Label interviewed the candidates running for Welfare and Diversity EO 2019-20, read their responses below (in alphabetical order, we try and be unbiased here!)…
Candidate: Matt Youngs
Sum up your main manifesto points in one sentence.
An inclusive freshers for all, raising awareness of the section and its associations across campus and taking the current issues and concerns of students right to the top of the union and to the university.
What was your motivation for running?
For me, the W&D section was sort of my family at university, I always struggled to fit in. I got involved volunteering through nightline and just gradually went up the ranks as it were in the section. It’s now my opportunity to give back to the section which I first joined, but from the very top.
What do you want to achieve this year?
The fact that Welfare and Diversity is a section for everyone; often I think that there’s a stigma surrounding it, that you have to either directly identify with one of the associations e.g. one of the minority groups or be involved with something like Heads Up. One of our main agendas and principles is that we’re inclusive to all.
What have you enjoyed most about life in Loughborough?
It’s kind of ironic because I struggled to settle in originally but – the bubble. Even now I go home and after a week I wish I could be back at Loughborough! It’s the energy on campus, I don’t think there’s anywhere like it. The moment you walk onto campus, like days like today where it’s sunny, you just can’t beat it.
Will you be providing puppy petting more often than just in exam times?
Something I haven’t really thought of, part of the reason that we put it on in exams is to provide stress relief and if it’s going to be on every single week there isn’t that draw to it in exams as it doesn’t provide that stress relief. I don’t think there’s any reason why we couldn’t increase it, but I think you’ve got to be quite careful as well.
Do you think the level of support we currently have is enough?
In terms of the counselling and disability service, I don’t think it’s the case of just pumping more and more money into it, because at the end of the day there’s a finite amount when it comes to the university. I think we’ve got to start looking at different strategies providing alternative support.
Have you had first-hand experience of the support/counselling system here?
Nightline was my greatest exposure to the services, but I have personally been through the counselling and disability service, again in contrast to the headlines I had a very positive experience. I think obviously its raising awareness of the current issues around the counselling and disability service, but it’s also raising awareness of the alternatives that people can reach out to.
Editor’s note: these interviews have been edited down, if you would like longer transcripts of our interviews, please email email@example.com
Featured image by: Omeiza Haruna