Speed-chat with the Sabbs

We get the low-down on all the people you’ve been dodging on the way to lectures

elections Sabbatical sabbs the tab the tab exeter

Guild President

Joel Smith

joel smith guild president

Why are you running for this role?

I’m a third year student and throughout my time at the University I have encountered lots of things that I would like to help improve. These three years have been the best of my life and I would love to do something next year which I’m passionate about.

What would you like to change?

I want to improve University resources such as the library and Wellbeing Centre and make sure that University halls are refurbished in relation to their prices being put up.

On top of this, I would like to make the Guild more open to students and would dedicate some time every day to be available to talk to students.

What is your favourite night out in Exeter and why?

Definitely Arena on a Thursday or a Monday. The Drama students [Joel studies Drama] take over the podium and it’s great fun.

What are your top pulling techniques?

My dance moves, as I am a dancer!

James The Goat Hitchings-Hales

Sum up your manifesto.

My manifesto is all about improving the student experience with a specific focus on inclusion, representation, safety, and events. We want to connect the Guild to students in a manner never before attempted.

What makes you better than anyone else?

I believe that I have the energy, passion, and determination to connect the position of Guild President to students like never before.

How would you rate your looks on a scale of 1 to 10?

I would hope that my sense of humour adds a couple of points, since the goatee I’m currently sporting for the campaign puts me seriously in the negative figures!

Rachael Gillies

What changes would you make to University life if you were to be elected?

So I suppose I could regurgitate my manifesto, but if you want to read it then go on the Guild site.

Live: A better attitude to healthy mind, healthy body. More healthy food in Guild outlets and exam relief through relaxing spaces with sofas, free tea and hopefully (no joke) a puppy room.

Love: I’ll create a loyalty card scheme where any money you spend in the Guild will see a payback to a chosen society.

How do you plan to celebrate if you succeed?

Cheeky glass of prosecco, or two – maybe three with my campaign team. (After that I’ll be primed to enjoy the massive social phenomenon of Friday night Lemmy.)

Tell us something fun that we don’t already know about you?

When I was younger I wanted to grow up to be an astronaut.

Ronnie Henderson (aka: Anchorman)

Which point in your manifesto are you most passionate about?

The visibility and availability of SABBs is something that’s really important. This year the SABBs have worked hard to improve that and it’s something I definitely want to build on.

Part of my manifesto is moving the SABB office to a more accessible location and having drop-in sessions so a wider number of students have more access to SABBs and what they do.

As head of the Classic society, which classical figure do you think you’re most similar to?

Ares, God of War because he’s passionate, feisty and a good leader.

Is there a Baxter in your life?

It’s a bit embarrassing: I have a rabbit called Mr Snuffles. He’s white and he’s one-years-old and he’s great. That’s really embarrassing because he’s a white rabbit and I’m a 20-year-old man.

VP Education

Holly Collenette

What makes your campaign different?

I noticed my campaign was different to everyone else’s after the first day.

I’m using a different technique, as whilst they’re all screaming down Forum Hill: I go round the little academic buildings and talk to students who don’t usually vote, such as Postgraduates & International students.

Why should Tab readers vote for you?

My ideas are realistic because I’m eager, committed and up for the challenge.

I’ve witnessed the difficulties in a lack of cross-discipline communication and the fact that I’m raising the same issues clearly shows that nothing has been done.

Can a blonde really be a successful VP Education candidate?

Yes! That’s hilarious! I can prove everyone else wrong. I spoke to an engineering postgraduate the other day and he confirmed that I’ve done my research!

Jessica Fenlon

What do you feel is your strongest policy?

I think providing free e-books of core texts is my strongest policy. Texts can be extremely expensive and there should not be hidden course costs like this with the rise in fees.

Why do you think you’re the right person for the role?

I’ve been a student representative for the last two years, so I’ve had experience of liaising with staff and students to discuss problems and how they can be resolved.

How do you plan to celebrate if you succeed?

I’m going to go out with all of my campaign team whatever the result!

Ben Street

What changes would you make to university life if you were to be elected?

I’d say the two most obvious changes I would make would be firstly to (hopefully) set up a second-hand bookshop on campus in which students could sell and buy books, helping them to save money and contribute to Exeter’s academic environment.

Secondly, my other noticeable change would be to increase student engagement with academic affairs by utilising more effectively the SSLCs (Student Staff Liaison Committees).

How do you plan to celebrate if you succeed?

By thanking everyone and then hitting the Lemmy.

Have you got any funny experiences from your life at Uni you’d like to share?

Not really funny, but on the night after my 21st I woke up with a shaven head.

Matthew Thatcher

Which points in your Manifesto are you most passionate about?

Firstly, I believe that all students should have their lectures recorded as it aids with the revision process. I know that some people worry it would lead to a drop in attendance but that would not be the case.

I found a study conducted by the University which says that attendance only dropped in Law and Business and only by 18%. Secondly, I think all feedback should be typed, not written.

What are three ways you’re similar to Superman?

Firstly, I can fly. I flew over from St Luke’s today. I just managed to avoid the rain!

Secondly, he’s a good looking chap and I would say I’m reasonably good looking.

Finally, I’m pretty strong so I’d make sure I get what students want and I wouldn’t allow the University to back down.

When you’re not flying around Exeter, saving the world, what’s your favourite night out?

Arena Mondays, Original Sin, Dirty Sexy People. The DJ’s really good. It’s a cool vibe and a good laugh.

VP Activities

Michael Smith

Why are you running for this role?

I already represent Arts and Culture for the Guild, so I feel this has given me a good understanding of the potential we have to improve.

What would you like to change?

My three main policies would be improving the running of the Guild, fixing the room-booking service and protecting the arts as more people are let into the University.

What are your top pulling techniques?

I’ve learnt all my pulling techniques from Mad Men. A bit of whisky-sipping, cigar-smoking and leaning seductively across the bar always works!

How would you rate your looks on a scale of 1 to 10?

Well my ex-girlfriend said I was a 4 (whilst we were going out)! However, she did say I made up for it in personality. I’d probably say I was a solid 6 and a half though.

Doug Statt

What made you decide to run for VP Activities?

After being involved in all sorts of societies and helping with Children in Need and the Welcome Team, I thought it would be a great thing to do and that I could really make a difference to a student’s time at Exeter.

What sets you and your manifesto apart from other candidates?

I think I have more experience of the participation side than most other candidates in regards to variety of activity, which means I can tackle the problems from more angles.

My manifesto is much more centered around getting involved whilst at University, as I think it’s that that makes the student experience.

Also, I think as a half Lukie I’m the only candidate who has a realistic understanding of St Luke’s and the willpower to change it.

What’s your best chat up line?

You ready? This is pretty potent. “Hey, I’m Doug. Thats God spelt backwards, with a little bit of U in it.”

Kit Fotheringham

Sum up your manifesto.

I’m committed to protecting space and time for all activities. With increasing student numbers, it’s vital that timetables and room bookings don’t stop people from chilling out and taking a break from academic pressures.

What makes you better than anyone else?

I’ve been running activities and events for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been backstage at some of the University’s most prestigious events such as the Queen’s visit in 2012 and the inaugural Grand Challenges Festival last year.

For me, being a Sabb candidate isn’t a popularity contest. I know what societies need and I want to ensure they have the proper support.

Where are we most likely to find you on a night out?

Firehouse for Extunes Live on Sunday nights: good drinks, fantastic music. What else could you wish for?

Sam Wood

Sum your campaign up in one sentence.

Feasible, innovative change that gets your hair cut.

Why do you want a hairdressers on campus?

The hairdressers at Cardiff University is the most profitable enterprise there. It’s convenient for students, and would lead to a lot of money being put in to the Guild!

Who would be the Buzz to your Woody?

That’s a very good question! Probably Tracy Costello, Head of the Guild. She’s a superstar.

VP Welfare and Diversity

Charlotte Cooper

Why should Tab readers root for you?

I hope what comes across is how genuine I am, which is hard to do amidst the lame captions and shameless ego-filled self-promo but really I am.

I’ve seen first hand the failings and areas of improvement within the Guild and feel I would fit really well into the role and do my best to speak on behalf of all students.

How do you plan to celebrate if you succeed?

Genuinely hadn’t thought about it much, but probably tears followed by hugs followed by the classic call home and then probably crash at home with champagne and Dominos and let it sink in for a while.

How would you describe your campaign in 5 words?

Green, smiley, achievable, student focused.

Katherine Sladden

Which point in your manifesto are you most passionate about?

I’m really keen on student support. I think there could be an increased amount of personalised support systems within the University.

I want to make sure that first years know exactly what services are there before they have a problem. For example, I want to introduce life skill packs which have information on support as well as help on budgeting.

Can you expand on your ‘Puppies on Campus’ campaign?

Yeah! Quite a few people have said it’s got no backing but actually puppies have been scientifically proven to reduce stress.

I think it’s a preventative measure: Stress Less week is to get people thinking about their wellbeing before it’s an issue. The puppies would be in the Forum Piazza for strokes and cuddles.

Which Lion King character do you most associate with?

I’m going to have to say Simba just because he’s the best. He’s not evil, he goes through a journey and he’s got some cool songs!

Charlie Mackay

What made you decide to run for VP Welfare and Diversity?

I decided to run for VP Welfare and Diversity largely because of the change in the job title- up until now it has been VP Welfare and Community, and whilst community is certainly important it is Diversity at Exeter that I believe needs some serious attention and real change. I believe my experience and my background provide me with the tools to make that change.

What sets you and your manifesto apart from other candidates?

I was the Equality and Diversity Officer last year- which before this role change was effectively the only student rep position in the Guild which tried to achieve true diversity at Exeter: I have done this job, albeit in a voluntary form, before. My manifesto is much broader than that of other candidates

What is your favourite night out in Exeter and why?

Something in Cellar Door… Depending on who is DJing, either a Beats N Bass night or a TaT night. Come find me there if you fancy a chat, I’ll be the one loving life on the dance floor.

How will you celebrate if you win?

If I win, I will take my campaign team out for a meal to thank them for the amazing work they’ve done over the past few weeks. It’s been absolutely amazing and I’m humbled to see how many people support me.

Jaz Sansoye

Sum up your aims.

I want to focus on mental and sexual health, such as setting up an informal eating disorders group without doctors where people affected by these issues can come together and recover.

I also want an improved depression and anxiety service, which would be especially active during deadline periods.

I would also arrange for a pop-up sexual information desk in the forum which has information on things like STDs, as it’s less embarrassing than the clinic.

What sets you apart from other candidates?

I was anorexic for two years, and I’m still struggling with extreme depression and anxiety. Once you’ve had a mental health issue, you know if other people have had them.

I want people to see me as a SABB with a mental health problem, so they shouldn’t feel alone, as they should realise that I’ve been in their position as well. Everyone else has gone for a gimmick. I’m real, and this is me.

Seeing as sexual health is one of your top priorities, what are your thoughts on Elina?

I’ve met her, she’s a really nice person who hasn’t slept with that many people. She just made it up, I don’t think it was worth it.

Disun Vera-Cruz

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I think I am the candidate who has found a link between welfare and diversity. My policies in welfare and diversity directly impact each other, while other candidates tend to focus solely on welfare.

What are your most important policies?

My main focus is to increase integration. I want societies to work better together by forming a diversity committee, involving the heads of diverse societies, such as religious, international, minority, gender and sexuality societies, to form a committee helping societies to work together.

In terms of student wellbeing, I want to increase the use of societies such as Voice, who I’ve already discussed possibilities with, and Mind Your Head, providing quick services to students during the unacceptable waiting times for the Wellbeing Centre.

I also intend to create a student support centre so students with similar issues can come together and help each other through issues, such as smoking and drinking.

What does a night out involve for you?

That’s easy… Friday Arena, finishing in bed with a Subway.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t pin down any of the other candidates for a quick few questions. Their elusive nature clearly demonstrate their attitude towards the high-profile role they’re hoping to play in the Guild. (Lol.)