Voting for next year's SU officer positions opens tomorrow (Tuesday 13th March). Epigram interviewed the candidates running the various positions. Meet the people you can vote for as Student Living Officer!
Meet the candidates:
Name: Ella Fraser
Position: Student Living Officer
Course: Social Policy
Why are you the best candidate? Prior to this year I took a year out of University due to mental health stuff and I went and worked for Mind, the mental health charity. Having worked in that kind of environment means I’m very confident working in a place where I have to speak and defend my position.
I’ve also been a senior resident, so I’ve been very involved in the welfare review. I feel like, through that, I have gained a real grasp on exactly what it is people want from the housing side of things.
One thing you want to see changed throughout university:
My big passion is mental health because of my personal experience and how hard I found it during university. I’ve got lots of ideas about how to improve the way in which the University deals with mental health issues.
Particularly, thinking about the period between when people ask for help and when they actually get access to services. We need to be providing something between that time because that’s when people are dropping off the radar and really struggling.
What have you enjoyed most about Bristol?
I love Bristol and the city is one of the main reasons I came here. I like the culture and the diversity. Around my mental health, sometimes I need to feel like I’m away from the University and that’s really easy here.
The University and the city are also very pro things like sustainability and vegetarianism, which is great.
I’ve had so many opportunities, such as being a senior resident, and having a show Burst Radio. I think it’s really easy to be involved in these things at Bristol; it’s not just a select group of people.
What's your favourite Bristol night out? Well, I don’t drink much because of my wellbeing. I’m much more of a pub goer. There’s this really lovely pub just near the suspension bridge, and I absolutely love going in there and just having a glass of wine.
Name: Vanessa Wilson
Position: Student Living Officer
Why are you the best candidate? I have a personal understanding of mental health; I’ve reflected on my experiences this year and I decided that I need to be the change I want to see. No student should spend two years with their voice not heard or valued. I think I would bring insight to the role having lived these experiences myself. Also, I was born in Germany, raised in London and have a Jamaican dad. My multi-cultural background means I have been immersed in a wide range of cultures, I think I can represent student diversity well and create change. #NoStressVoteNess
One thing you want to see changed throughout university: There needs to be better levels of engagement with the SU. The SU should represent students more and allow them to use their power to create effective change. At the moment I think there’s lost faith I the union, the survey’s aren’t representative of the student body and the policies aren’t based on valid student evidence. One key thing that I want to target is improving student wellbeing. Improving this involves three key areas: Housing, Mental Health and Community Care. I want to increase affordable housing, make mental health services more inclusive and improve the consistency and quality of tutorials.
What have you enjoyed most about Bristol? I have enjoyed meeting people I wouldn’t normally meet, I’ve made friends with people from different cultures and found out more about how different opinions are formed. There have also been so many opportunities, I’ve got my own radio show 6-7pm on a Tuesday called ‘Lone and Groan’, I talk about race, gender and identity. I’d say it’s a mixture between BBC Radio 1xtra and Radio 4, tune in!
What’s your favourite Bristol night out? Okay so the ideal night would be: Get an uber to pres at all the different halls and then at all my friends’ houses. I’d have to start at about 5pm. Then maybe go to Love Inn and listen to some disco or soul music and then finish with a lovely meal at Taka Taka. After that I would make tea at my house and watch Netflix with my friends.
The election night results will be celebrated on Friday at 6.30pm in the Balloon Bar.
Feature image credit: Bristol SU.org