We asked presidential candidate, Ned Tilbrook, some revealing questions

He once wrote a report for the Prime Minister of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq

With the voting nearly closed, it’s time for our last round of revealing questions. Best of luck to everyone involved.

Ned Tilbrook – Running for President

The Tab: Hey Ned, could you just briefly outline your pledges and what you wish to do for UWE?

Ned: ‘Ok – what I want to do is make our SU more transparent and accountable; I’m promising to release a report on every meeting I have with the university so that students know exactly what is being said and done on their behalf. I think this is important for a few reasons – firstly with the new HE bill and TEF possibly coming in getting a degree could become even more expensive so I think it’s more important than ever that students know what their union, the organisation designed to represent them is doing for them. I also think it’s a great way to engage students in what the SU does, by letting them know exactly how it works.

‘I also think an SU that is transparent and accountable truly has the power and moral authority to hold the university to the same high standards. On that note, I’ve also promised to invite the university to send senior representatives to answer questions from students in the SU bar regularly. Again, I think this is a great way to boost engagement and to offer students a chance to ask their questions directly. As I mentioned going to uni is only getting more expensive and I believe that’s a trend we need to push hard to buck. That’s why I will oppose any increases in fees that might result from the new HE bill as well as any increases in halls rent.’

‘Obviously, these things are beyond the direct control of the SU president and I won’t make any promises I can’t keep so I can’t promise my efforts in this regard will be successful. But I will absolutely do everything within my power to keep costs down. I’m also planning to schedule regular (at least monthly) visits to every campus, to sit down and listen to what students have to say.

‘The role of president is so important and challenging because the job is to represent an enormous student body spread out over so many campuses and so I think it’s absolutely necessary to make sure I’m engaging with all parts of the student body. Following on from that, after some conversations I’ve had with a very close friend of mine who lived at home during his first year, I’m proposing the creation of a new Home Student Officer role designed to represent students living at home.

‘We talked about how he felt quite left out when he came to UWE living at home, and there’s a sizeable section of UWE students who do live at home. For a lot of us we just think of moving out when we think of going to uni, so I think some representation for those who stay at home would be a good idea. Finally, I’m also passionate about reducing our environmental impact so I’ll lobby hard for food waste bins around campus (only outside obviously!) and to have recyclable coffee cups.

‘In summary, I really do believe that a strong, transparent and accountable union can truly represent our students while engaging people more and more in the work it does. Sorry, that probably doesn’t count as brief but I got on a role! Hope that gives you what you need.’

Thanks for that.

So when it’s time to wind down from a hard day of flyering and campaigning, what’s your favourite club in Bristol?

‘If I’m being honest I’m more of a pub/live band person but I’ve had some really good nights at the Fleece both watching bands and clubbing.’

Can’t go wrong with Propaganda. Could you tell us a random interesting fact about you, that we wouldn’t know based only on your manifesto?

‘I once wrote a report for the Prime Minister of the autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. I used to live in Erbil and I was an assistant to the VC of the university of Kurdistan!’

Fantastic stuff! Can you tell us a joke?

‘Alright. How about a sociology themed one? That’s what I study. Why don’t capitalists revise for their exams?’

I don’t know.

‘Because they don’t want any Marx!’

Moving swiftly on. Have you every slept with someone and forgotten their name?

‘Honestly? I’ve slept with someone and we only swapped names the next morning. Technically not forgetting but just as bad probably!’

If you could take another one of the candidates that you’re up against out on a dinner date, who would you choose and why?

‘I’d say Zain – really enjoyed discussing with him at the hustings tonight and also I want to know who designed his poster – it’s amazing!’

How cute. Once again, best of luck to all the candidates.

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