The VPAD hustings took place in the Guild Council Chambers yesterday where candidates Stuart Found and Wadim Wesolek answered questions and explained their policies.
The hustings for the candidates running for Vice President (Activities and Development) were held last night at Guild Council. The two candidates, Wadim Wesolek and Stuart Found, both put forward their policies and were questioned on a range of topics by Guild councillors.
Wadim Wesolek, a third year Law with Business student specified in his opening speech last night that one of his main aims is to improve the room-booking system by moving it online, therefore making the process both easier and faster for student groups. Wadim also believes his experience in holding positions in different student groups will allow him to empower these groups. He would also support members of under-represented groups. Wadim also emphasised that he would help to create better events for societies and associations in the Guild.
The other candidate, Stuart Found, focused on different issues. He said last night that he believes students may be worried about life after graduating from university and advocates students choosing Birmingham city centre as an alternative meeting place to the Guild. He believes that if businesses were encouraged to work with students societies they had an interest in, students could gain professional connections and this would build on the reputation of the Guild.
Later in the evening, both were questioned on current issues affecting the Guild. When questioned on their views about the subject of getting external speakers to visit the Guild, Stuart Found said, ‘External speakers are an essential part of university life, enriching opportunities and should be encouraged.’ Wadim argued ‘Regulations of the Guild obviously need to be followed, but also need to be revised to make it easier for external speakers to visit the Guild.’
The role of VPAD includes being Editor-in-Chief of the media groups within the Guild. When questioned on the future of this relationship, Wadim claimed he would allow these groups liberty to do what they wished, as long as they followed Guild regulations. He also emphasised he would support these groups in getting their message across. On the other hand, Stuart discussed that he would be interested in trying to allow for innovative ideas for the media groups and would work closely with the groups in terms of what they want to achieve in order to avoid misunderstanding.
Stuart's main policies:
The discussion then moved to the issue of the finance system for student groups, an area where current VPAD Molly Wright was successful in campaigning for an online payment system for membership for student groups. A member of the ‘tea society’ discussed the problem of members bringing friends to meetings, where the friends had to be turned away because they couldn’t pay cash membership for the society, and wondered whether cash payments could be made possible once again. Stuart responded by saying, ‘A standard rate of membership must be paid if people turn up for the first time, and cash payments could fuel interest in people signing up.’ Wadim claimed that ‘the online system is successful, so possibly tablets could be provided to groups so payment could be made there and then to avoid a loss of potential membership.’
A member of Guild Council asked if the candidates felt their policies represented the broad range of societies within the enigmatic and lively hub of the Guild. Wadim answered by saying ‘there are over 230 student groups in the guild, my policies address everyone by making it easier to meet in the guild and revise the finance system and improve the method of creating/doing events in the Guild.’ Stuart followed similar lines by arguing that ‘there are universal interests to pursue, and we wouldn’t be here if we weren’t passionate about the Guild. My policies represent the range of societies in the Guild, and I will look into how they can function outside of the University.’
Wadim's main policies:
Wadim has been President of the Polish Society for two years and has also been treasurer of the International Students’ Association for two years. He believes that this, along with his professional role as a Guild receptionist would make him a good candidate because he understands the running of the Guild. Stuart has been a member of a variety of different student groups in the Guild, including BurnFM, Redbrick and Performing Arts.
Stuart argued that he would improve student groups by making sure they had a goal in mind and something new to achieve at the start of each year so that freshers would be excited and inspired to join.
Both candidates also discussed that they will showcase the work of the Guild and student groups in order to create a positive reputation for the Guild. The VPAD candidates also recognised the work of current VPAD Molly, with Stuart hoping to be ‘as approachable and as communicable’ and Wadim ‘admiring the support she gives to student groups.’
To find out who is running for all other Vice President positions visit www.guildelections.co.uk for coverage from all media groups of campaigning. Voting is due to begin on Monday.
Do you want better finance system for societies? If yes, make sure to choose Where’s Wadim as your next VPAD! #officerelections2014
Audio recording of the VPAD hustings
— Where’s Wadim (@WheresWadim) February 28, 2014
From 11am-12pm tomorrow I will be answering any questions you have about my policies – just tweet me with the hashtag #ElectNeverlost!
— Stuart Found (@StuartNeverLost) February 25, 2014