Voting is open! Here are the students running for Liverpool Guild President

The voting period starts today and ends on the 25th of March

Voting is now open for you to choose your 2022 Guild President. The winner will run the Guild of Liverpool students for the next year, so your vote really matters.

In order to help you make the best decision possible, The Tab Liverpool spoke to each candidate about their manifestos and what they will stand for as Guild President. Get your votes ready! Here are all 12 candidates explaining what they hope to do with their presidency:

Vasiliki Samuels

Vasiliki is currently a third-year law student “so balancing my time between my degree and campaign has been challenging. However, I am extremely passionate and determined to make a positive change at the university before I leave Liverpool.”

If elected Vasiliki told us she aims to: “1. Create a streamlined exam extension process. Instead of needing to complete a form, you will be given the opportunity to add an automatic extension upon submitting an assignment. By doing this, I aim to alleviate the pressure on students and improve and support their mental health.

“2. Introduce Guild student club nights. Introducing Guild club events will allow University of Liverpool students to connect and interact with people outside of their course. Furthermore, it would be a great way to combat the risk of spiking and sexual assault by creating a safe university environment.

“3. Implement self-defence classes. This will encourage students to feel safer not only on campus but also in Liverpool.

“4. Launch Sphinx loyalty card. This will allow students to receive discounts and, on occasions, free drinks. This will ensure a more cost-effective area on campus to socialise with friends.”

Srushti Saware

Srushti gave us the three manifesto points they want to ensure they’ll see through: “The first is to get better help and support for students with mental health issues and learning disorders. While we do have great help online and in person at the university there’s just not enough for all of us which is what I’ll be trying to change over the year should I be elected.

“The second is to tackle spiking and get better emergency help for students at night. I plan to partner with local taxi companies to make taxies available exclusively to students for cheaper if not free at night to get them home or to the nearest hospital if that’s what is needed.

“The last one, something I personally resonate with the most is encouraging more cultural expression across campus all year round. We have people from all over the world studying at the university, and part of accepting them is celebrating them. We all deserve to see what major festivals look like around the world.”

Ella Hatch

Ella gave us four main points for her campaign: “Sustainability: Bring forward the university’s net-zero target and get it to include indirect emissions, and get them to publish an emission reduction plan with goals that we as students can hold them accountable to.

“Ethical investment: Get the university to divest from [certain] companies.

“Night buses: Get the night buses back, and make bus travel cheaper for students.

“Rent reductions: Make university halls affordable for all students through rent reductions.”

Last summer, Ella also “helped run the HLS student solidarity campaign, including co-organising some student-led rallies and spreading information amongst students during the marking boycott. I’m also a climate justice activist involved in a climate group called Green New Deal Rising. Hence, my campaign points to improving sustainability. However, what I would do as a student officer is not limited to my campaign, I would like to push for higher education to be more enjoyable and accessible to all groups, and for the university to reduce its impacts on people and the planet.”

Syed Ibrahim Mujab Shah

Syed Ibrahim Mujab explained: “If you want something done, Syed is the one!” Syed is a “Master’s student with the course Operations and Supply Chain Management. My goal is to improve students’ experience at university.”

Their priorities as student officer are as follows: “Improving safety and well-being of students; Raise awareness and enabling students’ participation in activities; Tackling the issue of high annual tuition fees; Working for dietary options on campus; Bringing solutions to any issue faced by students, and ensuring that they get the best out of university life.

“Your voice is my voice. #Vote your voice, Vote Syed.”

Kathryn Manley

Kathryn wants to make “your everyday student experience better.”

Kathryn told us that “with the rise in living costs, I wanted a manifesto that will help us save money while also making sure we can still have fun and be safe. Being a student is expensive, from paying over £9,000 in tuition fees to having exploitative landlords and letting agencies. We deserve better. As a student officer, I will always stand up to university management and fight for students and their rights.”

Kathryn’s manifesto: “1. Tackle sexual assault and violence, 2. Cheaper public transport for students, 3. Reduce the cost of student rent, 4. Lower Circuit Laundry fees, 5. Cheaper pints in the Guild.”

Jade Light (JiaHeng Wong)

As Jade is currently a course rep, he concluded six enhancement points based on students’ voice:

He also has lots of extra details of his campaign on his Instagram page.

Leo Montgomery Graham

Leo sees the Guild as having two main functions: “As a place to have fun and socialise through events, the sphinx, and societies. And also, as a place for student wellbeing, where they can make their voices heard and help create change. These responsibilities of the Guild are perhaps more important than ever due to the massive impacts of the pandemic on university life.

“Regarding the first point, one of the best tools the Guild has at its disposal is hosting events. Not only do students obviously enjoy these, but they are also profitable for the Guild so the revenue can be invested into areas of the Guild that are still important but perhaps do not generate a profit. It is a goal of mine to ensure that not only does it host a vast amount of them, but also a good variety so that they can appeal to all students. I also want to focus on marketing the events more to international students, as I have several international friends that feel out of the loop when it comes to Guild activities.”

Leo also wants to “focus on making nights out safer and ultimately more enjoyable. Currently, I plan to move towards this goal by promoting the ‘Ask for Angela’ scheme and providing test kits for drink spiking to keep people safe in vulnerable or uncomfortable situations.

“A couple of projects that I have a particular interest in are the Green Guild and student businesses. I personally feel like the Green Guild could be much better utilised by increasing student awareness of the initiative and working with local authorities and charities to increase its effectiveness. I particularly want to tackle littering, as it is a problem that I see as manageable within the scope of the Guild.

“Concerning student businesses, I think the Guild would do very well to help entrepreneurial students, as they are very creative and driven individuals that are managing their studies and their work. Lots of students have some sort of side hustle such as selling prints or designing clothing, or sometimes something even more substantial like a brick-and-mortar store.”

Elsa Smith

Elsa is “a 19 year old disabled queer woman, advocating for improving student housing, such as lowering the rent and checking contracts and landlords.”

Their goals are: “Improving job opportunities, better connections with employers, better quality jobs and advertising. Improving mental health and SA support, such as shortening wait times, different types of therapy and better bereavement support. Sexual health accessibility, free condoms, STD tests, pregnancy tests and classes on consent.”

Lina Dubbins

Lina’s campaign stands for unity, support and change: “I want to listen to your voices. I want you to speak up and to refuse to be silenced.”

Lina says “UoL has a duty of care towards its students.” Continuing, she said: “I am prioritising the decolonisation of the university and its curriculum, in order to create an inclusive, welcoming and supportive student experience. We need to address how colonialism has and continues to affect our understanding of knowledge construction, education, and society. The BAME community and LGBTQ+ community continue to be excluded and marginalised by the university.”

“Education should never be a commodity. Mounting costs are affecting us all, so I’m demanding UoL curb unexpected costs, such as textbooks, bus passes, tech, accommodation, laundry etc. This also affects sexual health awareness and the provision of FREE condoms, menstruation products and pregnancy tests for all its students.”

Speaking about sexual misconduct, violence and spiking, Lina said: “UoL should be a safe space and we need to do more to protect our students. I’m aiming to introduce mandatory consensual sex talks, as well bettering the complaint system which leaves victims feeling shamed and blamed. This also includes pushing UoL to sign the pledge to stop using NDAs in complaints about sexual harassment, bullying and other forms of misconduct.

“Finally, I am keen to improve the mental health services. We need to push investment in order to shorten waiting times, provide a variety of different treatments and have more staff. We cannot rely on UoL’s advice alone; students need actual help and there is no shame in that.”

Harry Merrell

Harry told us: “Let’s make up for the past, make the best of the present, and create a better future for everyone. For two years life has been put on hold and if any time there was a need to make a difference for today and the future, that time is now. Because for too long we’ve had too much talking and little doing, I want to get straight to the point.”

The main points of Harry’s campaign are: “Greater safety for everyone especially on nights out; greater mental health support following the pandemic; a greater student presence and impact within the Guild and on campus.”

And finally, to “put the wow back into the Liverpool experience. University equals opportunity plus diversity plus security. It’s the winning combination for everyone.”

Jamilia Kwajah-Ellimah

Jamilia’s campaign “encapsulates community, inclusion and student autonomy.”

Jamilia told us, “I have spent my time as Vice President championing the student voice and I want to continue to do so. I am prioritising hybrid learning and exams, ensuring students benefit from easier access to extenuating circumstances and reducing overlapping deadlines during the exam period.

“Secondly, I want to ensure that we have safer nights out in town by continuing my work with the Liverpool City Council. I have many other priorities that I am eager to work on such as decolonising the University and inclusivity on campus.”

Saikrishna Parisa (Chris)

Saikrishna’s campaign wishes to address three main ideas:

“University accommodation costs: Every student wants to stay in University accommodation. However, the price is making them take a step back. I will stand and raise my voice against the university accommodation charges.

“Regular interaction with students: Students are not aware of the Guild and how it can help in their term time. I want to implement a fast-medium (social media) platform where the course student representatives can reach out to us for guidance.

“Interactions and activities: Every student expects more than studies from a University, like guest lectures with corporate companies and industrial visits etc. On the other side, the opportunity to showcase their talents and participate in other extracurricular activities such as marathons, internal sports and physical and mental health-improving activities.

“I, being student officer will give the best efforts to solve the student’s issues as a team, and make sure that the students get complete support in the tough days at University.”

You can find more information on how to vote, and who is eligible to vote here.

You can also read each candidate’s manifesto in full here.