Happening on Campus

Manifesto Reviews- Full Time Officers: Welfare Officer Candidates 1/2

Harry Chapman and Katie Sullivan

A group of Impact Magazine writers have looked over the candidate manifestos for this year’s Student Union Elections. Harry Chapman, Katie Sullivan, Emma Burnett, Oli Harris, and Hannah Walton-Hughes summarised and discussed each candidate’s main manifesto points, and gave their views on the manifesto. Voting closes on 15th March 2024 at 2pm.

Aditi Ratra:

Main manifesto points:

  1. Accessibility for Extenuating Circumstances Claim
  2. Extending Welfare Services
  3. Peer Support Programmes
  4. Promoting Holistic Wellbeing
  5. Campaigns for Wellbeing
  6. Strengthening Support Services

Aditi’s manifesto is very well structured. It makes numerous points that are easy to read, and easy to be held accountable for should she be elected.

Aditi is well positioned for the Welfare and Wellbeing Officer role as a trainee therapist pursuing a MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy

She talks about the issues of submitting extenuating circumstances claims, welfare in campus residencies and between campuses, ways to promote better wellbeing such as food choices and sports and looks at the shortfalls in the current structure of society wellbeing officers to strengthen the support students get. Each manifesto point is clear and concise, and much thought has been given.

Aditi is well positioned for the Welfare and Wellbeing Officer role as a trainee therapist pursuing a MA in Counselling and Psychotherapy. She is a course rep and has held a leadership role as a Millennium Fellow for the United Nations Academic Impact.

Aditi leaves no stone unturned in what the role of Welfare Officer might entail. Some of the manifesto points extend into the roles of some of the other elected officers, such as the Education Officer in the case of extenuating circumstances. Some points may also prove difficult to achieve, for example extending on campus residential events to students living off campus.

Aishat Ajayi:

Main manifesto points:

  1. Promote financial literacy
  2. Scholarship opportunities
  3. Fairer financial aid policies

Aishat is standing on a platform of promoting a culture of financial responsibility to aid the welfare of students. An international student, she talks about sexual health and guidance (SHAG) week, providing support during exam periods, fostering a culture of care and compassion on campus, and obtaining feedback through surveys, town halls and focus groups.

Aishat puts a lot of content in both the manifesto and the experience sections. The long paragraphs make it a difficult read, although there is a lot of strong pledges in there. Workshops, town halls and focus groups help improve engagement between the officers and the student body, whilst her empathy is evident throughout her statement.

Her experience includes working in customer service at Burger King, and as a People Engagement and Success Analyst in the Financial Services sector. She is also very active within the Students Union, with roles as an active Course Rep to amplify student voices, and for the university as an International Student Ambassador, promoting cross-cultural understanding between groups of international students.

Bhaavya Khanna:

Main manifesto points:

  1. Campaigns that spark change
  2. Collaboration that counts
  3. Feedback that fuels
  4. Support that shines a light

Bhaavya explains how her campaign is going to be different from the outset. By pledging to transform SHAG Week by making it more engaging, and ditching posters for more modern alternatives, she suggests that her campaign for Welfare and Wellbeing Officer might be different from the norm too.

She goes on to state that she will be your bridge between the student body, the university, and the union, gathering feedback and amplifying wellbeing issues.

Bhaavya […] details a deep knowledge of the welfare and wellbeing role

Bhaavya has experience in leadership roles. She is a clinical psychology intern, detailing the work she does with people experiencing a range of difficulties. She also has extra-curricular experience in theatre and sports.

Bhaavya’s manifesto is well written. It details a deep knowledge of the welfare and wellbeing role and much thought has been put into it. It seems very cliche at first glance, but I like the way the triggers of mental health issues have been span into something positive. The quote “Forget capes and tights. The real heroes wear empathy” is a particular highlight.

Ella Chauhan:

Main manifesto points:

  1. UoN’s approach to substance use
  2. Wellbeing beyond the first year

Ella begins her manifesto by stating she is approachable, supportive, has a strong work ethic, and is dedicated to prioritising students’ wellbeing and enhancing their long-term skills.

She would like to focus in on substance-related issues in the student body, which she feels the University lacks adequate support for. Much space is given to this issue. She feels that priority should be given to those struggling with alcohol consumption and substance abuse at university, and endeavours to help students strike a harmonious work-life balance dealing with these problems.

Her other main focus is wellbeing for those outside first year, who also have to deal with more assessment and exam stress. She would like to address challenges arising from living arrangements and adapting to a whole new environment after moving out of halls.

Ella is a final year Psychology and Cognitive Neuroscience student and a volunteer at Headucate UK, delivering mental health workshops to young adults. She is also a volunteer at the Nottingham Recovery Centre.

She brings a slightly different perspective to the Welfare and Wellbeing Officer role to some of the other candidates. Less manifesto points are made, but this could also be seen as a strength since her goals are achievable and there is a clear focus on the things she wants to do.

Full officer manifestos can be read on the UoNSU website.

Harry Chapman and Katie Sullivan

Featured image courtesy of Korng Sok via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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