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VP Welfare Candidate Interview: Miriam Barker

Here’s what she had to say

We caught up with Miriam Barker, one of the candidates for VP Welfare in the upcoming elections, to find out about her plans for the union and some other equally important information.

What made you want to run for a Sabb position?

As someone who has dealt with/is currently dealing with mental illnesses, learning disabilities etc., I am very aware of how it feels to not know how to get help or even feeling that you aren't worthy of help. I want to be welfare officer so I can create ways to minimise students having these problems and feeling like they have no one to turn to.

What’s your favourite point in your manifesto?

To host more events and workshops that support and promote understanding of hidden illnesses. I think its really important we drop the stigma surrounding problems that aren't obvious to others, mental illnesses in particular still get massively overlooked as legitimate issues. Especially as students, we go through many stresses and problems in general, and we should never feel like we are alone and without support.

Why are you the best person for this role?

This is my 4th year as a student here, and so I have seen how the union has changed in this time and what further changes should be made. I have first hand experiences with many facilities provided by the Union, for example nightline, enabling, and the advice centre to name a few, so have lots of ideas on how to better these facilities and have them more visible. I also just genuinely want to help people and to get this job representing and supporting students would be amazing.

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

I think communications between the Union and students is lacking, which has led to a number of services provided by the union- Nightline, SUSU lettings, enabling services etc- to be less accessible as many students are not aware of them and what they can provide. The lack of communication also leads to decisions being made by the Union that students don’t actually want or are not priority for them- I hope to gain as much input on Union decisions from students as possible, as I see no point in a student Union that doesn’t listen to it's students.

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

Not posting memes on social media to leave room for sharing all the election info!

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

Snog Theresa May- she will be SO uncomfortable – I'm too gay for her, Boris is avoided like the plague and marry Jezza hands down.

What is your favourite Soton night out?

Jesters (obvs) then Manzils- gotta end the night right!

Who is your dream dinner date?

Ima say myself- I know what I like #treatyoself.