The Tab meets the Election Candidates: Matt Deaves

As part of The Tab’s election coverage, we meet be-jumpered 4th year Icelandic Studies student Matt Deaves, who is encouraging UCL to ‘Believe in Deaves’ and vote for him to be Welfare & International Officer.

democracy knitwear matt deaves UCLU elections

 Hey Matt! Voting started on Friday. How’s it going?

It’s going well! I’m always a bit of a pessimist so I always like to be doing more, and a little bit better, but I think we’re doing the right thing.

Students are always promised a lot from these elections. What do you think you can feasibly achieve from the points in your manifesto?

All of the points of my manifesto are feasible. I wouldn’t have put them on there if I didn’t think we could definitely make a lot of progress on these issues.

I think I can most definitely make Welcome Fair more welcoming and accessible by doing an ‘E-welcome Fair’ as well as the one in the flesh, as it were. You’d have it online and you’d be able to fill out your email address into each society’s mailing list. It would be up for longer, and you can get around so many accessibility issues just by doing that, which is just one example of a good feasible thing we can achieve.

With one word (two maximum), complete the phrase ‘Matt Deaves is…’

… a campaigner.

Knitting hill…. anyone?

(Current Welfare and International Officer) Katie has worked closely with this year’s Women’s Officer Beth Sutton, who has had a controversial term involving scuffles with the police and being dragged out of a George Galloway debate. Has she acted in a manner appropriate for a UCL sabbatical officer?

I think you’d have to take that up with Beth Sutton. As Women’s Officer I think she’s done a great job. But I do not self define as a woman so my opinion of her and her role is of no consequence.

Your name anagram came out as ‘Ashamed wet vet’. What’s your favourite aquatic animal?

Is this where I show off my really awful knowledge of what ‘aquatic’ means?! Um..ok. I’d say a hippo. Is that aquatic?!

He’s a bad candidate, don’t vote for him…. knit! (supposed to sound like ‘not’… no?!)

I think hippos are technically semi-aquatic. It’ll do anyway. Do you have any trash-talk for your opposition Leah and Shafeeq? And if not, why should voters choose you over the others?

Well, both of them would be brilliant candidates for the role. What I’d have to say is that they’ve never been involved in the union before.

They don’t know how it works, they have never shown any interest in a role in the union before or in the kind of areas that this role covers and for them to have come up in the last few weeks and say that they’ll fight for keeping down education costs – very similar to what I’m saying – it’s interesting because they have no track record of ever fighting a campaign or anything like that. That’s what sets us apart.

What’s your track record then?

For better or for worse I’ve been involved in campaigns here at UCL since a demo I went on in my 3rd week in 2010, ranging from things like the London living wage to fees and cuts to saving the health centre.

I’m a political activist, and not just on issues that face UCL, but our community, in my own borough, in Southwark, in Camden (when I used to live there), with the Labour party and with other organisations too.

What’s your take on ULU’s possible closure?

I’m firmly against the closure of ULU. Irrespective of how you think it is or what you think it is, services for students have to be categorically run by students democratically. We cannot allow a private enterprise or the university to get rid of students unions and install managers and bureaucrats into running the union. It is of paramount importance that we, as a community, control our own resources.

Also it’s a shame because ULU has often been pretty awful, but this year it’s actually started to do some great stuff, with the women’s campaign as an absolutely fantastic example of this, and the cynic would say that’s probably why they’re clamping down on it.

The dark knit rises.

You are campaigning to be Welfare and International Officer at London’s Global University. What’s the best country in the world and why?

Well I’d have to say Iceland! My degree is in Icelandic and I was there last year.

Seems a bit biased! And the second best?

Well I’ve only been to about four! So I’d have to say Denmark, because I study Danish too.

You like your Nordic countries! So, a final question I had to ask. Why do you love knitwear, and is that your ‘thing’?

Yeah, a good shirt and a nice chunky knit will get you out of a lot of situations, I’ve always found. I don’t want to be someone that says the word ‘branding’ but it has somehow become ‘branding’, especially in these elections. But I’ve just got a great wardrobe full of knitwear. I don’t know where it came from. I have to wear this jumper for the entire time now!

You can vote for Matt and his famous knitwear until the deadline at 3pm on Friday 7th March!