The Mancunion

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MMG presents: The official SU hustings

Candidates will answer a series of questions about what they can do for you

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Kizzy Bray 28th February 20188:09 PM
The second question is one close to our heart here at The Mancunion. How can relations between the exec team and student media be improved?

Nomaan Ahmad believes that that societies should help to engage with others, he wants to help engagement of student media and the execs.

Rosa believes that finding common ground between student media and the exec team is vital.

Romain Williams recommends that there should be a weekly forum for the media and the execs. Part-time officers and society leaders should have contact with the students so that they can feel a part of the student union.

Lizzy Haughton sees an opposition between the two. She believes the main issue is communication. She wants to improve the outreach of student media.

Ryan Johnson believes that students aren’t utilising student media enough. He believes that we need to push for experience for student media in external companies.

Anthony Menezes believes that there should be a showcase for student media in the SU. “Student media gets people involved in ways that no one thought possible”, student media “encapsulates the student body and can help us achieve our goals.”

Kizzy Bray 28th February 20188:04 PM

The final panel of the evening is Activities and Development Officer. They’re asked if they would scrap or keep pangaea, and if they would decide to keep the long running student festival, how would they change it?

Anthony ‘Ant’ Menezes wants to open up a fifth stage outside which will give better access to disabled students.

Ryan Johnson has worked on the festival on the four years he has been a student at the University of Manchester. He would keep the festival, but focus more on what the students want from it.

Lizzy Haughton wants to reintroduce ‘Pan-gay-ea’ to make it more accessible. She also wants to include student musical talent on campus.

Romain Williams believes that students who aren’t big drinkers aren’t included in the concept of Pangaea, she wants to change this!

Rosa Simonet agrees with the rest of the panel to keep Pangaea. “We need to get outreach out there” she states, “ask students what they want from Pangaea.”

Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:58 PM

This is Felix signing off, keep reading for the Activities Panel!

Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:58 PM

What would you see as a successful year as Internarional Students Officer?

Chee Huay Ng believes a success would mean making the Student’s Union a more inclusive space.
Riddi places empowering international student leaders at the heart of her campaign.
Karla Lopez feels success would come from a more considered approach supporting International students from lecturers and university staff.
Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:55 PM

The University of Manchester currently has some of the highest international tuition fees in the country.

Karla Lopez argues the fees need to be seen as worthwhile, and the recent strikes make this a “slap in the face”. Coming from a poorer country, her fees feel like much more of a burden and this isn’t represented in her experience.
Riddi Viswanathan calls for more similairty with other Russell Group universities and believes a student-led committee is the way forward.

Chee Huay Ng believes reduced access to loans is key, and scholarships need to become more widely available.
Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:51 PM

Felix back again with the International Student’s Officer Panel.

First question is what the key issues facing International students are?
Chee Huay Ng believes international students feel under-represented and need to play a bigger part in the running of the SU
Riddi Viswanathan feels mental health for international students is key, and representation in counselling at the University needs to be addressed, and the wide range of backgrounds of International students makers this a complex issue
Karla Lopez feels increased communication, inclusivity and greater accountability are the key issues to tackle. However, she says that ‘International student’s is a problematic label, and the community is made up of such a wide variety of people addressing their issues as one is impossible.
Kizzy Bray 28th February 20187:43 PM

“We are easily influenced by what we see” states Arundhathi. She wants to bring more conversation on campus onto body positivity. By spreading positivity amongst ourselves through posters with bodies of WoC and diverse shapes Arundhathi believes this will help self-image for women on campus.

“It’s so nice to see women of colour represented at the Union” said friends to Sara after her year as Women’s officer. She wants to push this further.

Smital too wants inclusivity.
Kizzy Bray 28th February 20187:41 PM

Reclaim the night has gone down in support figures.

“I am not afraid to criticise the union” Sara states. She believes that Reclaim the night should be student led, which it hasn’t been this year. “The reason we aren’t getting engagement is because we aren’t listening to students.”
Arundhathi believes that new students didn’t even know about the campaign. She wants more publicity.
Smital believes that the campaign should involve women telling their stories and standing up for what they believe in.
Kizzy Bray 28th February 20187:38 PM

On the women’s panel for the SU Hustings sits three possible candidates, Sara Heddi, the current Women’s officer, Arundhathi Sumam and Smital Kallurkar. The first question asked is how we can use campaigns such campaigns as metoo in the SU.

Arundhathi: metoo shows women that they are not alone and can stand up and be a part of something bigger.
Sara believes that Reclaim the Night this year gave metoo the coverage on the SU it needed, with sold out T-shirts sporting the phrase.
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20187:32 PM

Audience question: What more can be done specifically to help the exec team to be more transparent?

Deej: The SU has historically had a problem with getting across what we do. We need to look again at our relationship with student media and with social media. We need a major review about how we show what we do.
Octavian: There should be a platform where exec officers can feed back a lot more about what they are doing for students.
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20187:29 PM

What extra measures would you suggest to support students returning from a year abroad?

Deej: We need to go to students who have had a year abroad to ask them what they feel they need. Wants to work with the university to make sure what they need was provided.
Octavian: We need much more feedback from students on situations like this, not just at the end of the year but also throughout their time abroad.
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20187:27 PM

How do you intend to work with external bodies and companies to improve students’ health?

Octavian: Says he has already emailed Manchester Mind in order to gather as much information as possible. Feels that the university lacks information about mental health problems.
Deej: Says he will use his contacts with charities such as 42nd Street to ensure the contact needed is there. He thinks we need to look internally and externally in order to seek the needed support. He also feels we need more representation in the counselling service.
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20187:25 PM

What would you do to help improve the condition of students’ mental wellbeing?

Deej: This is a massively important thing. He says he wants to invite people from organisations such as 42nd Street onto campus and hold triage sessions in order to make them more accessible.
Octavian: Wants to tackle the situations that might trigger mental health problems. Prevention rather than cure.
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20187:22 PM

The candidates attending are: Deej Malik-Johnson who wants to prioritise student health student safety and student’s rights. Octavian Taranu-Toma wants to launch a program that he describes as “a mashup of sporticipate and a societies fair”. He wants this to help people re-take up activities that they dropped. His slogan is ‘A sounder mind, a sounder body’.

Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20187:20 PM

Nicole here, bringing you the Welfare panel!

Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:14 PM

That’s all for now! This is Felix signing off as we enter our short break, stay tuned for the Welfare panel amongst many others.

Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:13 PM

The Exec team has failed to deliver on promises to work with specific officers for each faith to represent more specific issues, would you seek to reintroduce this?

Sarah: Working with members of the community is key, and this should definitely be supported.
Sara: Education on a variety of faiths is important, and working with the student body is a key part of ensuring everyone on campus feels safe.
Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:10 PM

The current Diversities officer has introduced an LGBTQ+ club night at the SU, what would you do to further the SU’s actions to help the university’s LGBTQ+ community?

Sara: More focus on safety and inclusivity in the gay village in the centre of Manchester especially focusing on trans people, people of colour and disabled people. Diversity in the curriculum, especially relating to trans inclusivity surrounding the language of gender.
Sarah: More work should be done throughout the SU with existing officers to ensure inclusivity and safety
Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:06 PM

Research published in the Mancunion in October claimed that many religious students feel unsafe to practice their faiths on campus, how would you help this?

Sarah: People are largely unaware of safe spaces on campus, existing campaigns have been successful but not widely publicised, perhaps the introduction of a timetable for various faiths would help this.
Sara: The SU’s prayer space is well-furnished, this could be expanded across campus. However many people feel they don’t have time in their schedule to reach the space in the SU. Open prayer events can also help to break down cultural boundaries.
Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:03 PM

What are the possibilities for collaboration with other Exec Officers?

Sarah: Certain campaigns and projects at the university lack accessibility, as a parent she is unable to attend many events that would help get her voice out. Transport is seen as a huge barrier to this due to difficulties relating to childcare.
Sara: Sees funding as a key issue for many students, and collaboration with the Education Officer and achieve this, as well as working with the ISO to help minority ethnic students.
Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20187:00 PM

Only two candidates for this position: Sarah, a mature student and a parent, who believes her demographic is criminally underrepresented at the university, and Sara, who seeks to use her experience as BME Officer at the SU in this role.

Felix Hanif-Banks 28th February 20186:57 PM

Felix here, taking over the liveblog to cover the Liberations and Access Committee.

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:56 PM

Betsie is outraged that the university is involved with fossil fuels but more so that the SU doesn’t call them out on this . She believes student knowledge of these issues needs to be raised so they can adequately pressure the university.

That’s all from me!
Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:56 PM

Molly agrees with BDS but also says the university invests in fossil fuels and believes that this needs to be stopped. She thinks the university isn’t socially responsible and believes that the SU needs to do more to call the university out on that

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:54 PM

Huda, who started the BDS campaign, exposed the university’s investments and partnerships with the arms trade and with occupation in Palestine. She believes they have supported many human rights violations and thus cannot be considered socially responsible. She believes the university invests in murder.

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:53 PM

Question: [from the current campaigns officer] the university claims to be a socially responsible organisation, do you think the uni lives up to this?

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:53 PM

Shamima wants to focus on homelessness and work with Big Change also. They work on helping homeless people once they’re off the streets, an issue that she feels most people forget. She wants to help them find work and transform their lives. She wants to move past short term solutions and create something with more longevity

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:52 PM

Rachel wants to focus on homelessness, she’s on the Love For The Streets committee and works with Big Change. She wants to collate all the student volunteering efforts through research and create an optional module at the university on the issue. She also wants to create greater collaboration between students and the local community

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:51 PM

Molly wants to work with Citizens UK and thinks that local issues such as housing and crime are the most important for students. She wants to work with them and the local government

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:50 PM

Huda has worked with refugee crisis groups in Greece. She wants to begin conversation classes for students to teach refugees English so the two communities can engage and interact. She also launched the boycott, divestment and sanction campaign and wants to extend awareness in the student community

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:48 PM

Betsie has been working a lot on the refugee and asylum crisis, she works in liverool and merseyside, believes there is stigma against refugees and wants to get the university more involved with the communities to support them e.g. sporting events. Students – homelessness, increase information

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:47 PM

Question: what are the key local community groups and campaigns that you would engage with and support if elected?

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:47 PM

Rachel agrees with Molly and Huda and thinks the solution lies in wider student accreditation in order to tackle rogue landlords

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:46 PM

Huda agrees with the focus on the rate my landlord scheme but also wants to create a way for students to directly flag these issues with the SU. She also wants to bring in student accredited homes and start a scheme to help students

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:46 PM

Shamima wants to focus on one to one workshops. She wants to help students start early and find the right places to look. First years need to be included in order to avoid this happening to them in later years

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:45 PM

Housing is one of Molly’s top priorities and she wants to reinvigorate the ‘rate my landlord’ scheme run by the university. Many accredited landlords are exploiting students and she thinks we need to reform schemes run by the SU. She also wants to tackle bill companies as she thinks bills are just as important as rent but the issue isn’t as well known. She believes that information isn’t easily accessible and many companies such as Split The Bills are openly exploiting students

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:44 PM

Betsie thinks it’s key to listen to students and work within the local community but needs to do more research before being able to answer conclusively

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:43 PM

Question: There is a growing campaign from Andy Burnham and relevant pressure groups that want to improve living standards and challenge absent landlords, how would you improve and/or support this?

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:43 PM

Betsie likes the scheme but thinks its only 1 of many possible options. Many burglaries happen through open windows and she wants to raise awareness on issues like this. She also wants to improve street lighting, increase access to rape alarms and increase awareness among incoming students

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:42 PM

Molly thinks the night owl scheme is good and thinks self defence classes are important but thinks Manchester’s safety issues are structural and that the root causes need deeper inspection. She wants to introduce surveys and bring the results of these to the local government so that they’re aware of when and where relevant changes need to be made

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:41 PM

Shamima believes the SU lacks the ability to publicise the things they offer and intends to work on this. Students aren’t aware of the things on offer to them and she wants to make them aware.

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:40 PM

Huda thinks the night owl scheme is a great idea but thinks more could be done, the union has a scheme for free rape alarms but it isn’t well known. She wants to promote this scheme and increase access to these alarms and better street lighting

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:40 PM

Rachel thinks the night owl policy is a great idea and a good way to improve safety and self defence. She proposes an app to help students track violent crime in their area

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:39 PM

Question: in response to the increase in violent crime in Fallowfield, Rusholme and further the current Community officer is proposing the night owl scheme. However, it has had a mixed response. Do you intend to continue the scheme? If not, how will you tackle safety?

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:38 PM

Raine again! Campaigns, Community and Citizenship now, your candidates are

Rachel Green who wants to improve housing, student safety and homelessness
Huda Ammori who wants to improve students’ on campus experiences
Shamima Khonat who wants to prevent exploitation from landlords and empower students
Molly Stedman who wants to tackle rogue landlords and work on student safety in fallowfield
Betsie Lewis wants more students involved with campaigning, she thinks students can be intimidated and wants to change this
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20186:35 PM

Question from the audience: A languages student asks the candidates what they will do to improve the languages departments.

Adam Rogers says the university needs to give students what they need: for example, with recent cuts he says staff have told him they have been too stressed to come to work at times. He feels the university should provide the staff needed in order for the degree to continue effectively.
Olivia Meisl is also a languages student and says she has raised this with the Board of Governors and also with SALC. Part of her manifesto is making sure that students have a voice higher up in the university.
Ve Gonzalez Gomez says this affects her personally also as she also takes some languages classes. One of her manifesto points is to try and expand the languages department and get more students to take languages.
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20186:31 PM

On the subject of the postgraduate officer election earlier in the year that could not be put through, Ve Gonzalez Gomez feels that postgraduates should be welcomed more into the students’ union.

Olivia Meisl feels that postgraduate students don’t often feel welcome at the university, and feels that as an exec officer she would make more of an effort to change this culture.

Adam Rogers says his top manifesto pledge is to introduce a postgraduate officer. He again says that postgraduates do not feel included around the union, and suggests that they should be given somewhere to go to be able to socialise and be included.
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20186:28 PM

Ve Gonzalez Gomez is in support of striking staff.

Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20186:27 PM

Olivia Meisl feels that international students are being forgotten in the strike conversation. She says they are missing out on about 2K worth of lectures over these weeks, and that we should reach out to UUK for a more adequate response. She feels it is unfair that this dispute is being taken out on students.

Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20186:26 PM

What is your position on UCU strikes?

Adam Rogers is 100% behind the strikes. Feel that students have the right to be angry, but that all anger should be directed at UUK. If he gets the role he wants to work with academic staff to achieve the best outcomes.
Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20186:25 PM

Candidates introduce themselves.

Ve Gonzalez Gomez wants to tackle the privatisation of education. She also wants to work to bring down student and international fees.
Olivia Meisl wants to help students improve their own academic lives and give them the tools to do so. She also feels that the most important area of the tuition fee debate is trying to bring down the interest rates.
Adam Rogers wants the government to decide whether they want education to be privatised or not, and he feels they should decide on the latter. He also wants to work to bring back maintenance grants.
Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:24 PM

Raine signing off now!

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:24 PM

Shubham Daruka met an employee from Stagecoach and First and was told that this is an issue they would have to resolve internally

Nicole Wootton-Cane 28th February 20186:22 PM

Nicole here bringing you the Education officer panel!

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:19 PM

Will Ranger would continue with Alex’s work, he’s concerned with student safety and believes students would be safer with access to both First and Stagecoach buses. He’s met and spoken to Andy Burnham and thinks there are a number of ways we could go about this

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:18 PM

Paul Asiimwe asked students at oak house and found not all of them were enthusiastic, for instance they were wary of increased costs a combined bus pass would incur. He wants to see how much this would cost and then survey student opinion before pushing for it

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:18 PM

Fatima Abid intends to continue Alex’s work and push for this combined bus pass as not all students live in fallowfield and thus not all students are being considered in this debate

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:17 PM

Matt Langford thinks this is fine, if elected he would instead push for a subsidy for students on fallowfield halls and expand this to first years, in putting money down before they arrive at university students could already secure a bus pass

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:16 PM

Tristan: the current Gen Sec has pushed for a shared bus pass between First and Stagecoach would you continue this?

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:16 PM

Matt Langford: we’re acting on behalf of the students so students need to know what issues are being put forward on their behalf

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:15 PM

Fatima Abid: we need more open communication, we need to maintain a good relationship but we also need to hold people accountable

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:15 PM

Paul Asiimwe: I think it’s a very interdependent relationship

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:14 PM

Will Ranger: I think we need to be more confrontational to affect change that really matters

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:14 PM
16% of students turned out in the last election, 1.5% in referendum on roles, exec officers have been criticised on being inclusive how can we change this?
Matt Langford: social media is key increasing student engagement
Fatima Abid: we should be talking to students face to face, bringing the issues to them the best way to get students involved is to talk to them like through coffee mornings
Paul Asiimwe: we need to reimagine the way we interact with students
Will Ranger: I agree with the issue on outreach, gen sec on tour was a good idea but we need to increase it, we need to increase links with student media too
Shubham Daruka: engagement, I believe engagement is key. It’s important to have a team of relevant officers who can work together in the best interests of students. Also transparency.
Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:10 PM

First Panel is General Secretary

Matt Langford: running on the basis of financial support – university engagement. Back Matt for honest chat!
Fatima Abid: bring back a culture of life long learning
Paul Asiimwe: a postgrad who wants to improve student experience and get voices heard
Will Ranger: a first year politics and history student, who wants to increase student safety, tackle rogue landlords and create an inclusive and transparent union
Shubham Daruka: for our tomorrow, we take action today!
Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:07 PM

Each panel will be 10 minutes long, each candidate will be given 3 standard questions from the chair and then the opportunity to answers questions from the floor

Raine Beckford 28th February 20186:03 PM

Raine Beckford coming to you live from The official SU hustings 2018 and we’re about to start!