University of Bristol

Meet the candidates running for Equality, Liberation and Access Officer

Voting closes on Thursday

Adeline Nicholas, 4th year Physics

What makes you the best candidate for the role?

‘I have a lot of previous experience, I’ve been Equality, Diversion and Inclusion rep for Physics.
The sort of things I’ve done on a day-to day basis speaking to students and members of staff, we’ve done a survey. I feel it’s all relevant, we’ve made some changes and I’d like the opportunity to do that on a uni-wide scale.'

What part of your manifesto are you to most proud of?

'I read a lot of the SU’s research reports and the NUS as well, so I feel like it’s very grounded in facts and figures. A lot of the policies I’d like to enact are inspired by other universities, they are tired and tested.'

What is the biggest change you want to make to your role?

'I’d like to introduce a tiered system for student misconduct. Currently, it’s quite unclear. In the Revolt Sexual Assault, in a lot of incidences the perpetrator is another student. The university has nothing in place for that. Obviously, you can go to the police, but there are a lot of reasons to not go to the police. So just making sure that the university has proper policies in place. A lot of prejudice based incidents and sexual assault go unreported. An anonymous reporting system, a single point of contact.'

What is your favourite takeaway on a Bristol night out?

'Me and my friends have a tradition to go to Mission Burrito.'

Sally Patterson, 3rd year Sociology and Politics

What is something that you can bring to the role that no one else can?

'‘My priority is not just being an officer in the Richmond building, but actively supporting students especially those that are struggling the most. I will combine larger pledges such as continuing to tackle sexual violence, racial violence and hate and homophobia. Alongside this, I will be doing my bit every day to be a person that students can come to and who can hopefully do something to help. I won’t just for students to come to me, I will follow through on my promises working with my fellow officers and incredible SU staff, university staff and external organisations to make Bristol better.’

What part of your manifesto are you to most proud of?

‘I am most proud that this year I have begun to initiate the formation of a multi-faith network. Students of faith, especially women of faith, often face specific difficulties at university such as time clashes with religious holidays, as well as micro aggressions and stigmatization. If given the opportunity, I would like to ensure that this network is not only established, but also meets the needs of the diverse students of faith that we have here.’

What is the biggest change you want to make to your role?

‘For me, being the ELA officer is about carrying out the priorities of the chairs of the networks, as well as my own. I would ensure that regular meetings, with the chairs and roundtables and speaking to a range of students, would allow me to bring students’ agendas to the forefront of the SU. One person can never speak for thousands, and nor should they try to. The network chairs and presidents of societies know their students far better than one person could, so let’s start listening to them. I would facilitate the campaigns, events and policies that they wanted to see, keep in mind that they are third year students who are volunteering their time to make changes happen. I would also develop the network structure in order to make collaboration easier; students are multifaceted, we don’t just fit into one group, we fit into many.'

What is your favourite takeaway on a Bristol night out?

'My favourite takeaway is a good old Domino’s. I know it’s not good for me, but I just love E numbers. Also, I always insist on a giant pot of garlic sauce, although I know that might be controversial. With veggie, halal and even vegan options – what’s not to love.'

Maheera Zubair, 3rd Accounting and Finance

What makes you the best candidate for the role?

‘I identify as a person of colour, I’m a Muslim – I’m a threefold minority. I empathise with people, I identify the struggles and conquer them.’

What part of your manifesto are you to most proud of?

‘I really want to focus on disabled students. Initiating campaigns for them is really important so they feel more integrated into society as a whole, so they feel they can conquer as much as we can.’

What is the biggest change you want to make to your role?

‘Implementing a minority ambassadors scheme. The BME gap is mainly due to lack of BME in leadership roles. Seeing a role model and having them as an influence is really important.’

What made you want to go for the role in the first place?

‘When I first came I didn’t feel so integrated. Recently, I feel really integrated. Being a person of colour, I’m passionate about liberation and equality. I want minorities to realise that the university is as much theirs as it is ours.’

What is your favourite takeaway on a Bristol night out?

‘I love Taka Taka or Kaspa’s.’

Spencer Blackwell

Why did you want to go for the role?

'Throughout my time at University I've heard and witnessed so many occasions where students have been failed by the University and student support services: from student welfare services being inaccessible and non-functional, to the lack of support available to survivors, to trans students being unsafe on campus, to the persistence of the BME attainment gap, there are a vast number of issues that need to change within the University. I've spent the past two years as the first Trans Students' Network Chair and currently President of LGBT+ Society engaging with student groups and working with the SU and University to improve student welfare. These experiences of working with the SU and University to tackle issues that affect students has led me to the point of not being able to walk away – I'm too committed to improving student welfare to leave now!'

What makes you better than other candidates going for the role?

'I want to be the Equality, Liberation, and Access Officer of the students at Bristol – as I have been throughout my time campaigning, I am completely dedicated to listening to students, understanding the issues that affect you, and making change. The points on my manifesto aren't just ideas or values; they are actual plans for change that I am ready and excited to implement!'

'I have so much passion, energy, and time for improving student welfare at Bristol, and have the experience to back it up. As well as running University-wide campaigns such as LGBT+ History Month, I've delivered Trans-Awareness Training to University staff, been the Bristol SU delegate to 2 NUS Conferences, removed barriers that prevent trans students engaging in sport through Trans-only swimming sessions, co-run national projects outside of University such as Trans Pride South West, and have run an LGBT+ Sexual Health campaign in collaboration with Terence Higgins, Bristol Drugs Project, and The Brigstowe Project. I consider my part-time work as practice for this full-time role, and can't wait to get stuck into taking this further and making more change!'

Can you sum up the changes you want to make in one sentence?

'Effective and efficient student welfare support, both in halls and on campus, for all students!'

What is your favourite takeaway on a Bristol night out?

'Quigley's actually is the one!'