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Meet Tom Longbottom – the candidate running for VP Barts and The London

Why are you running?

I have been heavily involved in BLSA and QMSU for a couple of years now, having been RAG Officer last year and Vice President Barts this year. Through this, I have gained a real insight into the running of the Union; where things work well and where there are issues. I therefore decided that I would like to spend a year as Vice President Barts and The London so I can use this experience and my passion for BLSA and the Union to represent our students and make change.

How would you describe your leadership style?

My leadership style is one where I value my team. I’ve learnt from my experience as an elected officer that you should always listen to what students want and ensure that you are representing their views as much as possible. As BLSA President, I would be working closely with the team of representatives. I would ensure that I understood that team, their experiences and strengths to ensure that, together, we do the best we can in representing what our students want.

What do you see as the biggest challenges currently facing the SU or Queen Mary more broadly?

For me, student welfare is always incredibly important. Particularly at Barts and The London, mental health can be an issue for many students. It is for this reason that I would like to work with the university to improve the welfare support that we provide for our students, whether through increasing the student support services available or looking at ways in which the Union can provide more welfare support.

With multiple campuses in London and a campus overseas in Malta, inclusivity has never been more important for BL

Accessibility and inclusivity are always a couple of great buzzwords around this time of year. However, I think that we don’t always do a great job in engaging all students and making our events inclusive. I want to work hard with all student representatives to ensure our events are as accessible as possible through student group collaboration and improved advertising. I want to make sure we fully celebrate the achievements of all of our students through our website and social media so that all student groups feel valued and included in BLSA and the Union. With multiple campuses in London and a campus overseas in Malta, inclusivity has never been more important for BL!

Finally, study space is an issue which never seems to be resolved. At BL, we are fortunate to have two fantastic libraries in Whitechapel and on the West Smithfield campus. If elected, I’d like to do as much as I can in my year as president to ensure these great study spaces have better facilities and opening hours which suit as many students as possible.

If you could invite 5 people, dead or alive to a dinner party, who would you invite?

  1. My Grandma, Betty (her lasagna is delicious)
  2. Barack Obama (for the banter)
  3. The Doctor (as in Doctor Who, if that counts?)
  4. Peter Kay (again, excellent dinner banter expected, especially if Grandma does garlic bread with the lasagne)
  5. Adele (we can all have a singalong after dessert)

Note from the Editor: Although Tom Longbottom is the only candidate running for this position, students are able to vote to reopen nominations (RON) if they think the candidate is unsuitable. Students are able to vote to reopen nominations for all SU positions.


Image – Thomas Longbottom / YouTube

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