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VP Welfare Candidate Interview: Isabella Camilleri

Here’s what she had to say


What made you want to run for a Sabb position?

I wanted to run for a Sabb position because after having experienced 3 years at University, I know where areas are that need to change in order to improve student life. If I am elected the next VP Welfare I will make sure that schemes are put in place to change these problem areas that students are experiencing. For example, I didn't know what to do when struggling with my finances and only went to the Advice Centre because my housemate had received help, but if I'm elected I will make sure that students are better informed of who they can turn to for help and advice! Also, I'm really passionate about social justice, welfare and rights – this is the career path I want to go into! But, I didn't want to go straight into a grad job because I want to put my all into improving the welfare of students here first, using my drive to make real, positive changes.

What’s your favourite point in your manifesto?

My favourite point in my manifesto is to introduce a sustainable innovation competition for students. I think it will be so fun and awesome to have sustainable projects implemented at the Union, which have been designed by students. I'd like to hold a competition for groups to submit innovative, sustainable ideas on how to improve the Union and then implement the best ones! I think this would be a great opportunity for the environmental, science, engineering, creative and sustainable-conscious students we have to really contribute first hand to positive changes at the Union.

Why are you the best person for this role?

I think it's great how many people have gone for VP Welfare; reading everyone's manifestos was really interesting and there a lot of good ideas from everyone. However, I believe I'm the best candidate for this role as I have lots of experience working with SUSU and with the Welfare Zone already. I volunteer part time as Wellbeing Officer – where I attend regular meetings with other student leaders, I have planned wellbeing projects, and I have helped run and promote campaigns with the current VP Welfare. So, I know how things work and am ready to get straight into the role and start making positive changes. Also, I'd like to think I'm quite approachable and friendly – which I think are really important characteristics of a Sabb – and I hope that this will increase student-Sabb engagement. If I get this role I want students to know that they can come and talk to me, to suggest ideas or just have a chat, anytime whether at Uni or in Sainsburys!

What do you think is currently the weakest area of SUSU?

I think currently the weakest area is the accessibility and approachability of support services. We have so many great advice services available that do really great things; SUSU lettings, the Advice Centre, Nightline to name a few. The problem is that a lot of students don't know what, where or for who these services are. Reaching out for help with mental health is particularly difficult and I think it's unacceptable that when an individual finally gains the courage to seek for help they may go on the website to find a helpline and then have to struggle through the poor way it is currently designed in order to work out who to call for help! Then, if they do go through the processes to receive counselling most students have to wait months until they can receive this. As VP Welfare, I plan to introduce immediate help for students experiencing mental health problems and make support services MUCH more approachable and accessible.

What are you least looking forward to during your election campaign?

Having to find clothes to match my campaign t-shirts.

Snog, marry and avoid: Theresa May, Boris Johnson or Jeremy Corbyn?

Defo snog Boris, he has luscious locks. Then, although I agree with a lot of Jeremy Corbyn's principles I think he's a bit of a wet lettuce so I'd have to say avoid him and live a hard life in number 10 with T May.

What is your favourite Soton night out?

Obviously Jesters! As IF they're selling the Palace of Dreams… Do you think VPs have the power to buy property…?

Who is your dream dinner date?

The guy who does the voice over on Come Dine with Me.