spoke to lots of other women who felt exactly the same.
Further from that, there were loads of other things that I felt were needed on campus to make it a more empowering space – especially in the gym, and for women doing STEM.
I felt there needed to be more specific support from Cripps regarding sexual health. I spoke to lots of other girls who wanted to speak to someone about the contraception they’re using, and there wasn’t someone that they could do that with.
“It’s something that’s always driven me”
Q2. What do you think makes you a good fit for the role of women’s officer?
I’m really, really passionate about making an empowering space for women. It’s something that’s always driven me and I think that’s reflected in my past experience. I set up my own business training women with weights to help them feel more empowered and valued. I really enjoyed doing that and wanted to bring that with me to uni.
I’ve also had experience working in bars and clubs and I’ve seen the support that you can provide for women there. I want to start applying that to Nottingham clubs.
Q3. What resources do you think that the university should implement in gyms, and for STEM students, to help women feel safer in those areas?
One of my policies is having women only gym and swim sessions. I know a lot of girls feel uncomfortable in the gym. [Women only gym sessions] could easily be put in place, especially since David Ross is massive, and they have the resources to provide that.
For girls in STEM, I want to set up a more formal community that people can join. I also want to help girls in STEM get more opportunities, for example, work experience which is specifically targeted for women.
I propose to have free STI and pregnancy tests on campus permanently.
Q4. What steps should be taken to combat spiking of women in nightclubs?
Increased searches. I know that when [spiking] first started everyone said all the clubs are increasing searches and putting covers on drinks, but from what I’ve seen, that’s completely stopped. I’ve been to several nightclubs with a bag and never been searched. That needs to change.
Also, educating nightclub staff on spiking: what to do if they see spiking and how to tell that someone’s been spiked and what to do. I’ve heard stories and spoken to people who’ve been kicked out of clubs because the bouncer said they’re too drunk. They’re left by themselves, they’ve been spiked, they can’t move, and that puts them in so much danger. So if there was more education for nightclub staff – which could be done so easily – that could really help female safety.
“She worked high flying jobs while having children”
Q5. Which woman in politics inspires you the most?
Michelle Obama. I read her autobiography and she’s overcome so many obstacles in terms of racial prejudice, being prejudiced against as a woman and being married to a very powerful man and therefore being overlooked in that way. She worked high flying jobs while having children and I think she’s a really good role model.
Voting for the 2022 SU Election closes at 1pm on Friday 25th March.
You can read Noa Holt’s manifesto and vote in the elections here.
Featured image is courtesy of Chiara Crompton. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
In-article images courtesy of Max Harries. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to these images.
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