We spoke to the presidential candidates of the Guild Elections 2022

You’ve read their manifestos, but here are the answers to the questions that UoB students really want to know.

The officer elections for Birmingham’s Guild of Students are just round the corner, with voting opening on Monday 28 February at 10.00am and running until Friday 4 March at 15.00pm.

Positions for several part time and full time officer roles are open, including Education Officer, Welfare and Community Officer and, of course, President of the Guild of Students.

Although the candidates outline their plans in their manifestos, we wanted to ask those running for Guild President about some key topics we know the University of Birmingham’s students really care about.

Acacia Matthews

First up is Acacia Matthews, a second year student studying Politics and International Relations. Acacia told The Birmingham Tab that she applied to be the Guild President is because she is “passionate about student issues.”

“I love the community and range of people at UoB, which is why I’m so excited about the opportunity to represent it!

“I have seen issues within the Guild that I want to tackle head on and really improve the student experience, ” she said, “especially within regards to student safety and transparency within the Guild.”

Addressing the culture of the Guild of Students, she described to The Birmingham Tab: “I hope to make the Guild a safer, more transparent, and sustainable environment.

Acacia explained to The Birmingham Tab that if she could add one thing to campus it would be “cooking appliances in the library.” This would be great for all those late night cramming sessions trying to meet dissertation deadlines.

Her favourite takeaway is Dixy’s.  “Dixy’s has the best curly fries in the whole of Selly Oak,” she told The Birmingham Tab, “and it’s in the perfect position for a post sports night snack.”

When asked about her favourite night out, the second year student detailed “Lab11”, explaining to The Birmingham Tab: “Lab11 always has a really good vibe and the different DJs playing during the night mixes it up as well!”

The second year student told The Birmingham Tab that her favourite building on the UoB campus is “Muirhead Tower”, a proud politics student through and through. “It gets a lot of hate and I know it’s a little ugly but I feel the amount hate it gets isn’t proportional,” she told The Birmingham Tab.

Acacia has added a cool, modern twist to her extensive campaign and has come up with some great memes on her Instagram and funny videos on her TikTok.

Mikey Brown

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past academic year, as our current Guild President, you should hopefully know who Mikey is. Mikey is running for Guild President based on a re-election campaign.

Mikey told The Birmingham Tab: “There’s a bit of unfinished business for me. I’ve achieved a lot in the last seven months, but students face new challenges in the next year, such as living costs, and I think my experience makes me the right person to fight for students and face those challenges.”

If he is re-elected, Mikey said to The Birmingham Tab that he hopes to “build on my existing work and leverage bold leadership to deliver a better deal for students, a kinder academic experience, a safer community, and a stronger Guild.”

If Mikey were able to add one thing to campus, he told The Birmingham Tab that he would open a “Greggs in the Guild retail space to ensure yummy, affordable food.”

Detailing his favourite takeaway, Mikey told The Birmingham Tab: “I have a soft spot Roosters”, adding that he also loves “Vegan Munch” and thinks “we need more spots like that on campus. It’s good quality, a bit different and because it’s vegan everyone can enjoy,” he said. “Just avoid the chocolate hummus though, that is not the vibe.”

The current Guild president told The Birmingham Tab that he prefers pubs to clubs “because I’m getting old but I go to Fab or Gales when I can!

“I like Fab because it’s all students and you don’t have to schlepp into town,” he said. “Gales is awesome because it’s a safer space for the queer community to hang out and be ourselves!”

Describing his favourite UoB building, Mikey explained to The Birmingham Tab: “Old Joe is obviously the best looking building, but the Guild has to be my favourite because it’s where our student groups get together, Fab happens, and students can get support and advice.”

“I love the picturesque campus but it’s nothing without the awesome student community from all over the world and the staff sharing their research and keeping everything running smoothly,” he said.

Check out more about Mikey on his Instagram.

Louise Lyons-Appiah

Louise is currently in her final year studying history and political science. She told The Birmingham Tab: “I believe I am a strong and compassionate leader who understands students’ needs and can implement change.

A strong advocate for mental health, Louise is the Founder and President of the Birmingham branch of BreatheUni, an organisation that focuses on mental health, as well as personal development and EDI (equality, diversity, and inclusion). “I hope to create and develop structures that support our diverse range of students with their mental well-being and personal development,” she said.

Similarly to the other candidates running, if elected as Guild President, Louise hopes that she can bring “cheaper food options to campus” to keep people well nourished on a student budget.

The third year student cited Pepe’s as her favourite takeaway spot, telling The Birmingham Tab “it’s got the best chicken wings and sauces.”

Louise stated that her go to pub is the “Goose because it’s where everyone hangs out”. She also loves to go out out; when she does her favourite event is “Applebum. It’s got the best music (hip-hop), which is my favourite,” she said.

“My favourite thing about UoB is the campus aspect of the university,” Louise explained to The Birmingham Tab, “everything is so close together it really feels like a community. “My favourite building is the library because it’s gold and that’s my favourite colour,” she said, adding that her “guilty pleasure meal” is the “overpriced Katsu and rice you can get from the library café.”

Find out more about Louise’s campaign for Guild President on her Instagram.

The Birmingham Tab contacted all candidates running for President in the Guild Elections.

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