LUSU Elections 2022 Hustings: What went on? Part two

Part two of our LUSU Hustings coverage

This article is a continuation of our earlier coverage of this year’s LUSU Hustings which can be found here. 

On Tuesday night, LUSU held a Hustings for students to find out more information on this year’s candidates.

The candidates were able to introduce themselves, their policies, and answer questions from the audience.

The vote for this year’s SU Elections opened yesterday at 10 am, and will close tomorrow at 3 pm.

More information on all the candidates can be found here and here.

VP Education

Noah Katz (they/them) is the only candidate running for this role. They opened by explaining how they’ve “done it all before”. Noah believes they “know education inside and out”, and thinks that “management sees us as money and not people”. Noah’s policy would be to “empower students to get what we pay for”, introduce automatic extensions for same-day deadlines, and urge the uni to test us on merit and not memory. Noah said: “Your degree should not make you ill”, so would like to work on student issues together.

Regarding a question from a Med student, Noah said they want to work alongside Med soc to ensure they feel included, and will introduce a new uni feedback committee to make sure academic reps are listened to.

Noah responded that they want to do more to improve how students with exceptional circumstances are treated. Noah highlighted that they would be the first non-binary Officer, and would like to “remind management that we are here, we exist and not to be fucked with”. Noah concluded saying that they want to support and empower students, and clarified that they have “only been wearing dungarees for the past week and a half”.

VP Societies and Media

Tabitha Lambie (she/they) and Dom Casoria (he/him) are both running for this role. Tabi began by saying that in their opinion, society transport has been “appalling”, especially the fact that mini bus permits weren’t renewed on time as this impacted society trips. They said they would introduce a society transport fund for which each member would spend five pound a year and it would be matched at the end of the year. Tabi said that they are “dedicated to supporting student led events”.

Dom’s opening included the fact that over the past year, he has delivered on the promises he made last year such as the society awards, and in the coming year will be working on more EDI training. Dom said: “I’m proud of what I’ve done and I want students to know” and explained that he has a “proven track record”. Dom said he will “hit the ground running” having already done his training, and that in his opinion it isn’t acceptable that sports have such a larger budget than societies and media. Dom wants to “lift up student media”, saying “vote for experience”.

Dom asked what’s the first thing Tabi would do in the role, to which they responded training and re-affiliation, since it’s not accessible and a lot of societies aren’t focused enough on training. Tabi’s responses to the various questions asked by the audience included that they would streamline society bank accounts, refocus on students’ groups, be “approachable”, bring back the “make it in media conference”, and concluded saying that they are aiming for long term change with a “pro active approach”.

Dom’s responses also included streamlining bank funds, meeting with society committees on a one-to-one basis as he stated that he’s been a good point of call for societies and said “they really appreciate [him]”. Dom answered that he plans to “run student media conformances” and will redo exec training. Dom concluded that as having a second year officer will be more “effective” and he will continue his dedicated support.

LUSU have since postponed the VP Societies and Media election.

VP Sport

Three candidates are running for this role, Omar Aziz (he/him), Megan Homburg (she/her) and Eva Ashbrook (she/her). Omar opened with the fact that he represents four university sports teams and five non-university sports teams, as well as the fact that he is the County JCR Sports Officer, and said that his friends say he is “mentally ill” due to the fact that he is so “sports obsessed”.

Eva’s opening detailed how the communication between sports and the Students’ Union is a massive challenge, but they would set meetings with JCRs to increase communication with all levels of uni sports and make sure all sports teams are recognised since they believe there are “massive disparities” between college sports and uni teams.

Megan’s opening included how she would focus on bridging connections, such as that of college netball and uni netball, and would change the opinions toward college sports. Megan was on last year’s Roses committee which she believes would be useful for another Roses away from home next year.

The candidates were asked how they would make sports more inclusive. Eva responded that everyone should “feel safe and supported within a society” and that communication needs to be there so that everyone feels included within sports. Megan’s answer was that she would implement turn up and play sessions that would be accessible to everyone, and Omar announced that he would ensure that all sports societies have Racial Minority and LGBTQ+ training.

The candidates were also asked what they’ll do about certain non-“classic” sports getting overlooked. Omar said that he will give underfunded clubs more help, Eva wants to make Dance and Cheer sports under a new review, and Megan stated that she would increase the publicity for lesser known clubs.

In terms of the homophobia and transphobia tied up in sports culture, Eva ensured that all members would be aware of correct language and terminology, Megan would introduce a “zero tolerance policy”, and Omar would implement weekly Welfare sessions.

To conclude, Megan explained how she has good experience especially surrounding Roses, and believes it’s time there is a female VP Sport. Eva concluded that she would create a more equal and inclusive environment, and Omar finished saying that he is passionate about sport, wants to get rid of the LUSU stigma, and would act in the best interest of the student body.

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