The presidential elections are now in full swing. All candidates were interviewed on the first day of campaigning to gain an insight of their main policy aims and initial thoughts: What makes you stand out as a candidate? George: ‘I really want to focus the Guild back on to its core value of representing students. […]

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The presidential elections are now in full swing. All candidates were interviewed on the first day of campaigning to gain an insight of their main policy aims and initial thoughts:

What makes you stand out as a candidate?

George: ‘I really want to focus the Guild back on to its core value of representing students. I think too much this year the Guild has focused on restructuring itself when it should be reaching out to students. Not many candidates have talked about that. I don’t have all the answers and would love to come out and talk to students and find out what they want.’

Ben: ‘I’m really eager about getting lots of money from the Guild and that’s really important to me. I care a lot about things that are wishy washy and irrelevant to students such as engagement and democracy which means I can say those things and not actually have any policy plans or ways to enact them and keep talking about them in a way that makes people’s ears turn off in about five seconds.’

Poppy: ‘I’m the only candidate with seven months of experience in office so I won’t spend any time working out what I’m doing. With the big changes that are happening with the student review I am the candidate with the experience to deliver that change.’

Maximilian: ‘Well, I’m the only candidate who is not one of these career guildo’s. I’m here to do what the Guild is supposed to do and represent students instead of chatting about politics.’

 Ed: ‘I’ve got a clear overall vision for what the Guild can achieve in the next year and beyond. Ive got ideas for policies which will actually make short and long term changes. We need to start thinking about the future and what our teams can achieve.’

Who would you class as your inspirational leader of choice and why:

Poppy: ‘I’d probably say my mum, she has been incredible. She’s never run a Sabb election though!’

Ben: ‘I don’t really like leaders. I don’t like leadership as a concept, it annoys me. I believe in self-empowerment as oppose to looking up to someone else to guide your moral and ethical framework.’

George: ‘There are so many, you can look at Obama, you’ve got Mandela who fought apartheid. I’d have to go with Mandela, once of my main manifesto is to raise awareness of liberation issues. I was so ignorant when I came here about liberation issues and I’ve truly learnt a lot from the Guild.’

 Maximilian: ‘That’s easy. Sir Arthur Wellesley who was the first Duke of Wellington. Not because of his military accomplishments though he never lost a battle and he did defeat Napoleon but mostly because of who he was as a person. He was a man of incredible self- discipline and incredible work ethos.’

 Ed: ‘One of my idols is Mahatma Ghandi. I think predominantly because he stood up for what he believed in.’

What is your primary policy aim?

Maximilian: ‘To increase societies within the guild, mostly liberation groups by pushing out the liberation officer roles to the presidents of those groups and amalgamating all the liberations officers into a single inclusivity and diversity officer. Also [to] see how much of the funds we can rejiggle to societies, because the societies are the lifeblood of the Guild not the political wing.’

Ed: ‘I think the most important policy is trying to get a higher block grant out of the university per student. At the moment, a lot of the departments including student development is struggling with budgets, we should be able to support the work of students properly.’

Poppy: ‘I’d definitely like to see some of the changes [from] the Democratic [Structures] Review come into fruition. I’d like to see decision making within the guild become accessible to all students – it’s fundamental that every student feels like they are part of that process.’

Ben: ‘I want to scare the Guild management into actually enacting policies students vote for. These elections are a massive sham, using the same kind of popularity contest, gimmicky nonsense which further destroys our already limited engagement in politics. As such, my primary policy aim is to have everyone oscillate violently.’

George: ‘I really want to put on events that the students want. Its all well and good having fun, we are really out of touch in other areas. There are plenty of societies putting on events and they just aren’t advertising them enough. I’d like to work, potentially through a guild app, [on] promoting these.’

Written by Tara Dein and Ella Cohen

 

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