An interview with the most upvoted candidates from The Tab’s ‘Lead LUU’ interviews

Have The Tab’s readers predicted the winners?

Last week we introduced you to the candidates hoping to be your new Student Exec. You were able to vote for your favourite, here are the candidates with the most upvotes.

Voting opened today and closes at 4pm on Thursday with the winner announced next Friday, the 11th. You can cast your vote here.

Welfare – Ahd Mukbil


How are you feeling about the election?

“I am feeling worried as I missed the debate two days ago but I hope people have a full faith that I am goin to represent them all. I will work hard to achieve my ideas and bring a real change to the welfare definiton Next Year. If I were elected, I would be 100 per cent the suitable person for the role.”

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

“First, I am aiming to build an multicultural network by establishing a BUDDY system as a main step. This system is about to assign local students with international students for both of them to experience different traditions and lifestyle. I was one of the international students who suffered at the beginning of my stay from getting along with British folks and familiar with the British culture. My other premise is to enhance the welfare and safety for all students all over the campus by setting a Student Campus Watch Committee, helping the campus to ensure maximum security.

“Furthermore, I will secure constant support and guidance with informal and confidential lines to students in order tolerate mental health issues like stress and anxiety, especially to students from conflict zones and having family’s problems. I aim to create events that celebrate cultural events and blend students with the staff as one family such as Christmas, EID, Hanuka, and Diwali.”

Education – Melissa Owusu


How are you feeling about the election?

“I’m still feeling fairly nervous, it doesn’t feel like the Leadership Race has actually begun. I feel like I need to do a million and one things but it seems like all the other candidates are pretty chill so I just don’t know. Basically I’m just baffled.”

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

“I want to complete the work I’ve started with the University in tackling the extra costs that differ across courses – such as travel to placements, fabrics and books.”

Equality and Diversity – Emma Healey


How are you feeling about the election?

“I’m feeling a bit nervous about the election, especially since I’ve been at a gender equality conference in the European Parliament for the past few days. Fortunately I have some amazing friends who have been great whilst I’ve been away and I’ve learnt loads that will help me if I do end up being elected.

“I really really want this – I wasn’t planning on running about 2 months ago, but now I am it feels like everything I have been doing has been building me up to it. I think the fact that I’m now where I am after not being at all involved in the Union or The Tab or anything like that until this year is quite important – because I think a lot of students are a bit disengaged, so I want to make people realise how much of an influence they can have. If you really want to change something you can – and I am prepared to help you fight for it.

“Although I’m really nervous, I’m kind of excited – like this is potentially life-changing and it’s absolutely my dream. I’m just trying to remember I need to relax and let myself enjoy it, rather than just becoming a ball of stress and anxiety. I just really want to be able to make people’s time here better – whether it’s raising awareness of sexual assault and mental health or getting people more money or helping more people go on study abroad.”

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

“There’s a lot of changes I want to make, because although Leeds is great it could be better – but the biggest change I want to make is to do with financial support. I chose to come to Leeds because of the financial support it offered – but that’s been halved over the four years I’ve been here and you don’t get it on your year abroad. Especially with the cuts of disabled students allowance and maintenance grants, it is more important than ever for the university to be supporting it’s students and making sure that money isn’t an obstacle to getting a degree.

“I want to increase thresholds for financial support so more students can access it, because student finance does not give us enough. Living in your overdraft shouldn’t be the only option. The university made £12m profit last year and I don’t think it’s too idealistic to push them to invest this in students.”

Union Affairs – Liron Velleman 


How are you feeling about the election?

“I’m feeling very excited about the opportunuty ahead for our union. Over the next week students here can decide what they want from out union. I’m excited that if elected I will be able to deliver lots of brilliant things for everyone here, like an outdoor gym that students can use for free, like a union app that does what students want and a union loyalty card so students can save money at all their favourite union events.”

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

“I think my policies on making it easier to be healthy on campus: a cheaper healthy meal deal, extending counselling services, reducing the cost of sport and exercise and an outdoor gym are ones that can really have a positive impact on students in Leeds.”

Community – Laurie Cain


How are you feeling about the election?

“I am confident because I feel I am a candidate who’s being realistic and who’s priority is achievable goals! I am not running for a popularity contest, I want to make real change! So I am excited that voting is now open.”

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

“I want safety to be at the forefront of the union agenda. I want student properties to be safer by implementing a minimum standard of safety that all landlords have to apply. This will help to reduce the massive amount of student burglary and crime in student areas.”

Activities – Benjamin Sanbrook-Davies


How are you feeling about the election?

“The election’s been crazy, with a lot of highs and lows so far and the next week is without a doubt going to be even more intense. I’ve loved it though, and the support I’ve received from my friends has been incredible. I’ve got really good competition for the role too, which is brilliant because it means whoever gets it will have deserved it and will do an excellent job – which is the most important thing. I’m just trying to be as honest and true to myself as I can in the next week, and hopefully people will support that. Whatever happens, it’s been a mad experience and I’m really glad I’ve done it.”

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

“If I get elected as Activities Officer the biggest change I want to make focuses on making the University’s resources more readily available to societies. A lot of missed opportunities for societies to offer more to students are down to the fact that there isn’t enough conversation, between the Union and the University, and between societies themselves.

“I think there are a lot of ways to help build better relationships here. One being integrating societies through interdepartmental events, such as socials, which would create more opportunities for networking. On top of that I’d create online contact hubs tailored to different societies, where students and staff can Upload contacts they have, which societies within that hub can request. Sharing resources will widen the opportunities that societies have to offer, meaning better events and happier students, which would be fab.”

Gryphon Editor – Jess Murray


How are you feeling about the election?

“I’m feeling a mixture of excitement and stress right now. The whole experience has been great so far, everyone has been so supportive and encouraging, and I managed to survive Question Time without saying something stupid which was a great feeling. It’s been challenging and has really pushed me to do stuff I would never normally be comfortable with, like starring in my campaign video, The Legend of Jon Murgundy – I can’t act to save my life so making a video that was socially acceptable to put on YouTube was a challenge.

“I’m just really excited for the final push; once I’ve got all my deadlines out the way I can finally get out on campus and talk to students more which I’m really looking forward to. I’m really passionate about the policies I stand for, and I think I have so much to bring to The Gryphon to push it forward, so I just hope students can see that and choose to vote for me before Friday.”

What’s the biggest change you want to make?

“I want to take the Gryphon on tour. We already have an open door policy, but not many people know where our office is, or even realise they have a story to tell. So I want to get out and about on campus, talking to people and finding out exactly what they’re interested in and what they have to say. I think a lot of people perceive the Gryphon as too union-centric and the only way to change this is by getting out of the union and into other aspects of university life.

“For example, the recent junior doctors’ strike would have been a great opportunity for us to set up shop in the Worsley building and chat to medical students about their opinions and experiences of the situation. Journalism at its very core is all about people going out, talking to people and finding stories, and I think this is something The Gryphon needs to engage in more.”