Joint winners Billy Thornett and Hope Palfrey are the newly elected Environment and Social Justice officer for 2022/23. There was a total of 456 votes for this role, with Billy and Hope receiving 280 of them. If you would like to read their manifesto and follow their journey in this new role head over to their Instagram @hopeandbilly4esj for updates and visit the SU page for details of what the role entails. Impact’s Lottie Murray caught up with them at the election night. Here is what they had to say!
What are you most looking forward to achieving in your new role?
Billy: Getting our stuff done: achieving our policies and making a real difference.
Hope: We are excited to start our campaigns and, in terms of ‘demilitarise UoN’, it is something we need to do now, so we are really excited to build on that campaign and it will feel amazing when we achieve it because it really is an important thing!
Billy: We want to get ‘demilitarise UoN’ to the top of the SU’s agenda.
What was the highlight of your campaign?
You can actually make a change
Billy: It was really nice to hang out and having each other was probably the best part of it because I don’t think I could have done it alone.
Hope: Having people around meant a lot. Before, I could never have imagined having that many people around me that believe I can do something.
Billy: We had such a supportive network of people which was really nice. Shoutout to Joel Butterworth!
Hope: It is a really beautiful thing to have people inspiring us. You can actually make a change. Also, Ashley was super helpful. They came in during the occupation and teach out kind of thing and was talking about the SU and made it seem like it wasn’t a waste of time (as many people may think).
Did you face any challenges when campaigning?
Billy: It was quite scary going up to people and talking to them, but you get the hang of it eventually.
Hope: I think a lot of people don’t really care about the SU and there is obviously a reason for that. We want to look at ways to improve the SU-student relationship and show that the SU does in fact have the ability to make a difference.
Billy: We want to change the overall student view of the SU and try to help people care more about it.
How will you be celebrating?
We will be going to a pub and drinking alcohol- haha!
Is there any immediate things you want to implement straight away?
We want to… build a movement to stop these unethical partnerships happening
Hope: Right now, we can start talking to the demilitarise campaign and the conservation society about the community gardens we want to build.
Billy: We also want to start forming other partnerships.
Hope: Also, the Students for Palestine society have been talking about the University’s transparency with their partnerships and what they invest in. I think that is a massive issue because a lot of people aren’t aware of the University having these unethical partnerships. We want to raise awareness of this and build a movement to stop these unethical partnerships happening. We could definitely start that now.
Congratulations again, is there anything you would like to say to the people that voted for you?
Hope and Billy: We want to say thank you very much, it means a lot!
Hope: We also want you to be involved as much as possible. We are not going to sit here and be like ‘oh we are going to do all these amazing things’; we can’t do this without other students and the fact that people have decided to vote for us is great and makes us think we can achieve all this stuff. If you read our manifesto and think it is cool, we want to meet you and hear your ideas.
Billy: If you believe in the cause, you should join us!
And finally, well done to all the candidates that were nominated, your campaigns were all fantastic!
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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