We vibe checked this year’s Bristol SU Election candidates so you don’t have to

Apparently you can tell a lot about a person from their June 21st plans


The SU elections have officially begun and by now you’ve probably received a million and one Facebook and Instagram friend requests from eager candidates. However, If you really want to know the student election tea then look no further.

From the candidates’ messiest night, to what they would name re-name Senate House if they had the chance, here is a glimpse into the vibes, personalities and passions of this year’s SU candidates.

You will also be relieved to know this article does not contain any cringe music videos, so you can make a decision in peace.

Union Affairs Officer

Fergus Ustianowski (He/Him)

Fergus is running for Union Affairs, and currently studies Physics at UoB.

Describe yourself in three words:

Driven, caring, democratic.

What are you doing on June 21st?

I’ll be in The White Harte drinking a nice cider. 

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

The time I did 10 before 10. In the end I managed to do 12 before 10 and ended up in lounge. 

If you had been in charge of renaming the Senate House what would you have named it?

Housey McHouseFace. 

If you could put a statue up of anyone or anything, what would it be of? 

Isambard Brunel. He designed everything in Bristol and I think he deserves a bit more credit. 

Favourite first year halls?

New Bridewell. It was opposite SWX, what more do you want?

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

I have a lot of experience and I really care about student mental health. I co-founded Zero Suicide Bristol, I am President of the Lib-Dem society and I’ve haven’t missed a single student council or AMM.

Pippa Adamthwaite-Cook (She/her)

Pippa is a familiar face within the Bristol community, especially if you are into the fashion show scene. She studies Theatre and Performance at UoB, and is running for Union Affairs.

Describe yourself in three words:

Dedicated, passionate and enthusiastic. 

What are you doing on June 21st?

I will be participating in events from 9-5, and when I say 5 I mean 5am.

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

No comment, though I will say that my life is a constant embarrassment. 

If you had been in charge of renaming the Senate House what would you have named it?

For me the name is not important. I want to focus on making the SU relevant and make buildings like Senate House a space where students want to be. 

If you could put a statue up of anyone or anything, what would it be of?

Tarana Burke. She’s an American activist from the Bronx, New York who founded the #MeToo movement. She’s incredibly inspirational and is unfortunately overlooked within the movement itself.

Favourite first year halls of residence?

I don’t really have a favourite halls of residence but I really feel for the freshers this year and in my role I would love to give all students a normal university experience again.

Why should you vote for me?

I have a lot of experience in leadership and marketing. I am president of FUZE this year and have massively increased its social media presence. This year FUZE won two awards for inclusivity and diversity. I am passionate, driven and have a track record of improving communication and engagement.

Charles Crow (He/him)

Charles is also running for Union Affairs, and studies Chemistry at UoB.

Describe yourself in three words:

Energetic, driven, creative

What are you doing on June 21st?

I want to have a massive BBQ on the downs. 

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

I tried to vault myself over a bench by Thekla but I caught my feet on the bench and landed face first in front of a crowd of people. I am pretty sure someone was filming! 

If you had been in charge of renaming the Senate House what would you have named it?

Campus SU

If you could put a statue up of anyone or anything what would it be of?

A stone Dalek, because no one would expect it. 

Favourite first year halls of residence?

Goldney 

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

I have spent a lot of time with people who use the Union and I understand what they want. My experience as Ball secretary of the Chemistry Society means I have experience running events.

Ifrah Farooq (She/her)

Ifrah studies Politics and IR at UoB, and is taking on her Union Affairs campaign with the catchy slogan #letsgetfarooqy.

Describe yourself in three words:

Future Prime Minister

What are you doing on June 21st?

Catching flights not feelings

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

Accidentally sitting through the wrong seminar for the whole thing.

If you had been in charge of renaming senate house what you name it?

House of Donervan – for the culture.

If you could put up a statue of anyone or anything what would it be of?

Ruth Bader-Ginsburg.

Favourite first year halls of residence?

I went to Hiatt Baker a few times and it was a vibe.

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

I am currently Chair of Student council so I have a vital understanding of the democratic processes of the SU and how they could be improved. I also have experience policy-making in the Home Office which will assist me in making effective policy changes for the SU. I am passionate and driven and will deliver on my manifesto points.

Equality Liberation and Access Officer (ELA)

Leah Martindale (She/her)

Leah, who studies Film and TV, is running for another SU position having just spent the last year as the Postgraduate Education SU officer.

Describe yourself in three words:

Outgoing, empathetic, sleepy 

What are you doing on June 21st? 

Go on my own to the cinema, buy a tub of popcorn the size of my body,  stand up and clap at the end of the movie, and walk through town like I’m the main character of my own film. 

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

In second year, in the RnB room of SWX there is a raised platform, and I was on that platform dancing with some strangers. Whilst I was cutting shapes I slipped off the platform, landed on my ankle. I shook it off, went to the chip shop and walked two miles home.

When I woke up the next morning still drunk it turned out that I had fractured my ankle. I had to call an ambulance, ended up going to the hospital in my pyjamas to get an X-ray!

If you had been in charge of renaming the senate house what would you name it? 

The Leah Mart Centre of Excellence

If you could put a statue of anyone or anything what would it be of?

I would go to the Colston plinth and replace it with a statue of the enslaved peoples that Bristol’s wealth was built off of. 

If I could erect a second statue then I would put up a statue of me!

Favourite first year halls of residence?

Richmond Terrace. It was literally a two minute walk from the SU where I had almost all of my lectures. 

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

I identify with 6/10 of the liberation groups so I have the lived experience to have a deep understanding of some of these issues. I have spent the last year as the PG Education officer and throughout this role I have gained valuable experience; I have strong connections within the university and can use these connections facilitate important conversations. I am also personable and a good listener. 

Ru Burroughs (They/them)

Ru studies English at UoB, and is running for ELA officer this election.

Describe yourself in three words:

Radical, loud, loyal

What are you doing on June 21st?

I have a week of clubbing planned, however the first thing I will do is go to this pub in Easton called the Plough. It’s Simon Pegg’s favourite spot in Bristol and in my opinion is the best night out.

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

Probably the Falstaff formal in second year. Me and the other parents got so drunk that we lost both of our children… though a close second is when I kissed one of my dads in first year. 

If you had been in charge of renaming the senate house what would you name it?

Den of Debauchery

If you could put a statue up of anyone or anything what would it be of?

Audre Lorde. 

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

I was on my College Student Union and so I have experience running events, and I even started the process of introducing gender neutral bathrooms at my college. I have worked in fundraising for charities like Great Ormond Street, Amnesty and WWF. I come from a widening participation background and have first-hand experience of the shortfalls of the student experience.

Student Living Officer (SLO)

Ruth Day (They/them)

Ruth, who studies Maths and Philosophy, is campaigning to take on the role of Student Living Officer for another year.

Describe yourself in three words:

Gay, driven, passionate

What are you doing on June 21st? 

I want to host a big pres in my living room, play all the drinking games I haven’t played in first year and then go to OMG and stay until they turn the lights on.

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

At a LGBT Pride award event I got over excited by all the free wine. I don’t remember what happened but apparently I fell backwards, hit my head, cut it open, got a concussion and ended by in the BRI.

If you had been in charge of renaming the senate house what would you name it?

At least this didn’t cost £20k 

If you could put up a statue of anyone or anything what would it be of?

Marsha P Johnson. They were one of the people who started the Stonewall riots. I think a statue of them would educate people about this monumental occasion and remind people that the riots were actually started by trans women of colour. 

Favourite first year halls of residence?

Goldney.

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

Having done this role for a whole year I am confident I could do this role well. I have the track record having won £13 million in rent rebates I want continue the huge amounts of progress I have already made. 

Undergraduate Education Officer 

Dave Jones (He/him)

Dave studies Music with Innovation, and is running to be your Undergraduate Education Officer.

Describe yourself in three words:

Accountable, reliable, responsible

What are you doing on June 21st? 

The Lansdown, it’s a pub in Clifton. I haven’t been to it for over a year and it’s really sad. 

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

I was on the BUMS tour. I got chased down the street in my underpants by a man who was filming me on his phone. 

If you had been in charge of renaming the senate house what would you name it?

Senate McSenateface. I believe in democracy after all! 

If you could put up a statue of anyone or anything in Bristol what would it be?

The Bristruths logo. Bristruth uniquely offers a platform for people to say how they actually feel about the university and about life and so often you don’t get that level of honesty and truth. 

Favourite first year halls of residence?

Goldney

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

My degree has taught me to listen to what people want. As my subject rep I have spent the last four years in board meetings with senior executives at the university and I know how to communicate student issues in a way that gets through.

Seb Key (He/him)

Seb is running to be your Undergraduate Education Officer, and has spent the last few years studying Psychology.

Describe yourself in three words:

Energetic, Responsive, Unconventional

What are you doing on June 21st?

Jumping into the sea and going to the pub!

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

13 before 10! And I haven’t been back to Corrie Tap since!

If you had been in charge of renaming the senate house what would you name it?

Pinker House – After Steven Pinker, Psychologist and author, promoting prosperity and happiness.

If you could put a statue up of anyone or anything what would it be of?

Dr Pene Key (my great auntie). One of my biggest inspirations to go to university! She was an early generation female doctor in the UK and spent her years working as a children doctor in Cambodia. She passed away 5 years ago and a tribute to her would be beautifully appropriate.

Favourite first year halls of residence?

Hiatt Baker baby!

Why do you think you’d be suited for this role?

I care so deeply about the mental welfare of us students, as if that isn’t right, then what is the point of our learning experience. I really do believe I can stimulate change in the university through the SU and create a happy and healthy learning experience for undergrads, rather than one that feels neglected and disengaged! My manifesto and year long plan will create a learning experience that actually engages and communicates with undergrads during these strange times.

Postgraduate Education Officer

Bakhtawar Rahupoto (She/her)

Bakhtawar is currently studying an MSc in medicine, and is hoping to be your next Postgraduate Education Officer.

Describe yourself in three words:

Helpful, enthusiastic, keen

What are you doing on June 21st?

I want to explore the city of Bristol.

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

Accidentally joined a class that wasn’t actually mine. 

If you had been in charge of renaming the senate house what would you have named it?

The Council House.

If you could put a statue up of anyone or anything what would it be of?

I would put up an NHS sign because I believe doctors and nurses are the real heroes of the pandemic. 

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

As a course rep for the MSc I know how to communicate with people.

Lu Macey (She/her)

Lu studies an M-phil in Film and Television, and is running for PG Education officer.

Describe yourself in three words:

Enthusiastic, curious, determined

What are you doing on June 21st?

I’ve really missed my family, and they got a new cat early this year, so it’ll be really nice to see them then.

What’s your favourite bar/café in Bristol?

I love Earthcake in Bedminster – they do the most amazing vegan afternoon tea! I love Oowee Vegan as well.

If you could put a statue up of anyone or anything what would it be of?

I would do something to commemorate the toppling of Colston in a way that celebrates tackling racism.

Why do you think you’d be suited for this role?

I can recognise and relate to the issues faced by postgraduate students. The student rep work that I’ve done in the past really highlighted to me how much I enjoy working in a team of people that really want to make positive change for the university, and help make student life easier and safer, which I’d like to do full-time.

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

As an M-phil student I can relate to, and represent all postgraduate students. I have also done a lot of work as a student rep and I enjoy making positive changes.

Sport and Development Officer 

Ben Wood (He/him)

Ben is studying a Masters in International Relations and is running to be your next Sport and Student Development Officer.

Describe yourself in three words: 

Friendly, pragmatic, positive 

What are you doing on June 21st?

I want to go home and see my family. I haven’t seen my grandparents in a very long time. I’m also very excited to go to a pub garden with my flatmates. 

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

I tried tackling the 10 before 10 in my second year. It didn’t go very well, my girlfriend had to pick me up at 9:30 and my friends drew all over my face. 

If you had been in charge of renaming the senate house what would you have named it?

I don’t know maybe Student Central.

If you could put a statue of anyone or anything what would it be of? 

Serena Williams. She is such an inspirational sports woman and has had to face a lot of prejudice and abuse about her body image and race. It’s amazing to think that she played through pregnancy and she is a fantastic role model to anyone and everyone. 

Favourite first year halls of residence?

Durdham.

Why should Bristol students vote for me?

I am going to approach this role from a different perspective from others and I have a fresh set of ideas. My experience as a rugby referee also means that I am used to dealing and communicating with people and solving problems on the spot.

Jenny Herring (She/her)

Jenny is a biology student at UoB and is campaigning to become Sport and Student Development officer.

Describe yourself in three words: 

Dedicated, caring, motivated 

What are you doing on June 21st?

Seeing as many of my friends as is humanly possible. I will probably find a beer garden in sunny Bristol and spend time catching up with my friends sitting side by side on a crowded pub bench. 

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

I probably don’t remember my messiest night. It will definitely be from my first year and I am grateful that my teammates were looking after me. 

If you had been in charge of renaming Senate House what would you have named it? 

As a biologist I would name it in honour of Sir David Attenborough.

If you could put up a statue of anyone or anything what would it be of?

I would commission a statue of a circle of interlinking hands, symbolising unity and diversity and everyone coming together. 

Favourite first year halls of residence?

Richmond Terrace. 

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

As Chair of the Sports Network I have worked closely with the Sport and Development Officer this year and the club captains to shape our approach throughout the whole pandemic. I have the experience and determination to get the job done. 

Obafemi Alabi (He/him)

Obafemi studies Mechanical and Electrical Engineering and is campaigning to become your Sports and Development Officer with his catchy slogan “Use your voice, Oba is the choice”.

Describe yourself in three words: 

Intelligent, confident, compassionate

What are you doing on June 21st? 

I would want to go out with friends and have a good time at Motion.

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

Probably in second year. I was at Motion and all I remember was being there having a good time and then not being there anymore and finding myself on a table outside Motion. It was all a blur! 

If you had been in charge of renaming the senate house what would you name it?

Maybe something to commemorate black history in Bristol. 

If you could put a statue of anyone or anything what would it be of? 

My mum, she just inspires me. 

Favourite first year halls of residence? 

Orchard Heights. When I was in first year that’s where all the socials used to be. 

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

For the last 2 years have been working alongside the SU and BME network to engage students to play football. I created a football league for ethnic minorities, engaging 10 diverse societies for this project so I have lots of experience running events.  

Sammy Cobbold (He/Him)

Sam studies Law and is campaigning to be to become your Sports and Development Officer.

Describe yourself in three words: 

Ready for summer.

What are you doing on June 21st?

Probably knocking back a 10 before 10 then crying happy tears into a Magic Roll!

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

Too many to choose from but they all end crying into a Magic Roll.

If you had been in charge of renaming the Senate House what would you have named it?

The New SU

If you could put a statue up of anyone or anything, what would it be of?

I’d put the BLM statue back on the podium where it belongs.

Favourite first year halls?

UH til I die

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

I’ve been a club captain for two years so I know the ins and outs of the Uni and SU. But my manifesto focuses on university sport as a whole, through programmes like intramural and Bristol healthy minds. Check it out at @sammyforsport

International Student’s Officer

Muazam Tahir (He/him)

Muazam studies Economic and Politics, and is running for International Students Officer.

Describe yourself in 3 words:

Confident, Funny, Diplomatic

Where will you be on June 21st?

A night club.

What is your messiest night or most embarrassing memory in Bristol?

I passed out in 3 different places (floor, kitchen, room). When I woke up in the morning I had no idea where I took my glasses off.

If you could rename Senate House anything what would you name it?

House of Churchill.

If you could put up a statue of anything or anyone what would it be of?

A statue of the globe.

Favourite first years halls of residence?

Print Hall.

Why should Bristol students vote for you?

Voting for me would benefit not only to international students, but also, home students. I want to restructure the way the interaction between both cultures take place, by personalising our approach through my 5-point manifesto plan. This approach will support students at any stage of their university career. I want to be able to empower and support international student.

Aatmikka Pal

We have contacted Aatmikka for comment.

Nikki Vora

We have contacted Nikki for comment.

Cast your vote in this year’s SU Elections by clicking here

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