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‘Our campus needs a replacement for East Slope’: The Tab Sussex speaks to SU Candidate Jonathan Busby

How does one ‘buzz for busby’?


Jonathan Busby is a second-year Maths student, whose main aims are; to introduce a 'freshers week for everyone', and to ensure that room 76 is transformed into a bar good enough to rival our beloved East Slope.

His other policies include cheaper buses, affordable housing, more live music, and more communal areas around campus to relax.

We sat down to chat with Jonathan, who states that he would be a strong candidate because he “knows how the uni is run, has been a student rep for two years, and is president of the math society.”

One of the central points of your manifesto is a centralised hub where students and local bands can perform, as well as societies hosting events such as pub quizzes. How will this differ to Falmer bar or the New Cafe?

“Although I am undecided on where to place the new bar, and realise that this new development cannot take place within the New Cafe, I plan to transform Room 76 to make it more for students.”

As a member of the societies committee, Jonathan understands that many societies are limited in both funding and socials, and so wants “to create a booking system for societies”, whereby “they can book out certain slots within Room 76. This will also make it clearer to students which events are on the timetable on which particular night.”

“It will differ from Falmer, as I plan to open up the Falmer bar main block and get more staff on duty, as it gets very busy. I will also push for more live music and comedy nights by making the sports bar open more regularly, and if it’s possible I will try to bring back Skint for Room 76.”

He additionally tells us that he will “set out some focus groups from different sections, such as international students, and discuss what they need and want.”

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Two more policies that Jonathan wishes to implement are ‘cheaper affordable housing’, and ‘better IT services.’ Many other candidates seem to pledge this, but how do you intend to achieve this? If the uni lowers prices for housing, how will they spend more on IT services?

“In terms of housing, I would attempt to reduce rent so that it’s no more than 70% of the cheapest loan. I would also ensure there is more support for students who are moving into houses, including carrying on the guarantor’s scheme. I am aware that they do talks at the moment, but I want to expand on the talks so that more students can go to them, plus expand the housing services because the room is too small.

"To fund the better IT services, I would try to get more advertising from different companies and use the freshers fair to get more money. I would then attempt to improve Eduroam, and the out of date printers.”

Linking to his other policy of better and cheaper buses, Jonathan also states that he will “meet with a bus company and try introduce more variety in tickets, such as a yearly student ticket. There’s a big gap between the one month and three month ticket, and so something between them such as a half term ticket.”

A major policy on your manifesto is making a freshers week for everyone. Do you not think that the Student Union have already done this? Plus, is this not the job of the Activities Officer?

“Feedback from post-grads say they feel left out of freshers as it’s for under 25’s. I would therefore suggest a post-grad meet up, or more non-drinking games such as board game meetups, as the ones already in place are fairly boring.

"Another idea I’ve had is to find a way for international students to express their culture, because I feel that they don’t have enough opportunities here.”

Following this, Jonathan also includes a “Freshers' Fair exclusively for societies and students” within his manifesto. He believes that this should include an “academic and interest society such as maths and chess society competition.” In relation to expanding Varsity, he suggests a “sing-off for the music societies”, or a “maths/science competition. This does not just include chess, but something for everyone.”

Finally, he states that “The President's role is to overview, and so their job can feed into other people's roles.”

How would you ensure that there is more promotion of Sussex student media?

Jonathon tells us that he would like to "promote media such as The Tab, Badger or URF by using the full time officers. Also through union TV, and mentioning it regularly in meetings."

He explains further; "I would additionally ensure that the loop is active and that all students know and use it regularly, as no one knows that the loop is a feedback tool for students to use. For example, if students report claiming that they don’t have enough space on campus, then the union could bring it up.”

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