Manifesto Reviews: Liberation Officer Candidates

Jake Longhurst & Amelia Brookes

A team of Impact’s contributors came together to review candidate manifestos. The team, consisting of Sophie Robinson, Kit Sinclair, Olivia Hughes, Laura Scaife, Hannah Walton-Hughes, Lottie Murray, and Olivia Conroy have summarised the main manifesto points and given their opinions on the overall manifesto. Voting closes on Friday 17th at 1pm.

Ayomide Oluwabukunmi Omoni:

Main manifesto points:

  1. Safe Spaces
  2. Accessibility
  3. Encouraging Protest
  4. Mutual Aid

Each headline point has examples of what they will entail below, such as the idea of putting on a diversity fair under the Safe Spaces section. This made me feel like Ayomide has put a lot of thought and time into their manifesto, making each point feel researched and (mostly) realistic. The manifesto as a whole does feel like it’s being aimed at a good range of problems that affect a large swathe of students who are part of a minority group, whether they are disabled or LGBTQ+ or part of the BAME community.

Overall impression is of someone who wants to see real change for those who are underrepresented

The later sections are particularly interesting, those being Encouraging Protest and Mutual Aid. The former of these feels like a natural extension of the student tendency to protest, by then having almost a dedicated voice for protesting students in the SU. The latter point would be of massive benefit for students struggling with money and may be incredibly helpful in such situations as the current cost of living crisis.

The overall impression is of someone who wants to see real change for those who are underrepresented on campus, in a bid to make lasting changes to the facilities and support available for those in question. With Ayomide being part of many of the communities they would like to provide aid to, I would feel confident that they are already well aware of what these groups need and want and will do their best to enact the most important points first.

I would slightly question the feasibility of some of the points, as a few of the suggested points would appear that they will take a substantial period and may well take longer than the year allotted to each SU candidate, however by at least starting the journey I’m sure that Ayomide can start the progress of plenty of new spaces and support systems for those who need them most.

Noa Holt:

Main Manifesto points:

  1. Improve Nightlife Safety
  2. Support and counselling services
  3. Inclusive sport
  4. Supporting religious students

As the Liberations Officer, Noa, the former Women*’s officer, would improve nightlife safety by working with stakeholders to ensure that venues take a pledge to prioritise the wellbeing and safety of all students. She would also collaborate with them to implement better social networks and safe spaces for LGBTQIA+ students. She would also improve the accessibility, inclusiveness and utility of counselling, support services and plans – with greater consideration given to external circumstances. She also pledges to improve the counselling service to ensure that it is approachable.

She would also work to make sport on campus more inclusive. Having already started on creating women’s only gym sessions, she believes that being elected Liberations Officer would enable her to continue this work and extend it to other students with accessibility needs.

It covers the liberation of lots of different areas of campus, from the playing field to the prayer room

There is a focus in Noa’s manifesto on also supporting religious students – ensuring that religious students are accepted and respected, with secular students feeling equally validated and supported. She would allocate more high-quality faith spaces across all campuses to ensure that religious students don’t miss out on study time travelling to and from prayer rooms. There would also be EDI impact assessments of the university’s democratic procedures to ensure that ‘tolerance and multiculturalism remain a top priority.’

I really like the idea of making sport on campus more inclusive, especially towards women, disabled students and other students with accessibility requirements. It would be great to get more information about this and how it might look.

Overall, what I think is nice about this manifesto is how it covers the liberation of lots of different areas of campus, from the playing field to the prayer room – and due to the diversity of students that the university has, these well-rounded efforts are needed. Noa has already held a role in the SU as Women*’s Officer, so it will be interesting to see how her maintained SU experience will come into play as she campaigns this year.

Jake Longhurst & Amelia Brookes

Featured image courtesy of Lottie Murray. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image. 

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