- Why are you running for the role?
I am running for the role of Education and Democracy because I want to ensure that the student body has a person they can go to who prioritises them and values their feedback and opinions. I want to encourage all students to recognise their voice and use it confidently especially when giving an input to their education. I want education and SUSU to be accessible to all students and I want to ensure a good, quality education for all students as well as the comfort of students knowing they have someone to turn to, rather than dealing with any issues alone.
- Key points:
My manifesto covers a lot of what I want to do really broadly, thanks to the word limit. There’s a lot I think I can bring to the role, and as I have said previously, I really want to focus on students having a say in their education and the way SUSU represents them. This year has been really difficult and it could have been done a lot better, and that’s not to blame to the lecturers but they are obviously usually the first point of blame when students feel their education hasn’t been enough. But I really want to focus on the top and ensure that lecturers are confident using the online tools that are widely available, and that I have experience in training and using and judging their effectiveness. I do not believe that technology can replace good teaching and it is frustrating that students are experiencing the use of technology in their learning in such a negative way. However, where technology is required, it needs to be good quality and we need to ensure lecturers are receiving the training and support they need to be able to do their job. My focus is obviously students but I want to also ensure that whatever impacts students is working and right now, online learning isn’t working.
My mental health point seems very VP Welfare and I am completely aware of that. But my angle is if you’re not okay, that is going to reflect in your education, whether you want it to or not. I know when I’m low, for example, I try and do so much revision and homework but in comparison to when I’m alright, it’s nowhere near the quality it should be. I want to work with the VP Welfare and Community to ensure we don’t have any of this ‘just meditate/ eat properly/ go for a run’ and actually focus on getting the help the student needs. Fair enough, they might just need to start eating properly, but that’s such a difficult thing to do. What even is eating properly? I couldn’t tell you. Who has time for three meals a day, and six to eight glasses of water a day, while also doing homework, and running, and meditating, and socialising, and lectures, and sleeping, and — you get it. Definitely stay hydrated but do your best. I want to make sure that your education doesn’t get in the way of your mental health, and when it does, support is available and you know where you need to go.
I have received a lot of student feedback over the last six months, all unofficial through the Discord server, and anyone who knows me knows I will pretty much help anyone as much as I can. I started off with the FAQs and spreadsheet, which a lot of people got annoyed over but I can’t help thinking it’s super funny, and then I moved to the Discord to help students. I was voted in by the students to be an admin and now I kind just vibe on the server as much as possible. The Discord is where I find out most of the problems students have and I find it very curious that these unofficial platforms, like the Discord and Crushampton II, have so much student feedback that no-one is … acting on or even noticing? So, after a lot of students were just having a chat on the Discord server about the fact they were paying for halls when they were literally not allowed to, I decided to start complaining to SUSU. Someone mentioned the petition system, which I wasn’t aware of, and then we were off. I don’t think I have done anything else as big as that but honestly, I’m happy with sending the unhappy emails to faculties, ranting at halls about the endless list of issues students are facing and typically being the ‘…oh, Lottie has emailed me again’. I don’t want to think about it and I don’t want to place blame, but it irritates me that there are people who feel they can get away with treating students poorly because they think they won’t complain. I feel like I’ve had quite a bit of influence pushing students to stand up for themselves and I am really happy with hearing about it when students do – it feels nice that they’ve come to me to check emails or even ask ‘is this worth complaining about?’ and then telling me how they’ve been reimbursed, or things have been sorted. I want to really encourage students to use their voice because it is incredibly powerful.
I’ll be talking a lot more about my manifesto and extending on different points on my social media, it’s just Lottie 4 VP Ed Dem so feel free to follow along with the campaign.
- Why should people vote for you?
So, this is going to sound weird but I only want people to vote for me if they feel like they trust me to prioritise and support them, and make their education and representation accessible. I would love to take on the VP Education and Democracy role to do more than just write angry emails and sit in the Halls Forum ranting about this, that and the other. I think I have a lot of experience and I was pretty much known to go on and do my own thing, like running the SU at my old college, even though it was definitely not part of my role, and every single chance I got, I just made sure the students got a say, for example, I was once asked my opinion of a video platform and I was just like, ‘but I’m not the one using it?’ and walked up to a bunch of students and put the laptop in front of them and just said, ‘what do you think?’. I want every single student to vote for the candidate they want to represent them, and if that’s not me, then that’s fine because I don’t want to be if I’m not what the students want. At the end of the day, it’s their education, it’s their representation and I wouldn’t feel comfortable representing students who didn’t want me in the position to begin with. I also want all students to exercise their right to vote, so please do vote in these elections.