Meet the students campaigning to be your next Sports, Student Living and International Students Officers

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By Benjamin Salmon, Deputy News Editor and Maddy Russell, News Editor

Voting for next year’s SU Officer candidates has been ongoing for the last few days – polls close at 9pm on the 12 March. Epigram sat down with each of the sports, international students and student living candidates to give you the run down on their manifestos.

Sports

Rory McNair

French and Spanish – Fourth year

What are some of the key policy ideas in your manifesto?

Making sport an integral part of the student minds programme by investing more money into it. I want to get to a point where students think of sport as a resource for improving their wellbeing. Further to this, I will demand the University increase funding for the Healthy Minds programme. I also plan to work with network chairs in the SU and get feedback to make sure sport and wellbeing are interlinked.

On Varsity, I will look to revamp the system to make sure all the sports clubs are happy and make sure the UoB and UWE systems are similar. I will also make sure students sports groups have a platform to air their views on Varsity.

I also aim to increase student sport participation on the whole through expanding This Girl Can and lobbying the SU to increase the sports fund.

Why should students vote for you?

People should vote for me because I would prioritise student wellbeing. Bristol has not got a good track record with wellbeing and I will try to improve this through sports services

Rushab Shah

Mechanical Engineering – fourth year

What are some of the key policy ideas in your manifesto?

I would like to improve transport to and from Coombe Dingle by campaigning for either a bus from the SU or a ride-hailing partnership with Uber or equivalent to help students get around. I would also like to implement an electric bike-sharing scheme around the city.

Sports Refereeing is something I would also like to expand and so would like to start a refereeing course for use during intramural matches.

Why should students vote for you?

I have a pedigree in leadership. I am Vice-President of East African Society, I have organised a pan-African fashion show and run events with ISoc. On a sporting level, I am also a Football sports team member. I would like to improve inclusion for minority students in sport by running more non-alcoholic socials. On the whole, I have spoken to people from different backgrounds and have a wide idea of what students want for next year.

Student Living

Prina Sumaria

Environmental Geoscience

What are some of the key policy ideas in your manifesto?

I have many policies I would like to introduce. Firstly, I would introduce a landlord rating scheme to clamp down on rogue letters. Secondly, I would lobby for free bus passes for all students, not just first years. In halls, I would start a campaign to reduce food waste and, on the whole, highlight the connection between food, wellbeing and mental health.

Why should students vote for you?

I care thoroughly about the wellbeing of others. When University is such a transformative time, and this role combines all the things that I’m truly passionate about.

I care, I listen and I am empathetic with a track record, considering my role as Activism Rep at VegSoc.

James Morgan

Law

What are some of the key policy ideas in your manifesto?

On housing, I would work with the University over the summer to make sure they account for every student to avoid a repeat of the situation at the beginning of this year. I would also introduce a Tripadvisor-meets-Bristruths service for halls of residence so students can rate halls and make sure prospective students understand what they are in for.

I would also start an ‘Are You Okay’ scheme to encourage students to look out for each other. I also want to introduce more outdoor spaces for students, perhaps by building an allotment in Stoke Bishop. Loneliness is also important and so I want to introduce more mingles and ‘give it a go’ sessions so people can find it easier to make friends when they are struggling.

I would also like to provide advice for students on switching to more green energy and would commit to making the campus more sustainable with regard to meat consumption. I would also improve recycling rates in halls. To top it off, I would invite David Attenborough to speak at the University!

Why should students vote for you?

I have a set of clear, tangible policies that are realistic. I haven’t gone with vague or false promises. I am President of Bristol University Sustainability Team, where I came in and rebranded the society to make it more fun and engaging. I targeted a careers side of the society with engaging events. Fundamentally all, my ideas are concrete.

Ruth Day

Maths and Philosophy – MA third year

What are some of the key policy ideas in your manifesto?

I have three main areas I would like to focus on. Firstly, on mental health, I would clarify the role of what personal tutors actually do by changing their name to ‘academic advisors’. I would also lobby the University for an increase in the number of councils.

For housing, I will campaign for rent reductions for students and against the exploitation committed by private landlords. I would also empower students to set up a housing cooperative, similar to that in Edinburgh, so there is a stock of student housing available.

On sustainability, I would push for a reduction in the cost of veggie and vegan food in Source cafes and make sure waste is reduced around campus. In halls, I would campaign for more vegan options

Why should students vote for you?

As Co-Chair of Bristol Labour Students, as a strong voice in Bristol Cut The Rent, and the funder of Support Our Services, I have the pedigree. Vote for me because I have the most experience, I have been involved in meetings with management, I have a manifesto that reflects all of my experience. I want to do what I do part-time, full time-time.

International Students

Roy Kuiri

Law student – final year

What are some of the key policy ideas in your manifesto?

I have three main policies. Mental health among international students is pertinent. I want to bring in people who understand the wider spectrum of issues that international students may face. I would lobby the University to bring in support staff who understand that cultural disjuncture.

On careers, I would create a directory for international students which would link these students to employers that would support them with visas. I would also implore the SU to take over student hiring away from TSS.

I would also like to create an academic writing centre to help international student with English skills and would also like to set up a fund to reimburse students who undertake work experience in their home countries.

Why should students vote for you?

I am the General Secretary of East African Society (EASoc) and Marketing Rep for the International Students Network. In these roles, I doubled the membership of EASoc and pushed information out about events and creating forums for international student interaction. Overall, I am friendly and approachable and will get the job done.

Ruby Castillo

International Relations MSc

What are some of the key policy ideas in your manifesto?

I would create a fund for tier 4 visas of over £600 for international students and allow them to work 20 hours part-time during term time.

I would also initiate a scheme or tier 2 work visa sponsorship scheme, allowing legal work for specific companies.

I would work with the International Students Network and set up mingle events and help international students with wellbeing issues.

Why should students vote for you?

I have previously studied in the US and feel this will help me. Students should vote for me because I will improve the lives of international students.

Featured image:Epigram/Maddy Russell


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