The Print took a look at the manifestos of all the candidates running to be next years QMSU President, picked out our favourite policies, asked them each an important question and then got them to send us their top five emojis
Strongest Policy: Your Wellbeing (Prioritising Student Mental Health)
“Using my contacts within local organisations, I’ll continue to prioritise student mental health by introducing de-stresstivals, and training students in peer support”.
Student Mental Health has been discussed extensively by candidates over this election season, and it is clearly a priority for students. Services at the university could definitely be improved to ensure student mental health continues to remain a priority. This means that student welfare events and additional support training will be important in ensuring students make the most of the services available for them whilst they are at university.
Our question: As well as working with local organisations, how will you work with the university to improve on the mental health services that are already available to students?
Miranda’s Response: “As VP Welfare this year, I’ve worked on several mental health campaigns and have supported the funding applications that Advice and Counselling have made to the university. Going forward, I think that training for personal advisors needs to be compulsory, and that we need another mental health coordinator. We also need to be offering more support to PHD students who can often be isolated. Ultimately, the university need to recognise just how much an increase in fees and academic pressures impact our students, and I’m ready to start that conversation”.
Five Favourite Emoji’s:
Strongest Policy: Students First (Beyond the + Campaign)
“I will launch ‘Beyond the +’ – a campaign aimed at raising awareness for the LGBT+ community and especially those who are hidden beyond the plus sign”.
As Harrison says, there will be many students “hidden beyond the plus sign” at QM. This will offer a voice to students who identify themselves beyond the +, and also raising awareness and promoting further integration amongst students. It will also allow the Union to work towards further determining and implementing the needs of more students in the LGBT+ community on campus.
Our Question: How exactly do you plan on raising awareness on campus for the LGBT+ community within your Beyond the + Campaign?
Harrison’s Response: “So ‘Beyond the +’ has two meanings, one is to raise awareness of what it means to be part of the LGBT+ community, and the other is to raise awareness of the fact that those 4 leading letters don’t describe everyone in the community. To do this I want more Union backed events where we invite speakers who are willing to talk about their personal history, I want to change the way we market events to try and encourage people from outside the community to attend and engage and I want to conduct a survey to gauge how well we are doing to de-gender our facilities and whether we are headed in the right direction with this”.
Five Favourite Emoji’s:
Strongest Policy: Postgrads
“The Union does not do enough to engage postgraduate students, who already have different needs and requirements to undergraduates due to the nature of their degrees. With the Graduate Centre opening in January 2017, it will be the time to start changing the services that the Union and University offer in order to best suit postgraduate needs, and to find out what the postgraduate community actually want from the union”.
Postgraduate students are a large and vital part of the QM community. Ensuring that University and Student Union services are tailored to also benefit Postgrad students will prevent their needs from being overlooked and will promote further integration of students across campus.
Our Question: How exactly do you plan on identifying and implementing postgraduate needs within the Union?
Wizzy’s Response: “The best way to identify the needs of postgraduate students is to talk directly to postgrads themselves. The UCU (University and College Union) and their PhD student reps have been working really hard on the anti-casualisation campaign; it’s time we brought this campaign to the attention of a wider group of QMBL students by utilising Students’ Union resources. The anti-casualisation campaign looks at improving the continuity of employment and fairer contracts for casualised staff. When PhD students who teach have better training, fairer contracts, wages, and working hours, everyone will benefit. QMSU already has policy on working to standardise and improve conditions and pay for all PhD students who teach, and I will make it a priority to implement this during my time as President.
“We have to remember that postgraduates are not just postgrads, with around 50% of QMBL postgrads also being international students. I will work with both the international reps for welfare and education to ensure that postgraduates’ needs are being represented not only by the postgraduate reps but by all student representatives.
“Finally, the welfare services available on campus and in the local area need to be much better advertised to postgraduate students. QMSU also has policy on lobbying the University to implement more pastoral care for postgraduates. I will work with all other executive officers, all academic departments, student representatives, and University and Union staff to spread the word at every level possible so that postgraduates feel part of our community, not isolated and alone”.
Five Favourite Emoji’s:
Check out our other Manifesto Roundups here:
Remember to vote for your favourite candidate here. We’ll be live tweeting from the Results Party @ThePrintQM