Sultan Raja Chaudhury is running in the 2022 SU Elections for the role of Union Development Officer. Impact’s Head of News Lauren McGaun caught up with him to ask a few questions about his campaign.
Q1: What do you think makes you a good fit for this role ?
I’ve been involved in the SU in my current role as Liberation officer. That’s given me a lot of experience with how it works and how to deal with the University.
I was also president of Acapella society for two years. Last year, Acapella won student group of the year, which was great and gives me the impression that I’m doing a good job.
Q2: You’re the current liberation officer at the SU. What would you say have been your biggest successes in this role and can you expand briefly on any challenges?
I think student engagement has been one of the most difficult things, especially as, at the start of the year, a lot of societies had lapsed, and the student networks didn’t have any members in them. That really affected engagement and was hard to build back from.
However, some of the successes that I’ve seen have been some of the celebration months, such as film screening panel discussions. I wish every student had been there to hear it. I’ve been really proud of my work supporting the part time officers and getting them better support from the SU and University.
I’ve been really proud of my work supporting the part time officers and getting them better support from the SU and University
Q3: Why did you decide to run for the role of Union Development Officer ?
Whilst I’ve been Liberation officer, I’ve achieved some good things. I’ve spoken to a lot of senior people at the university and made some progress. They seem to be keen to get involved in actually making that change.
As Union Development Officer, there’s the potential of taking that to a greater level and having more direct contact with Shearer West for example.
As we’re going into a post-COVID world, a lot has changed. With that will come a change in the union as well.
Q4: You didn’t submit a manifesto so would you be able to expand a few of your key campaigning points?
My main aims are around improving the visibility and recognition of the Union and its activities on all campuses, advocating for more student ownership and choice. I hope to create a dedicated space for student activities, as well as having more retail outlets across our campuses too.
I’d like to see more of a presence from the officer team, online and in person. I want students to be aware of what’s happening around them on a more regular basis, but also to be involved in those things. Some of the work that I’ve been doing with decolonisation, I’ve seen progress, but I would like to see that happen at an institution wide level.
With the restructuring of democracy structures, I’m really keen to make sure that students are involved in union policy decisions. When we have developed a new democratic structure, I would like to see that the University of Nottingham becomes one of the leading universities on this and takes it to the NUS as a model for how student unions should be working in the future.
Q5: How would you ensure that the Student Union becomes more transparent, and students are more aware of any SU decisions?
The main thing that I’d like to do more of is making students aware of what actually happens inside the SU, like, being aware of the different teams that are there, but also having officer decisions shared on a regular basis, so that they can so they can be aware of what’s happening around them and make more informed decisions.
Q6: George Green or Hallward Library? Boots or SPAR?
Hallward or Hellwood, as I call it is quite an ugly building to look at.
The benefits of George Green are that postgraduates get the top floor exclusively and feels quite nice.
I’d also say with SPAR vs Boots, the meal deals are pretty similar priced. There’s better choice at Boots, but at the end of the day the SPAR is owned by the students and its profits go back to the students.
Voting for the 2022 SU elections closes at 1pm on Friday 25th March.
You can read Sultan’s manifesto and find the link to vote 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 Max Harries. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.
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