Interviewing Your President Candidates!

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Label sat down with your candidates for the role of President in the 2021 Exec Elections!

Freya Mason

What are the main points of your manifesto?

My first point is maintaining both old and new traditions as we come out of Covid. For me that is quite important, I’m only a second year but I obviously saw things like the Sing Off, and things which were incredibly important around that time. I think new things like some virtual events have done really well and it gives people who are quite shy a chance to really broadcast themselves. I also think there is a blossoming music community around Loughborough as well. I think if we look at the DJs who have been doing events, they have done really well and a lot of them are Loughborough students. I think they deserve more recognition for the work they have done and I would like to give them a platform. For me, it’s those old and new traditions. My second point is creating more awareness and change around sexual assault awareness and mental health, which I think is very important; it’s not just a welfare issue but a uni-wide issue. My third point is creating a strong and stable network for people in town. I think that can be done in forums on the website so they can talk about their landlords or their experiences. Just creating a strong link for the advice and opportunities we give them – especially for freshers that have been living in halls but don’t really have that stable link to the Union that we might have done in a normal situation. So, they know they union is always there for when they need.

What previous experience do you have which is important to the role?

I was Hall Chair for a year and a bit at Faraday. This was pre-Covid so I had all the time of planning the events for the hall and getting involved. I was also Welfare Rep before that point as well. I also had the role after Covid hit so I was getting people involved in virtual events and getting welfare issues sorted, making sure everybody was okay when they were locked down at home. Doing Covid Freshers as well and making sure that the freshers settled in and they were happy but, we also provided them with events which worked with their subs; making sure that it seemed like it was worth it. Introducing them to the Loughborough family which was really important at the time so, that has been my main bit of experience so far along with the Welfare Rep experience I have had before that.

What is it that made you want to run for the role of President?

I know it is quite a bit role for only being a second year but for me, I have enjoyed every part of being at Loughborough and being part of the Loughborough family. I think it is a massive part that is quite unique to Loughborough and I want to give back to the community that made me feel so at home. I would also love to represent these students as I feel like I have enjoyed every moment spending time with the range of different people we have here at the University. I would love to represent them in anyway that I can and hopefully give back to this community.

What student issues will you present to the university?

I think welfare issues are really important so, things like sexual assault and mental health. I think making sure there is enough safety around campus and that people do feel safe is incredibly important in todays day and age, especially with things that have come out in the media like Sarah Everard. I also think that giving recognition to the students we have here like the music community and for students that might enjoy more virtual events. They need to be recognised and to give them more opportunities that way.

Gabo Ortiz Vieira

What are the main points of your manifesto?

I have three main manifesto points, starting with: a better normal. I want to focus on bringing the SU out of the pandemic. It’s going to be a transitional period for us and so I want to make sure that we come out of it having the student experience that has the best student experience in the country, like it has done for many years. This means bringing back some of the old ways but also learning from the pandemic and what it brought us. Secondly, with a new VC comes new opportunities. Sadly as we know, VC Bob will be leaving us this year and we will be welcoming a new Vice Chancellor on campus. I believe this is an opportunity to rebuild the relationship between the SU and the University. I think as a SU we’ve had a very privileged position with the University. We don’t have to fight to be in meetings, and we don’t have to fight to speak to the University leadership. I want to make sure that this relationship starts on the right foot, starts the right way and we are still able to do this and are still able to take part in the decision making around the University and the SU. Finally, improve the strategic objectives on communication and transparency. Our online presence is very important right now and this was especially true during the pandemic so, I believe that we should be striving towards making a strategy that further improves our online presence throughout the years. This can mean tidying up the website for example. In terms of transparency as well, I believe there should be more opportunities for students to know what is going on throughout the Union and to know where there money is going and how it is being used. Overall, making sure we are reaching as many students as possible so they can get involved as much as possible. So, they know what we can do for them.

What previous experience do you have which is important to the role?

I’ve been volunteering around the University during my four years here. I’ve been an undergraduate student and a post-graduate student. I’ve previously been a peer mentor, a course representative, an ambassador for the International Students Network and I’ve moved up to Chair this year as well. I believe all of these experiences have taught me a lot of things: they have taught me how the University works, they have taught me what the SU can do, what the SU is here to do. Especially being Chair of the International Students Network has been a wonderful opportunity to expand my leadership skills for example, to expand my view on what the students want and how to create a good and improved student experience. Especially during the pandemic where we weren’t really sure what we were going to do, it was a very unique position for everybody that worked this year at the SU. Those experiences that I have had, have all round have helped me improve the skills I will apply should I get the position.

What is it that made you want to run for the role of President?

I’ve always been passionate about doing more of what is expected of me. Even from a young age at school I was involved with the Student Council every single year. I moved up in that ladder and when I came here I was also looking at ways I could expand and do more than just my degree. As I mentioned before, on my second year I was a Course Rep and Peer Mentor. In my third year I was an Ambassador within the International Students Network. On my fourth and Masters year, I was the Chair of the International Students Network and all of these things not only made me passionate about what the SU does, it made me passionate about what the SU can be. I think in general I am passionate about the human experience, improving peoples lives and making it a little bit better; giving people the opportunity to better themselves and reach their potential. All of these things are things that I am interested in and having volunteering at the SU for so many years, I thought that it would be the next step for me  within my strengths, passions and interests.

What student issues will you present to the university?

As President of the SU and the order of direction the SU is taking, I want to give the students the power to do what they want and to speak about what they want. Personally, I think there is a lot to be said about mental health service provision that I think we could all agree is an issue that could get some work. As I have mentioned in my previous manifesto points, with a new VC comes new opportunities. Not only did I make a point about rebuilding the relationship between the SU and the University but, I also think things we have tried in the past which haven’t worked could be seen in a new light now; we could try them again and hope that it works out. I think it’s about looking at what the students want and giving them the power to do what they want. We can also talk about the quality of teaching, looking at what we learnt before with the university ranking tables throughout all these years and getting back to that quality. I think this transition with the pandemic will be very important as well. I have some personal opinions about what we can do but most of all, I want the students to have the power, voice and for them to feel adequately represented in the University with the issues they want to speak about. We will do our best to try and solve these problems.

 

Voting closes on Friday 14th May at 4pm!

 

Header image designed by Christos Alamaniotis.

 

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