News reporter Duncan Kenyon interviews the current Vice President (Education), Hattie Craig, about the position and her successor Joe Armer.

Education Correspondent. 3rd year History student. Interests: History, Politics, Journalism.
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Current Vice President of Education (VPE) Hattie Craig, has praised her successor, Joe Armer, as the Sabbatical Officers prepare to start the handover period. She believes that the manifesto that Armer intends to implement is feasible and very strong. Craig has said that she is ‘pleased that bursaries are a priority for him’ but also commented that the university has already expanded the bursary policies over the last year.

With other manifesto pledges, Craig feels he is ‘facing a very difficult task in changing the university’s mind’. She has most faith in Joe’s policy of student-led teaching awards because it is ‘fairly achievable’. The manifesto point that Craig has most concerns over is Armer’s pledge to put a stop to the loss of contact hours due to cancellations ‘as sometimes it’s unfeasible for both [lecturers] and students to make up the contact hours’. She would ‘also be concerned if this policy was applied to strikes’ but hopes that is not what Armer intends.

'I think it was very unfair that one of the candidates was only informed the night before that they were allowed to run.’

She advised Armer ‘not to be afraid of standing up to the university’. In her experience, Craig has found that the university sets agendas for meetings, and believes that the VPE must fight very hard to hold their own to push through the changes they desire. Hattie states that Armer’s policies will not work if he just sits in the meetings he has been invited to and fails to stand his ground.

Craig wishes all of the new Sabbatical team ‘the best of luck for the next year’ and is impressed with the variation in next year’s team. Her only criticism stems from the amount of people who were uncontested. She stated ‘it was not their fault that no one else ran’ but feels that the Guild should encourage more people to run for office to stop criticism of candidates with uncontested positions.

joearmer2Craig went on to say, ‘I am very disappointed with the Vice President of Education election in general. I think it was very unfair that one of the candidates was only informed the night before that they were allowed to run.’ Craig claimed that because one of the candidates, Deborah Hermanns, was only told she could run the night before it put her on ‘an unequal playing field’. She stresses that this inequality ‘should never, ever happen again’. Craig has called for clearer rules to be issued by the university in regards to whether or not a candidate will be allowed to run for a VP position.

Although Craig said ‘we cannot know what could have been’, but allowing this disruption to happen ‘put Deborah at a disadvantage’. Overall, Craig wishes Armer ‘the best of luck with next year’ and is looking forward to handing over her role to him.