Daisy Forster has been elected as your new Community Officer for 2022/23. Daisy was declared the winner after one round of voting with 495 votes. Impact caught up with Daisy to ask her a few questions.
Q1: What are you most looking forward to in your role?
There are many things I’m really excited about such as Welcome Fair, and just speaking to as many students as I possibly can. I feel that there’s a lack of engagement in the SU and that’s going to be one of the first things that we adjust during Welcome Week. I’m really excited to just get stuck in!
“It was really nice to actually discuss my manifesto points”
Q2: What was the highlight of your campaign?
There were a few times where I’d approach someone and they’d really question me about why they should vote for me. I really enjoyed that because it shows that the student is actually properly engaged in what you’re doing – and that holds you accountable.
It was really nice to actually discuss my manifesto points and hear people’s reactions and how much they actually really liked my manifesto, especially on Sutton Bonington (SB). Students from SB were very forthright in saying they’ve had so many officer candidates go there and make promises that aren’t kept and questioning what makes me different. It was really nice to be able to answer those questions from fully engaged students.
Also, everyone loved my hedgehog stickers and that was really nice!
Q3: Did you face any challenges when campaigning? Now campaigning is back in person, did you find it difficult to manage this alongside online campaigning?
Again, I think that my biggest challenge throughout the campaign was realising how much of a big issue Sutton Bonington is in terms of SU engagement, but also SU representation. I went to the first candidate Q&A that I wasn’t speaking at there, and realised there were just so many different issues that needed addressing that I was unaware of. Going back to SB, and talking to more students about what they wanted and coming up with a new plan about how I’m going to represent SB was a massive learning curve – but definitely a worthwhile one.
In terms of online campaigning, Instagram shadow banned me within about 10 minutes! I was only able to follow like 20 people in the first few days, it was a nightmare. So that definitely wasn’t where most of my energy went. A lot of the time I was just out on campus handing stuff out.
Q4: You mentioned altering your manifesto after speaking to students on Sutton Bonington (SB), what did you change?
Initially, I’d spoken to a few students who live on SB and picked up that the main issues were catering, accommodation and road safety. But, after speaking to more students, I realised while those issues do exist, the main problem is that the issues that are on Sutton Bonington aren’t acted upon by the SU and the University centrally.
As I was talking to people, I realised one of the other issues that catalyses that is the SU staff aren’t present on SB, officers don’t go over to SB very often. So one of the things I decided is that I’m going to go to SB myself once a week, but I’m also going to make sure that every single officer is there at least once a fortnight. I’d like to extend that to all the SU services as well like SU advice and student groups to make sure that there is a presence on SB. That way, the issues that they have will hopefully be communicated better.
Q5: Given your aim to make UoN a Gold accredited hedgehog friendly campus, what will be the first steps you will take to achieve this?
“The University currently doesn’t have a biodiversity plan”
The hedgehog friendly campus thing is something that already exists on SB, which is another thing I learned during my campaign.
But really, that campaign point was kind of a figurehead for the deeper work that I want to do in terms of biodiversity. The University currently doesn’t have a biodiversity plan, and also hasn’t done any research into what biodiversity we already have on campus – we don’t know anything about the wildlife that we have. What really needs to be done in order to become a better hedgehog friendly campus is to do groundwork. Ensuring we’ve got that research, have good soil quality, and actually let the grass grow long will be how we work towards getting accreditation like the gold hedgehog friendly campus.
Q6: Congratulations again, is there anything you’d like to say to the people who voted for you?
Thank you for voting for me! I hope you liked my stickers and I hope that I don’t let you down.
Featured image is 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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