Elections: VP Communications interview

Tom Steadman poses some typically Tab questions to this year’s VP Communications candidates

To help you all make your choices on who to vote for we thought we’d do some of the hard work for you. We decided to email all the candidates for positions with a set list of questions and get them to answer them. With one catch: the answers can’t be more then 300 characters or we’ll cut them off. Because we feel if you can’t be clear in 300 characters (2 tweets for those of you non-twitterers) then do you deserve to be in control of SUSU media?

Chloe Richardson (CR)

David Gilani (DG)








Why are you best for VP Comms?

(CR) I’m just so ready for this. I know how to get a job done & will give it everything. I’m willing to learn, but also already have ideas that i’ve picked up along my 4 years in Southampton. Monte JCR Pres, SUSU Promo/Reception team & living in Brazil for a year have all contributed to my policies!

(DG) I’m approachable, passionate (as seen from my experience over the last 3 years) and that I want to listen to students to find answers. Also, I’ve already started doing this. My manifesto is filled with solutions to problems students have had, and best of all, it’s all achievable.

Do you think there is a clique issue within SUSU media?

(DG) We can always do more to show that SUSU Media is open to any student. But I wouldn’t call it a ‘clique issue’.

(CR) Clique is perhaps a strong word, but I think that people are often intimidated by the close-knit friendships in some of the media teams to the extent of which they feel unable to try and take part. This is a shame! It’s something I want to completely stamp out.

If so, how do you intend to counter it?

(DG) Media Taster Days, helping to communicate the accessibility of Media Departments after Freshers’ Week; Docs explaining how students from other areas of SUSU can collaborate; and a better culture of accountability and feedback.

(CR)  Promoting the media departments properly in pre-Fresher packs, making sure that it is continually publicised throughout the year and through a variety of means, and targeting those from every area of the student body. People need to be aware that they CAN in fact join, and it isn’t actually scary!

Would you rather be chased by a horse sized duck or duck sized horses and why?

(CR) Duck-sized horse, of course! They exist, in wooden and plastic forms. And maybe even in real life, somewhere. But a horse-sized duck.. Wow. Think about it. It’s scary!

(DG) Some duck sized horses would be pretty cute… Could I ride the horse sized duck? Once I tame it, of course. Can you tame ducks?

How would you improve SUSU media?

(CR) Make it more inclusive – get it working alongside societies, the PA, the AU more, to integrate them within the media world! Also, maybe try and get in some new microphone stands.

(DG) I’d help facilitate more collaboration across SUSU; more constructive committee training; better understanding of budgets; better support to create targets and goals at the start of the year; and by being a more approachable Sabbatical.

What is wrong in your opponents manifesto?

(DG) It just doesn’t go into enough detail. There’s too much listing of problems without showing solutions; and then when there are solutions, they’re usually of the form: “make this easier / promote this more”.

(CR) The 365 day plan I think is slightly flawed. I’m realistic, and appreciate that you can’t perhaps make a day-to-day plan this much in advance, before training etc, because, frankly, you don’t actually know what hurdles you’re going to come across!

Who out of the other people in the elections do you find attractive?

(DG) Dean ‘Giant’ Jones’ sweetcorns

(CR) All of them, what a bunch.

Is independant media important in SUSU and why?

(CR) Within SUSU, I would suggest that media can never be 100% independent due to the legal implications – SUSU is a company as a whole, and anything released by it, in whichever media form, will reflect on the union. Though, I do think SUSU does quite a good job of expressing student opinion..

(DG) Extremely important! SUSU needs a culture where every student has a voice and all Sabbaticals are accountable. This can never happen if Media Departments aren’t free to criticise their Sabbs. Therefore it helps SUSU. Also, it gives more opportunities for investigative journalism, by SUSU Media.

Can you actually deliver anything you promise?

(DG) Everything! My entire manifesto is about being achievable. I want to help SUSU, but I also want to give students some confidence in student politics; I.e. that you get what you vote for! Pick a policy and I’ll tell you how and when it’ll get done! 🙂

(CR) Ha, I would hope so! I haven’t promised anything radical, and that is deliberate. Having been in a candiidate position before within SUSU, I know that you will always come across problems, and so should never promise anything you can’t deliver.

What cheese best describes you?

(DG) Cheddar! Accessible; I get on with pretty much everyone; I’m not always mature, but I can be when I need to be; I’m not trying to do anything revolutionary, but just be there for everyone; and I enjoy being grilled.

(CR) WELL, I would say Edam because.. It looks like it may be not the best cheese, due to the strange colour of its rind, but IN FACT, it is quite nice (surprisingly so, some might say) and tastes delicious with a fruity chutney (fact). And you’d always choose it over stilton (yuck)

We at the Soton Tab have had a good relationship with current VP Comms Joe Mclo this year, being formally invited to events such as the Cube media unveiling and the elections. How would this relationship work with you as VP Comms?

(CR) I imagine it would be pretty much the same – I respect Soton Tab, enjoy reading it, and would be happy to continue this relationship!

(DG) Students read the Soton Tab. Therefore in cases where we’re trying to communicate with students, it’d be foolish NOT to invite the Tab. The Tab was the first media outlet to get a story out about the new Cube, I believe. 

Who would you Shag, Marry and avoid on the current Sabb team?

(CR) Ha! Who thought of these questions?! Am I allowed to say no comment?

(DG) Ohh… I’m gonna have to use my pass on this one.

It’s no secret that the relationship between previous VP Comms and Editors has been very strained in the past, mostly because of “censorship” issues. How are you going to manage this?

(DG) We have been working with the current VP Comms to create a SUSU Media Code of Conduct, so we have in writing where the rights and responsibilities of the VP Comms and Editors lie. The process no longer comes down to the personal relationship between the VP Comms and Editors.

(CR) I’ll make sure everyone knows the rules before they even start. Legality IS important, and SUSU, at the end of the day, will be affected as a whole if censorship rules are broken.

And finally, what’s in your fridge right now?

(CR) On my shelf: Lurpak, Parmasan, Cathedral City, Seabass, Mild Salsa, Crab Paste (it’s disgusting, don’t buy it) and some rosemary. And full-fat milk, because there is no substitute

(DG) Hehe before campaign week I cooked a load of Bolognese sauce, so I can reheat it when I’m eating at home through the week. Oh and some cheddar, because it’s a good cheese to vote for! 😉


And there you go. Both have a sense of humour which is a bonus!! And restricting their answers seems to have had no effect on them getting their points across. Now you know a little more about each candidate why not show who you’re voting for with the poll below?