Manifesto reviews: Union Development Officer Candidates

Hannah Walton-Hughes & Sophie Robison

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.

Jess Nuttall:

Main manifesto points:

  1. Open Conversations
  2. Student-Centered Decisions
  3. Volunteering and CV Building
  4. Campus Connectivity

Jessica has clearly had a very high level of involvement with the Students Union up until now, from being an SU Brand Ambassador, to working in Welcome Committees, and as the Volunteering Director of Karnival. The phrase that stands out the most to me from her manifesto is “it’s important I’m present and ready to listen.” This really summarises Jessica’s key focus on making students’ voices heard, and reacting to what students really need, from general University life, to furthering their career prospects. 

She demonstrates a willingness to ‘brings these events to you’

Throughout her manifesto, Jess rightfully draws attention to the necessity for all UoN campuses to have equal access to events, fairs, and opportunities. This is a very important issue to address because, while it is fantastic that our university has various spaces which cater excellently to a wide range of degrees, many students studying outside of university park campus feel disconnected and isolated; especially when it comes to the SU. It is good to see that Jess cares so much about this and she demonstrates a willingness to ‘brings these events to you’, referring to students elsewhere.

However, Jess does not really present specific plans of how she will do this apart from having regular visits to the different campuses. I would have loved to have known how she considers to ensure that students from all campuses have equal opportunity!

Harry Chapman: 

Main manifesto points:

  1. Stand up to university bosses
  2. Address the cost-of-living crisis
  3. Schedule check-ins
  4. Increase union participation

In Harry Chapman’s manifesto for the SU’s Union Development Officer role, he puts emphasis on improving the student experience and his desire to work holistically with students, SU staff, societies and unions to achieve this. A phrase in Harry’s manifesto which stands out is “all evidence suggests they don’t really care about us” – where he emphasises the way in which students and their university experience are often overlooked by university leaders, which he believes to be wrong as students are their “biggest asset”.

Harry manages to cover how he would improve student experience by increasing communication

For Harry, this means standing up to university bosses, such as Shearer West and Pro-Vice Chancellors, to encourage them to start listening to students’ concerns. He also highlights the need to focus on the cost-of-living crisis, as he acknowledges that things will only get worse for students due to rising accommodation costs, fewer bursaries, and maintenance loans not rising in line with inflation.

Harry would also like to support all full-time and part-time SU officers by scheduling check-ins to help them to achieve more within their roles, and to increase students’ participation in the SU, for example by encouraging more voters in SU referendums, and to generally increase the connection between the SU and students.

Despite only including four main points in his manifesto, Harry manages to cover how he would improve student experience by increasing communication between university leaders, the SU and students.

Hannah Walton Hughes & Sophie Robinson

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

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