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11th March 2013

General Secretary: James Johnson

James Johnson tells us why we should vote for him for General Secretary

Ultimately I have been moved to run for General Secretary in this election by the conduct of those at the Union. I am fed up with people trying to use the Union as a means to impose beliefs and values on people. The attempt to tie society funding to the amount of people sent to the anti-cuts demo is representative of a culture. There seems to be no respect for alternative opinions or any attempt to foster debate and discussion. The no platform policy represents this, don’t be fooled into thinking that banning the BNP and the EDL is motivated by a desire to protect students. The student body is moral enough to know they are disgusting, intelligent enough to see through their attempts to disguise that fact and strong minded enough to tell them that they are not welcome. Then they banned Coke from the Union, again instead of trying to inform students and allowing us to make our own decisions they made it for us.

Ultimately this conduct is not only unacceptable in principle; it doesn’t represent the interests of student who have everyday issues that need to be dealt with. That is why I am standing to create a real sea change in the way the Union conducts itself. Aside from this fundamental revision to Union conduct, I pledge to hold an immediate referendum on our membership of the NUS so that students can have their say, the issue can be dealt with and we can move on. Another gripe I have with the Union is the lack of contact that Exec members have with students. I pledge to offer up at least an hour every week for a Q and A session, the location of which will rotate around to increase accessibility. Further I am incredibly passionate about helping people who have struggled to adjust to University life and I pledge to introduce counselling services at the Union to address this. Part of this problem is that the University on the whole lacks a sense of community, to address this I pledge to work with the Activities officer to hold an inter hall Olympics and a ‘University Challenge’ type competition. I don’t pretend to have all the answers, but I will be far more accessible if elected so you can tell exactly what you want! It’s time for a change, it’s time for Johnson.

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