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‘I slept in bed with a traffic cone covered in mud after a drunken night out’: Meet Jessica Harding running for VP Education and Democracy

She wants free initial printing credits for all

Running for VP Education and Democracy is Jessica Harding! We sent her a number of questions about her manifesto, elections, her dreams for SUSU and some extras that we all wanted to know.

1. Why do you think you’d be good for this role?

I have been the Academic President for History this academic year and it has given me the confidence in public speaking, the skills in managing the course reps team and the ability to coordinate with the History department. This experience makes me a great candidate for the role of VP Education and Democracy. I understand each level of the Course Representative structure as I have experienced it myself, so I have a great knowledge in how the Academic Representation across SUSU operates.

2. What is the most important point in your manifesto?

The one most important points of my manifesto, that you will be most excited about, is that I will look into how I can campaign for a free initial printing credit for students across all departments of the university. Some students get an allowance already and some don’t, and I want to rectify this difference across departments. It will allow students to print off their handbooks if they choose and allow students who prefer not to read on a screen to print some of their resources without a cost to themselves.

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

The first thing I will change is to improve the visibility of the Joint Honours and Post-Graduate course representative positions we have available; this will allow both groups to feel that they these roles are worth nominating themselves for. In turn we will have a greater understanding of exactly what Joint Honours and Post-Graduate students want to improve their university experience

4. What area of our Student Union do you think needs the greatest improvement?

The Student’s Union presence across all campuses is the area that needs the greatest improvement. Many students in Winchester School of Art, NOCS and Boldrewood feel isolated as they are away from Highfield as the main hub of the Student’s Union. We need to have more SUSU events periodically in these campuses to make the presence even greater across all University of Southampton sites.

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

I am an incredibly hard working student, I am enthusiastic and have a great work ethic that I find is a great strength of my character. Let’s be honest, in the election process you are buying into personality, and I have the right one that’ll make your vote worthwhile. I have always given my all into everything I do, and you will want someone who will tirelessly campaign to ensure that your voice is heard within the student union and across the university, right?

6. How would you celebrate if you won?

If I win I will celebrate my victory with my excellent campaign team. This includes History friends, netball girls, housemates and friends from halls. They have been the best and most supportive friends and it feels like it as much of their effort as mine in this campaign. I have no doubt it would be a messy night, but well deserved by all.

7. Any secret talents?

I have no fear of needles, so I have given blood roughly every four months since I was 17. My brother was born very premature and received seven blood transfusions when he was a baby, hence why I have donated blood 9 times, I hope to make it to 50 donations one day. You can donate at the General Hospital, in the Donation Centre!

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

After a crazy gin-drunken night out in Sobar in second year, I slept in bed with a traffic cone that was covered in mud. I do not remember it but I do have photos that a friend took, so that night will never be forgotten

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9. Favourite post-night-out food?

Heatwave Doritos, they are by far the best post-night-out food that can be eaten from the comfort of your bed.

10. What is your favoruite Soton tab meme?

The meme of the hamter when the photographer comes up to you whilst clubbing. I found it very true since I normally look for the photo days after and find that they are tragic.

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