Yolanda King is a 22 year-old MA Criminology student. During her 4 years at Nottingham, which saw her also obtain a BA in Geography, Yolanda ran for the position of SU Sports Officer in 2015 and 2016, and on both occasions was unfortunately unsuccessful. But never one to quit, she is back again this year running for the position of Postgrad Officer. The Tab caught up with King to hear about her campaign.
What’s your campaign about?
My campaign is about improving accessibility to opportunities and improving integration and communication. My experience in sport at Nottingham, competing as a sports scholar and as president and women’s captain, as well as campaigning the SU elections has provided me with a fantastic and varied experience at uni, but also talking to students has highlighted that there is so much we have to offer that people are not aware of. I want to use these to integrate our student community as well as a fantastic outlet for social, physical and mental wellbeing. My manifesto also reflects the fact that the Postgraduate officer role represent Postgrads, of course, but undergraduates as well, with ideas that will benefit the whole student community.
Why did you want to run again?
I told myself at the beginning of this academic year that I should not and would not run again. The experience was incredible and beneficial both times I ran in previous years; I definitely came out of my shell a bit after my 2nd yr; campaigning really improved my communication skills and knowledge of the University, but I definitely neglected my course at some points. However this year I continued to stay involved, up to date and talking to students… my passion for the Students’ Union and our student community was still there and has never left. So here I am again, passionate as ever.
How did you feel having been unsuccessful on your previous two attempts?
After my first year, I thought it had been a fantastic experience, I was disappointed but respected the fact that I perhaps didn’t know as much as I should have. Last year, I was absolutely gutted! I decided to campaign the first time with the thought that if I didn’t win, I would have a great experience and build my knowledge to use to run again. I worked extremely hard and gave it my all last year – I was absolutely gutted. It was a extremely difficult decision to put myself back on the line again, but I definitely think sport and campaigning has given me tenacity to work for things I am passionate about, even if it is hard.
What has been peoples’ reaction to your campaign?
I was a bit afraid that people would kind of just think not again, and there has been a few but I’ve mostly had really positive responses! My own campaign team and friends settled some fears with their initial messages, some of them have been there right from the first campaign, so I did feel a little bad asking for the support again – it takes a lot of time and dedication from them too!
What is it about the SU that makes you want to work there?
I love our University. I’ve had an amazing experience and fantastic opportunities, met a whole variety of great people and really have felt at home in Nottingham. I want to share these available opportunities to more students. I also think my wide range of experience as an athlete and passion gives me the tenacity to work to achieve goals. I want to make a positive change for the community which has made such a positive impact on my own experience!
What’s been your standout UoN moment?
My stand out moment is when I was voted Sports Woman of the Year in 2015, after a good season and my first campaign for sports officer. It was absolutely incredible and totally unexpected! Followed it up with a great night at Crisis of course!
Hopefully you don’t have to cross this bridge, but if you were unlucky on Friday, would you run again next year?
I’m currently studying a full time MA so I can’t really see myself being here studying for another year as much as I love uni and Nottingham. This is my last shot!
Voting closes midday Friday March 17th in the SU Elections