FARNHAM CAMPUS OFFICER CANDIDATES

RHIANNE HILL

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ABOUT ME:

Hiya, I’m Rhianne Hill, a third year student of interior architecture and design.

I have been at UCA a total of 5 years (2 years pre-degree at Rochester, 3 years at Farnham) and over the past 2 years especially I’ve really tried to make a difference. I have a get up and go attitude, and rather than complain about things, I’d much rather take proactive stance and try to productively make a change! Becoming LGBT Officer in my second year was all about that. I had friends struggling to find a community that represented their views and also provided a place to hang out and meet other likeminded people. I took it upon myself to represent these people in the student council, and began building a society in my third year. It’s been pretty good; friendships have come from it, and some lovely campaigns, regular meet ups, SU events. You name it, we’ve probably tried to do it!

Becoming Campus Officer to me is the next step up, taking what I’ve learnt from running a society, attending student council meetings and events, being a student on the SU trustee board, and a student rep for my course, and applying it to all students! I really want to encourage and help everyone make the SU a much more fun and exciting place that we students can truly be proud of.

IF ELECTED, HOW WOULD YOU CREATE MORE OF A COMMUNITY?

There is a real problem with student engagement with the SU, from voting at elections to attendance at Glasshouse events. I personally feel as though students have become disconnected from the SU, and have forgotten the power it holds! I want to break down the idea of “that place we sometimes go on a Friday night” and turn it into a vibrant hub of student activity.

The more I think about it, the more I realise that if students won’t engage with the SU, the SU should engage with students. This would mean:
– Regularly gate crashing lectures to say hello and offer support. People aren’t always aware of what the SU can do for them, so face-to-face conversations are key to explaining this.
– Encouraging students to run their own SU nights. The Malakas nights have been pretty successful this year and have proven what students can do! The more diverse the student nights are, the more students will find something they enjoy.
– Making it easier to set up a society. New groups could be given a temporary permit with SU support and minimal funding to see who’s interested before bureaucracy kicks in.
– Rethinking the SU space as more than where you eat and play pool, but as a space that represents students. Daytime events should be held to support this.

If people have a good idea, I’ll tear obstacles down and fight to make it happen for you. The SU should be for the students, by the students, and I want to kick start a strong community that supports this ideal.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS?

This is always an interesting question, because whilst students I’ve spoken to would love to share their skills and expertise, there’s often a deadline looming and simply not enough time for a side project, as well as that part time retail job and those social commitments too. It’s more about making the opportunities realistic, time efficient, and worthwhile. It’s a small example, but in the Gender and Sexual Diversity Society this year, I organised a collaboration between a graphic communication and an illustration student. The leaflets that came from that not only did the job of advertising the society and its events, but provided those students with experience outside of their course and a body of work to add to their portfolio.

Asking students to complete small projects, for the SU or for businesses in the local area, and to actually see them as a working successful project is hugely motivating. This can lead to paid work, excellent networking connections, and better work experiences. Just working with other students you’ve never met before can be fun and beneficial.

HOW WOULD YOU INSPIRE STUDENTS TO HAVE A VOICE?

By showing students what they’ve achieved in the past and what’s possible for the future, and giving them a platform to do it all on! People aren’t always aware of their own capabilities or the resources available to them, and through simple encouragement and support we can create a very strong student voice collectively. I feel many students have good ideas and strong opinions and simply need a better opportunity and more convenient times to voice them, and I will work hard to ensure everyone who wants it has the chance to say what’s on their mind.

 

CHARLOTTE LAWRENCE

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ABOUT ME:

I am currently a 3rd year Illustration student and an active member of the student council, I was elected last year as a Student Experience Officer and I also work at the unions bar and library coffee shop, so you may know me as many beverage girl!

I love film, music and art and particularly enjoy gaming too. I am a fan of silly jokes and clever puns!

IF ELECTED, HOW WOULD YOU CREATE MORE OF A COMMUNITY?

What I want to do to create more of a stronger community is make people more aware of what they have access to across the campus, and creating stronger links and bonds between courses. I want to show people that they have access to a wider range of equipment and workshops, through cross course collaborations and the creation of induction days.

I would also like to make the student union more known, as I currently feel that not many people know what they can access via the students union and what roles are available to benefit them and the others around them. I would do this with having designated days you can meet the council and ask questions, more student and council contact days to discuss important issues and have a poster with the student council members names and roles on.

WHAT OPPORTUNITIES WOULD YOU LIKE TO MAKE AVAILABLE FOR STUDENTS?

I would like to introduce an idea called ‘Induction days’. This is the idea that someone from Film Production can go to the 3DD wood work shops and be inducted on how to use the machines, and then use it to benefit their degrees. I think that there should be ‘cross course pollination’ so students can get more out of the high fees they are paying, and feel like at the end it wasn’t all such a waste of money.

As our university is unable to have 24 hour library, my idea is to have one day a week where they are able to stay open until 10 pm, much like late night shopping days. This give students the opportunity to work for longer on projects and get access to the IT facilities that they may be unable to access from home.

HOW WOULD YOU INSPIRE STUDENTS TO HAVE A VOICE?

I think that by creating a better bond between the Students Union and the students them selves and by showing them how they can affect their education for the better this can inspire students to want to have a voice. I want to make students more aware of the events that can affect their time at university, such as ASM, and their ability to impact the way the university is run.

I feel that there should be more awareness raised for the students about the roles of the Student Council and then in the future feel they can fulfill these roles and make the university not just a better place for themselves, but for everyone else.

I want to also be seen as someone the students can utilize, to vocalize the collective view of the students and express these opinions to the necessary people, to make students feel like their views and opinions matter and that they do have a say in what they want to change and create a better university experience.

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