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Piña coladas and not missing a single Damn Good: meet your candidates for activities and opportunities

This lot are always making the most of what UEA has to offer

Luke Hewerdine

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Luke puts himself about a bit at university being a third year history student, president and member of the coaching team for UEA Fencing AND is a British Sign Language tutor. He's got a good mixture of swords and sign language.

Luke's campaign has three main focal points: mental health, student leadership and deaf awareness. With mental health being at the forefront of many campaigns, to Luke, he wants to promotes the use of sport as a way of bettering mental health where students will take up leadership roles like coaches, referees, etc to create a positive sporting experience, so students them have someone who inspires them to do well and think positive. Deaf awareness is a topic Luke feels very passionate about. Since beginning BSL in 2015, Luke has realised how little deaf awareness there is and UEA needs to change quickly so it is truly accessible which interpreters are a right and not a privilege.

You'll be able to see Luke on the streets as part of his campaign will involve having conversations with students to find out exactly what he needs to be fighting for, especially as everyone's experiences with mental health vary. He will also be posting his manifesto in sign language on his social media, so keep your eyes peeled!

If you still feel like you don't know Luke, you'll definitely be able to judge his character as for Movember, he raised £224 by challenging 3 Norwich based fencing clubs each to a 60 point match.

So… will you #LookToLuke ?

Chris Poray

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If the incredible use of WordArt doesn't get your vote then I don't know what will. Chris Poray is a third year international relations student, Social Secretary of Badminton and university manager in association with The Times. So he's a busy boy.

One of Chris' aims is to make clubs and societies affordable so more students share those experiences as well as continuing investment into mental health services to create an enjoyable, less strenuous university experience for all. Chris wants to relax the students union policies to make it more accessible for students to gain internships, work and volunteer experiences. From his experience at The Times, he has realised that the SU need to accommodate businesses to make UEA students more employable.

Chris could be a man of the people with his astounding use of WordArt and the fact that he didn't miss a single Damn Good night out in second year, committed or sad? He'll let you decide.

Will you be shouting #HipHipPoray for Chris?

Oksana Shlonimskaya

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Oksana has travelled the world before landing at UEA. Born in Russia, grew up in USA, then Panama and finally here in Norwich where she is in her final year of Actuarial Science. Over her years as a student she has been involved in many activities and opportunities such as ISS, International Assembly, Actuarial Society, and Pole Fitness as well as working in the SU Finance and Venues. She has lengthy experience in working with and for the SU so she knows how to tackle her issues.

She has three main priorities in her campaign. Firstly, she wants to improve the knowledge about mental health with clubs/societies and staff having mental health first aid training, and introducing mental health reps for clubs and societies. Oksana wants to keep costs down as well as making session timings diverse to remove barriers from activities for students. Finally, she wants to improve storage and room bookings as clubs and societies struggle with booking rooms or storing equipment.

Whilst she comes across as a hard-working, target focused individual, she is just a regular Latina girl at heart since she grew up in Latin America. She loves piña coladas (and perhaps getting caught in the rain) so…

Are you supporting #O4O

Camille Verrier

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Camille is a Film and TV MA student as well as being part on the Ballet and the Dancesquad committees and being a sports executive, so there is no denying that she knows her way around a sports club.

One of her main campaign points is she also wants a efficient way to organise for clubs and societies, she realises that sometimes clubs can end up with the short straw, there needs to be a fairer system to cater to what specific sports or activities need.

Camille also wants more activities available during the holidays, to keep active and busy for those who are staying behind. Her final campaign point is she wants to live stream competitions, BUCS Wednesdays and matches either in blue bar or on an online platform so we can support all our teams even if we can’t physically be there!

You can expect to see Camille always on campus ready for a chat as well as lots of promotion on her social media. She literally sounds like us when she said " I’m lactose intolerant but I’m too French to accept nature’s barriers so I still eat cheese and croissants daily. I’m here for a fun and cheesy time". If that isn't determination, then I don't know what is.

Do you want #CamilleForActivities

Alicia Perez Lopez

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Alicia is a third year International relations and politics student and she has been part of many societies in her time including boxing, politics, livewire, UEATV and Spanish Society (which she co-started).

Alicia is not alone in wanting to implement more mental health and first aid training for committees, it is a big issue that needs addressing at UEA. She also wants to make it easier for sports clubs to book the Sportspark as it is expensive and difficult so easier access would be beneficial for all.

Being from Spain herself, she is placing a big focus on international students. They do not get the maintenance loan, and Alicia wants to push the SU for more funding via bursaries and loans for living costs. Outside of university, she wants to address the issue of landlords demanding a UK guarantor for international students or else they have to pay a whole year of rent upfront, because let's face it, who the hell has that kind of money?

Alicia will be going to basics with her campaign, she'll be talking to the students and putting who she is out there. To her, being passionate about what you're doing and talking about is key, for students to see your passion, they'll listen.

Is #AliForActivities for you?

You can vote for who you want to be your Activities and Opportunities Officer here