‘I can sit on the ground with my legs apart and put my head on the floor between them’ : Joanne Lisney is running for VP Education and Democracy

She feels she can unite Postgrads, Undergrads and PHD students


VP for Education and Democracy is probably one of the most important roles within SUSU. They make sure our voices are heard in terms of our academic results and various elections throughout the year.

Joanne Lisney is running for this position and feels she can truly represent and unite both postgrads and undergrads! We thought we would speak to her and find out all the answers to the important questions we know everyone is dying to hear.

Why do you think you would be good for this role?

As someone who has undertaken a placement year as an English teacher whilst at college, I have gained experience and skills that are appropriate to this role. Whilst teaching at a secondary school is different from the VP Education role, it has allowed me to work with a wide range of people from different backgrounds, thus harnessing negotiation skills and compassion. Likewise, it has driven me to want to make positive changes at university. I have also become more confident and learnt to become a leader as loads of people do not know what they are doing and look for reassurance – this is what I can offer. I am constantly accessible through social media but also in person which is key.

What is the most important point in your manifesto?

To make university and union expenditure known. Whilst the university now must publish figures, it should be even more publicised i.e. the union sharing this on social media for students to access. Likewise, there should be justifications for the expenditure because many students have lost their trust in Southampton University and the union. If people cannot trust those elected, then surely the union has failed to do its job.

What is the first thing you’d change if you were elected?

I would implement a system which reminds students 24 hours prior to hand-ins that work is due/as soon as a deadline is missed.

What areas of our Student Union do you think needs the greatest improvement?

Saabs need to be more accessible. By that I mean Saabs need to be seen more around university as many students feel that the union is disconnected between undergrads, postgrads and PHD students. It might not seem huge, but it will make a difference as it will unite the union with students and ensure changes that students want are made

What makes you different from the other candidates also running for the same position?

Whilst Jess and Evelyn have made excellent points about postgrad and PHD engagement, I don't want to separate the different groups of people. For example, I would like to set up hubs/breakfasts/social events (like karaoke) that allows undergrads to interact with postgrads and PHD students frequently. Undergrads can learn a lot from those older than them and vice versa whilst also making friends!

How would you celebrate if you won?

Go for a meal with my campaign team!

Any secret talents?

I’m flexible, so I can sit on the floor with my legs apart and put my head on the floor.

What is the maddest thing you’ve done since being at Uni?

Probably drink 16 Jägerbombs, 4 double JD and cokes, 3 ciders and a larger on a night out. Then not go to bed until 7am and be up at 9am to go to my breakfast show for Surge.

Favourite post-night out food?

Any pizza. Even when it is bad, it is good!

What is your favourite Soton tab meme?

When the lecturer is asking about the seminar reading and nobody has done it. This has happened to me so many times and is relatable to humanity students.

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