SU Officer election interviews: Round 1

Meet the Sports and Student Living candidates

Voting for the 2017-18 Bristol Student Union officers opens 9am Tuesday 14th March. You can vote online here, with polls closing at 9pm Thursday 16th March.

In this, the first of three articles, we showcase the candidates who deigned to be interviewed by The Tab Bristol. Below are all the candidates for the positions of Student Living Officer and Sports and Student Development Officer.

Student Living Officer candidates:

Lucky Dube

Q: What changes would you make to halls of residence?

A: I would focus on drafting a review on the current hall allocation system to ensure it prioritises more diversity and better relations between students. This is further to the motion I moved and subsequently passed at Student Council, working to improve integration in halls. I would resist all efforts to increase hall fees yet again and review traditional bugbears of Bristol students- for example the lack of a cash machine or medical staff in Stoke Bishop.

Q: What is your policy on rent increases?

A: I would work with the university to prevent further rent increases above the rate of inflation. I think that the SLO should work with the university as they tend to be very amenable on these issues and they usually help students. Furthermore, by implementing a housing co-operative similar to those in London and Edinburgh, average rent prices could fall by around half.

Q: If you could date one of the other candidates, who would it be?

A: I think Hari Sood, he is very smiley, I’ve heard he’s very charitable (lol) and he strikes me as just an all round nice guy.

Adele Wills

Q: What changes would you make to halls of residence?

A: At the moment the university is reviewing student pastoral care in schools and halls of residences and I am sitting on a panel with staff to represent students to make changes in halls of residences so that students are better cared for. One thing that I am making sure happens is that whatever happens whatever Bristol decides to implement in halls, I don’t want student rent to be increased as a result of that.

Q: What is your policy on rent increases?

A: There shouldn’t be any, I feel that rent has already increased at a higher rate than inflation would dictate and a lot of halls are actually charging more than private residences do.

Q:  If you could date one of the other candidates, who would it be?

A: Tyrone because he’s a lovely fellow Irishman.

Bharat Saini- Student Living Officer

Q: What changes would you make to halls of residence?

A: Firstly, the rent is really high so I’ll try to do something to reduce the rent. The private landlords, they charge you very high, a lot of students don’t know about the rights they have and the support they can get from the university.

Q: What is your policy on rent increases?

A: I have no very specific ideas but I’ll learn on the job.

Q: If you could date one of the other candidates, who would it be?

A: I have no idea who are the other candidates!

Ben Duncan-Duggal- Student Living Officer

Q: What changes would you make to halls of residence?

A: The major change which I think needs to be made is to have Senior Residents better trained to signpost and spot mental health difficulties. I believe that this needs to be done because Senior Residents are a vital point of contact between first year students and the university itself.

Q: What is your policy on rent increases?

A: I believe that nobody should have to pay unfair rent or unfair letting fees. That is why I believe we should be taking action and campaign towards a rent in university accommodation which is no more than 50% of the lowest student maintenance loan. The action I’d want to take towards that would be to support rent strikes and for students outside accommodation to expand Bristol Student lettings so that more students can avoid letting fees.

Q: If you could date one of the other candidates, who would it be?

A: I’m trying to rack my brains but there was a girl at the training who I was talking to and we were getting along ok and then she said she was standing for the head of LGBTQ and she was within the L part and that was that. She is very nice though.

Tyrone Falls- SLO

Q: What changes would you make to halls of residence?

A: There should be a rent cut. At the moment I’ve been campaigning with Bristol Cut the Rent and they had a meeting with the Bristol university management and it came out that they were making last year at least £6.9 million profits off peoples rents. There is space there to make at least a 10% rent cut. I would support Bristol Cut the Rent in this campaign and would work it to make more accessible for students with disabilities.

Q: What is your policy on rent increases?

A: One of the things in my manifesto is to link up with community groups such as Acorn and they were the ones who set up Bristol Cut the Rent as well as Bristol housing movement to basically kick start some kind of student tenants union to effectively counter dodgy landlords, rent increases and gentrification.

Q: If you could date one of the other candidates, who would it be?

A: I guess I would choose Adele as I know her best.

Sports and Student Development candidates:

James Moulder

Q: How will you make sports more accessible for Bristol students?

A: What I want to do is expand the Get Active and Fit and Fab programmes so that there are more sessions available at times that work for students. I also want to continue to work on lowering the prices of gym membership so more people can be active.

Q: How best would you encourage student development?

A: By getting as many students as possible to have some form of exercise in their weekly routine.

Q: If you could date one of the other candidates, who would it be?

A: I know Stanford and one other guy I know better so I will go for Hari Sood.

John House

Q: How will you make sports more accessible for Bristol students?

A: I’ve already kind of been doing that this year. The problem is not enough entry points for students to get involved. Campaigns like ‘This Girl Can’ have been a massive success. This year we doubled the amount of girls involved- from around 500 to over 1000. In terms of looking forward, it’s got to be links between clubs and liberation groups. We’ve been working to introduce a trans swimming session so it’s about building links between those who know how to run sport and those that feel as if there’s a barrier.

Q: How best would you encourage student development?

A: I think primarily it is about opening up the opportunities we already offer to more students. For example we offer leadership sessions and how to become a leader to our society presidents and club captains and there is no reason why that can’t be opened up to the rest of the student body.

Q: If you could date one of the other candidates, who would it be?

A: Let’s go with Patrick Thomas from Burst because I would like a career in radio and I will use him.

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