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Meet your 2019 AUSA Student Representatives

Winners were announced on Friday

We spoke with the new face of AUSA about their new positions, manifestos and what to expect from them in the coming year.

Student President: Cecilia Wallbäck

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So first of all, congratulations on your win! Could you sum up your manifesto in a few lines?

My manifesto is essentially about increased transparency and communication from AUSA.

It is also about ensuring that every student feels part of, and involved with, the association – for a long time, my draft manifesto included the quote – "Ohana means family and family means nobody gets left behind" – to sum up what I want to achieve!

Disney is the way to peoples hearts! What made you want to go for the position of Student President?

The changes I want to implement and the areas I am the most passionate about fall best within this role.

I believed I could perform the best and affect the most change within the role of Student President.

Which of these changes are you most excited about making?

Working towards getting a greater understanding of available study spaces and increased opening hours for certain university buildings is definitely on the forefront of my mind.

As is getting provisions for every student to vote within Student Council – after two years on SC, that one is very close to my heart.

What’s next for you?

Well I’ve been invited to Court this coming week to learn more about how it works, but in the short term, what’s next for me is to submit my thesis, pass my exams, and graduate!

Communities Officer: Louise Henrard

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Could you sum up your manifesto for us?

My manifesto focuses on making student elections and student council more accessible, making our campus more sustainable and make sure we engage both campuses.

What are you most excited to make changes about?

Sustainability! I’ve been on this campus for three years now, and I can’t wait to be able to make small changes and big changes which will be really significant such as recycling bins, food waste bins.

During campaigning, I’ve talked to a lot of students who felt the same.

What made you want to run for the position of Communities Officer?

I’ve been involved in different groups related to environment and social justice since my first year. I knew that with this job, I could make even more significant changes on campus.

Communities officer role corresponds more closely to what I’m interested in: Working on local issues, being involved with the local community and sustainability.

Whats next for you?

I think I will focus on making sure Freshers' Week is more sustainable than previous years. There is always so much waste during this week and I will work to change that.

Sports Officer: Isla Scott

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Hi Isla! What would you say were the main points of your manifesto?

My manifesto has three key points: Improving inclusivity, communication between clubs and facilities, and student mental health training & support.

These along with my other manifesto points aim to work towards an AUSA for all.

Great! What made you want to go for the position of Sports Officer?

I really do believe sport has power to be a driver for change by bringing people together and improving lives.

I've always been passionate about it, however due to injury I've not been able to play since November 2017.

As difficult as it has been being injured, it has given me a wider perspective of the effect sport can have on an individuals and groups.

What are you most excited about changing?

I'm most excited to work on improving the Active Schools programme by linking more clubs with local schools.

Not only will a successful programme of integrating university and school sport benefit the kids in this area, it'll also give our students life skills that they can use beyond university.

It sounds like you've got an busy year ahead of you! What's next?

Right now I'm focussing on completing my studies as a fourth year Conservation Biology student.

Along with that over the next couple months I'll be working with the external bodies like Sport Aberdeen to develop my manifesto points so that when I come into office I'll be able to implement plans quickly.

Welfare Officer: Alexander Acheampong

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Well done on your win, could you sum up your manifesto for us?

Thank you. Firstly, let me say a very big thank you to all students of the University of Aberdeen including part-time students as well as those at the Qatar Campus.

From my manifesto, the key issues I plan to tackle are classified under three thematic areas; these are Health & Safety, with emphasis on mental health, Security and Education & Support.

What made you want to go for the position of Welfare Officer?

As it is, welfare requires someone with selfless and positional attributes to promote the quality of life of our students.

The proper understanding of the lacuna in this position requires my humble experience and passion to cater for and defend the value of life of our dear students.

What are you most excited about changing this year?

I believe mental health issues are really important to students, therefore, I will push for the establishment of counselling units at Foresterhill Campus as well as the Qatar campus.

At the Old Aberdeen campus, we will explore the possibilities of having more counsellors if necessary and to make them more accessible to students.

Education Officer: Dariya Koleva

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Lastly, we have Dariya in the role of education officer. Congratulations on your win, what were the main points of your manifesto?

Thank you! My manifesto is all about providing students with the representation they need in several key areas – academic support, learning and teaching, and academic experience.

In its core it has one simple goal – to make our academic experience the best it can be, by improving various aspects of it.

Great! What made you want to run for your position?

In my role as student council chair over the past academic year, I had to work very closely with the current sabbatical team. Doing that made me very aware of all the work that they do and all the positive effects their work has on students' lives.

It seemed very appealing to be in such a rewarding position, so I decided to go for it.

What are you most excited about changing this year?

One thing I am really passionate about is pursuing a uniform academic approach to mental health concerns. I'm aware it might be a challenging task, but I'd love to work on developing a university-wide response to such issues.

Another thing I am very dedicated to working on is making sure the university is able to protect the rights and interests of EU and international students.

What's next for you?

For the time being, I am still several assignments and exams away from graduation.

In June we will have a handover period and will assume office in July. After all necessary induction, we will begin preparing for Freshers Week 2019. I am sure it will be an exciting summer for everyone on the next sabbatical team!

It certainly sounds like it will be an exciting summer for the new sabbatical officers, we can't wait to see what they get up to in the coming year.