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In Conversation With… SU VP Humanities and Social Sciences Candidate, Jack McArdle

Q: To begin, I really wanted to commend you for hard work in coming this far and for showing such an interest and passion for the Vice President Humanities and Social Sciences role. As you already know, many other candidates are applying for this role, but only one will be elected. Can you tell us why you believe you are best suited for this role, and what you can bring that is different to other candidates?

A: Solid and achievable policies – that’s the platform I’m standing on. These policies are being put forward because they’re realistic. I can’t credibly promise to spend millions on new student facilities, but I can promise to monitor the facilities we do have, make sure the university is fixing things when they go wrong and altering those facilities to include more independent study spaces.

Q: As the representor for student’s education, such as; teaching quality, library provision and feedback, the Vice President Humanities and Social Sciences has many matters regarding their role. The most significant being a campaigner for a better-quality education for students, for each student to reach their full potential with quality teaching.Do you believe there is a lack of relationship between student and staff at Queen Mary? If so, is it important to gain an improved relationship between staff and student?

A: I think the students themselves are the best judges of what relationship they want with their lecturers. Staff are always reachable via email or approachable in office hours and if students want extra contact or extra support then it should always be available.

Q: Majority of students will agree that mental health is a key factor in their education, one that lacks support within Queen Mary. As Vice President Humanities and Social Sciences, do you agree this is an issue? Is this something you would address within your time at this role?

A: Mental health is always important. That’s one of reasons why I want to raise the QMUL Bursary, so students won’t have to worry about money as much. Furthermore, improving coordination between departments would allow students to apply for extenuating circumstancing from multiple schools more easily. Finally, forming a strong partnership with whoever is elected as VP for Welfare would also be important, to ensure a unified approach is taken.

Q:  A major part in becoming Vice President, and being a successful one, is understanding the needs and demands of the students. More importantly, contributing and influencing the University’s learning and teaching, both through participation in committees and other meetings with key University staff – to ensure that student interests are represented. How will you effectively address issues that are raised by students in these meetings? How will you also reassure students that these demands are met?

A: By knowing when to speak and when to shut up! Sometimes you need to listen to the concerns and views of students and sometimes you need to speak, occasionally loudly, to get those concerns and views across.

Q: As with any job, the role of Vice President Humanities and Social Sciences role is one filled with commitments, dedication, passion and drive. How will you reassure students that you will remain motivated in your role; continuously representing the student body to your highest standard and always striving to implement new policies? Do you have any past experience in this field?

A: Well for one, I have friends currently in second year and I’ve no doubt they’ll badger me if I don’t get things done! The policies that I’m putting forward are policies I feel we’ve needed since I started here. As a student who belongs to two different schools, I have always felt coordination between departments has been poor. This is something that has irritated me for three years and it’s something I want to change.

Q: Thank you so much for taking your time in answering this interview, as a way to end these questions with some humour and to understand the real you.If you could be a fruit, what would you be?

A: I’m a bit of a peach!


The manifestos of all the VP welfare candidates can be found here:

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