MARCH 2013 ELECTION – FARNHAM MANIFESTOS

CAMPUS OFFICER (4 CANDIDATES, 1 POSITION)

CANDIDATE 1: JAYNE HORSWILL

 HAVE PRIDE IN UCA!

My name is Jayne Horswill, I’m on the Journalism course and I want to be your Campus Officer. 

Since my first year I have been involved in the politics of the university, but that’s not all; I’ve been involved with the Students’ Union and with helping people get their voices heard all around campus. I’m standing because I want to help – I want to fight for what students think is right and make sure that the university experience is what each student wants it to be.

My strengths
I know the university system inside and out, and have done since first year. I know a lot already about how this university works. I’m familiar with a lot of students and staff through working behind the bar and I care about what happens to all of you. I’m not afraid to stand up for what I believe in and I’m happy to do it on your behalf. I’m not shy, and I’m not a coward; I’m strong when it matters most.

 If you elect me, I’m going to put all this to good use: I want to transform the Quad at the heart of the university into somewhere that is welcoming and enjoyable to take a break.

 I will introduce workshops for every course on how to design a professional portfolio using different pieces of software tailored to their needs.

 For the drivers: I want to fill those holes in up in the car park: even if I have to buy the gravel and do it myself!

 I will work with the course leaders to improve the course representative system, making sure every elected student feels confident in their responsibility.

 I will commit to improving democracy in the Student’s Union through the Student Council, making sure that you are all given a chance to have your voice heard at every opportunity, and I’ll help you with any problem you have.

 I believe that students deserve more than two sentences when it comes to feedback on their work. I will continue the progress started by previous officers to improve the feedback scheme and make sure students are given clear guidance on how to improve their work.

 I will be the first female campus officer in Farnham for four and a half years, and I won’t let that go to waste; I’ll fight for gender equality, and fight sexual harassment as much as I can.

I don’t think the university is working with us as well as they could be – staff can forget how much the fees are, and the comparison to the experiences some students have. I want to help fix that. I want to make it better for students, make university feel worth their while, and when a protest opportunity comes round, we can take it.

So, I am asking you to vote for me. I want to be the lion that fights for you. I want us to be a pride that works together to improve the experience for all. 

I WANT YOU TO HEAR MY ROAR! VOTE JAYNE!

 

CANDIDATE 2: LAURENCE MACDONALD

Hello All my name is Laurence MacDonald I am currently studying Arts And Media in my third year and for me like others University life is coming to a close and the doors are either opening or shutting far behind myself. So with things coming to an end I have decided to go out with one least big big bang, my time has at UCA has sure been a pleasant one but there sure has been some unpleasant and I hope if elected I can reflect some of the strong aspects about my experience and place more amazing outcomes like never before.

So have you ever walked round this place and felt like this was a University that you imagined it to be?

That can change and will change, as much as there has been a disconcert with the rise of fees and the elitist aspect from the Government, we can end this miserable grey cloud and spread the word that UCA Farnham is the one for Art!

Though it has been tough, through the last year with the fee’s increase this will not stamp out the University’s creative field in which it’s still strong in Art and Film its time to suck our gut in and stay strong and reason with political changes that have occurred in resent events. Though this does not mean we need to cower in a corner and let these interferences effect out our inner creative selves. The future as it stand seems to be very unbalanced and disconcerting with the lack of paid Internships and hoax jobs that are placing future graduates in dyer situations.

I would not wish anybody to have a bad experience for the price there paying towards there degree. We need to start thinking what benefits You! What do you want to get out to the University with the help from the Union and im not just talking about a money funded Dubstep night. I’m talking your experience counts all the way to the end and even further. Recently the union stands out as being a commercialized night club and less of a social scene. This will Change.

As for courses it seems like less creativity has been expressed in a lot of you due to money, would you not be on the course and come out with at least something free? A Lot of these debates and issues can be raised if elected.

Feeling like we are a needle in a haystack, A lot of outside places still do not know we exists so branching out is great for connection though in collaboration partners with ACM this is still not enough would you prefer more socialist and business connections.

First of all my amendments if elected:

1. Create a Social experience for everybody’s choice of field this does not just mean holding a night at the SU I’m talking in terms of events that will help bring in more chances of gaining jobs and career building opportunity’s that will surpass our current conditions. Internships PAID and worth the risk for receiving a job at the end ! open end collaborations and guest talks in the SU in career options that don’t come with strings attached.

2. As being the only place to go out on nights out in Farnham, I would aim not just to present DJ and open mic nights but to expand further in actually brining in professional comedy nights, screen films after UNI hours and to ensure that everybody’s nights are accommodated for and recommended that everbody has a chance at holding a night and less of the commercial nights. Its been a while since a last good band jammed on the stage and drinks where on better offers. This will be amended.

3. Last but not least if elected I aim defend your rights as a person and make sure you get the most out of the money you spend on the course, I don’t wish to see bake sales and busking in a way to earn money for your course, if your paying an astonishing amount on your course I will aim to make sure that its worth every penny and your not having to waste your learning time baking cakes just to fund your projects.

I will do everything in my power to keep within the lines of my amendments an make UCA a university experience and not just a gift Shop. VOTE FOR ME VOTE FOR LOZ !!

A vote for me is not a wasted vote!!!

There is still LOZ of things to do.

VOTE FOR CHANGE

Free Ponies for all ( Don’t quote me on that )

CANDIDATE 3: SARAH POLLARD

My name is Sarah Pollard and I’m currently in my final year at UCA Farnham studying BA (Hons) Animation. The position I am
standingfor in the Students Union is Campus Officer.

I am standing for this position because I believe that with the students help I can make a difference to our University; resolving
any issues or problems students come across during their time at UCA.

MY STRENGTHS
I believe my strengths enable me to sustain and improve the Union.

These strengths are:

• Leadership
• Team work
• Organisation
• Time management
• Dedication
• People Skills.

HOW I WILL USE MY SKILLS TO IMPROVE YOUR UCA
For the last three years I have had a significant role within the University’s Netball Team and after all my hard work running the
team I have managed to gain the role of Captain this year. I have achieved a lot for the club, managed to produce a team for
every game, improved team members’ skills and hopefully increased their enjoyment of the sport. I am also part of two other
Netball teams outside of University and a Captain of one of those teams. I also umpire games and am currently training to be a
Netball Coach. As I have very active roles in my clubs, this is something I would like to explore if I get elected as Campus Officer and pass on my knowledge to other students.

As you can see, I do a lot of activities inside and outside University and had to consider cutting down on these for my third year.

However, being passionate about what I do, I decided to put the extra hours in that were required to do both. Consequently I am
still maintaining high grades and enjoying my netball – proving that I can cope under pressure and that I’m good at time
management.

CLUBS AND SOCIETIES
Although netball is my thing, I’m very passionate about sports in general, and people’s right to participate in whatever they
enjoy most. So I aim to improve our current clubs and societies, and create more – possibly girls’ and especially mixed clubs
as there are currently very few of these. I want to encourage any student to start a club or society and help to sustain it through
out the year welcoming new members at any point. My proposal would be to bring in coaches, instructors, or speakers to give
the societies expert input. I also plan to explore how we could offer more by collaborating with other nearby universities, and
making better use of what’s on offer in London.

UCA’S SOCIAL LIFE
Being able to socialise at university is a very important thing and it is great that we have Glasshouse, but I think there is a need
to add variety to the nightlife at UCA Farnham. I would like to arrange a coach or minibus to take people to nearby towns
– like Guildford for example – that could run once a month, or possibly more often. This would create an opportunity for students to meet new people, get a change of scenery and most importantly have fun.

VOTE FOR ME!!!
If I get elected I believe that it is vital to put myself out there and make myself available to talk to students. Of course, these
are just my initial ideas and my main priority is to listen to what you guys want. I will fight for anything the students want in
any aspect – including course, clubs and societies. I am a very sociable person, so for me it would be a case of getting out of
the office to find out the real problems, and resolving them quickly and to the best of my ability. I know how difficult it can be
if there is someone you have to rely on that is hard to talk to or intimidating, and I know you won’t have that problem with me!
If you like what I have said and are interested in seeing what I can do for you then – GET ON PAR WITH POLLARD!

 

 CANDIDATE 4: JOE TRAYNOR

My name is Joe Traynor and I am a Third Year Journalism Student at the Farnham Campus of UCA and I am standing for the position of Campus Officer at Farnham.

I believe that what the students want out of their University is ultimately the most important thing that the University should pay attention to. I believe that the most important role of Campus Officer is to bring the students voices to the University where they might not be otherwise heard. I believe that the Campus Officer should fight for the students whether this makes me popular with University staff or not.

I have loved my three years at UCA and during my time here I have been actively involved in the Union from the summer between my first and second years. My involvement in the Students Union began in the summer of 2011 when I helped to form UCA’s rugby team which I later went on to Captain in its first season. The captaincy also gave me valuable experience in the way the Union runs Clubs and Societies.

I have also taken an active role in the running of Glue both the magazine and running Glue Radio in my second year. These experiences have given me an insight to how the Students Union works.

I have thrown myself into student life at UCA and have thoroughly loved my time here however there are some issues that if I were elected to Campus Officer I would seek to improve.

Firstly during my time as Rugby Captain it became obvious that very few Clubs and Societies outside of the sports teams appear to be active throughout the academic year, this leaves many students throughout UCA without the opportunity to involve themselves in a Club or Society and therefore they lose an invaluable piece of their student experience. If elected to Campus Officer I will try to make Clubs and Societies more accessible for the majority of students and place more emphasis on Clubs and Societies, which are not sports related to create a broader spectrum of groups that students can become involved in.

I will also be looking to campaign for the position of Course Representative to be given some real power to be able to push for changes to their courses. This is important to me as for the three years I have spent at UCA the current course reps, not only for my own course but also courses across UCA have struggled to implement any real changes to their courses no matter how strong the demand from students on that course. If elected I will campaign to reform the Course Representative system so that students can make a difference to their courses if there are aspects of it they want changed.

In my time at UCA the government has made drastic changes to the way the higher education system works and how much it costs. I attended both the 2010 demonstrations against the tuition fees price hike and the more recent 2012 march. To both of these protests my transportation was covered by the Students Union. If elected I intend to carry on with the way that the Students Union has organised protests, as well as try to improve this system by giving the students more say in protest planning. For example putting more emphasis on creating placards with slogans that represent the student body of UCA rather than simply using NUS placards. The students at UCA will be some of the hardest hit by government changes to Universities. As Art students and therefore one of the smaller groups of students in the country and a group seen as taking ‘Mickey mouse degrees’ the students at UCA need to be able to vent their frustrations and show the government how they feel. It is the Student Union’s job to support the students when they want to go to protest and the Campus Officers job to lead them in their protests. The changes to the tuition fees is something I feel very passionately about, I do not see how the government hopes to improve the education system and make it more accessible to the public by pricing many students out of a chance at education. If elected to Campus Officer I will assist students in any way within my power to support their right to protest as well as play an organizational role to organize transport and plans to transport students to and from protests.

Vote for me and you will not regret it!

#teamtraynor

 

STUDENT EXPERIENCE OFFICER (5 CANDIDATES, 3 POSITIONS)

CANDIDATE 1: FAYE GENTILE

I’m Faye Gentile. Second Year Journalism Student
I’m running for Student Experience Officer.
Here is why…

I’m in the union 5 days of the week for various reasons.
I work behind the bar most nights and I’m the one that knows what your usual is.

I’m features editor for Glue magazine our first student publication, I’ve been with Glue since we started it and showcasing your work is constantly my number 1 target.
I chose to stand for this position because these 2 roles have made my student experience so far amazing.

I want everyones time in Farnham to be like that. I feel that YOUR experience at UCA means EVERYTHING.

This is how I’m going to do it.

Personally… I’m boring, quiet and shy (NOT)

For those who know me, I’m exciting committed and passionate.
From the roles I have held at the Student Union I feel I’ve gained a great set of skills and strengths.

Working behind the bar – I have to be friendly focussed and social.

When working for Glue – Like the origami Penguin, I’m open to new ideas. I keep you guys in mind when selecting,researching and producing features – this is for you by you.

Both of these roles mean I have to meet and communicate with new people ALL THE TIME. It’s one of my favourite perks of the job.

What I’m proposing for your vote
I get that a healthy and good nightlife is important to an excellent student experience – you want a cracking night that’s different and you want to get your moneys worth. TELL ME HOW TO MAKE IT AWESOME, if you have suggestions for nights that you would like to see at the Union, tell me! You want to play a night? Tell me!

The Ball… Freshers/Halloween/Summer are easily the biggest events of the year and we all look forward to it. I want to work with the relevant people to making it the best and most memorable night you will have that year. From working with the budget to proposing acts and entertainment – I will work really hard to make it a night to remember !

If you’re unhappy I’m unhappy…
I’m lucky enough to i have a really good relationship with staff. This means I’ll work with the right person, quickly and efficiently to solve your problem, take in your suggestions and make your wishes come true.

No stone left unturned…
I want to make sure that any aspect of student life is covered, not just entertainments. I lived in halls and I know it can get tough. If you’re homesick or you lost your keys, I’ll point you in the right direction. I want your experience to be positive.

So please vote for me – I won’t let you down because…
I put the U in SU!
(wow that was cheesy)

 

CANDIDATE 2: RACHEL GOACHER

I’m Rachel. I do advertising. I’m running for Student Experience Officer.

I propose ‘Game night’ at the SU. Lets bring TV game shows to the SU. Countdown, Catch phrase, Deal or no Deal. It’ll be student like and you won’t be winning £250,000 but being a student is about rags not riches.

I propose a freshers fayre with piles of give aways and if dominoes won’t give us free pizza then Milanos it is. Lets put RAG (Raise and Give) on the map and start making the Farnham residents hate us a little less.

I propose wild SU nights. Did you know the SU used to have major bands coming to play? Well they did. I’ll try my damnest to put us back on the venue map and get some decent artists coming back.

Just because we’re at a uni in the middle of nowhere and Farnham has precisely nothing in the way of entertainment doesn’t mean you can’t have a decent uni experience. You just have to get a little creative with what you’ve got.

I blew up 300 balloons last night to fill my housemates room.

I’m up for this.

 

CANDIDATE 3: ALEXANDROS KRITICOS

My name is Alexandros Kriticos, I am a second year Graphic Communication student and i am running to hold my current position as student experience officer. I believe that i would make a good experience officer as i am currently part of the student union as the lighting and sound technician. I am continuously in the students union and have a strong understanding of how the students union liaises with its students. I will aim to create a better experience for the students of UCA Farnham, by attacking any queries or ideas they have for or about the uni lifestyle.

 

CANDIDATE 4: CONNA JAMES

“The only source of knowledge is experience” – Albert Einstein.

Introduction  For those of you who don’t know me, my name’s Conna James. I am currently a 2nd year Advertising student. I’m proud to be a regular member of the UCA football team, I’m a registered working colleague of the Student Union, designing numerous event posters, and enjoy the social side of the Student Union, and would regard many people as my friend.

I am passionate about student life and I believe that the time spent at UCA should be some of the best days of your life. I stand for election as Student Experience officer; I aim to achieve the following if I am elected:

Improving the University’s Look  The main entrance, the library, John Luard and canteen all look great and have recently been re-designed – all of which have received positive feedback.

I would aim to modernise the main corridor and classrooms to showcase UCA more as a creative university and less like a secondary school (as it currently does).  I will encourage students to submit design ideas and participate in any decorating.

Improving how students mix  Several students I have spoken to mentioned that they would enjoy having more interaction with students on other courses; they felt that their year groups (on the same course) were too distant and that there was potential to make more friends, and learn more from their peers. This is apparent throughout each course, and even each campus. UCA is a university of 5 campuses yet we never have any exchanges or communicate with the others.

I would endeavour to bring each year group, each course and even the other campuses closer together; and I will look at different ways to achieve this, using sports, leisure activities or education as vehicles for this.

Many people feel that the university does not make full use of the facilities available, and that certain courses seem limited to their base room.  On a personal level, I would very much like to learn more about printing, pressing, painting and even film; something which could help me in my own course.

If elected, I would attempt to discover a solution for this and will look to various social groups or after-hour classes to achieve this cross-skilling experience for everyone.

Improving social facilities for students  An issue that is often raised is the absence of a chip and pin facility throughout the canteen, shops, Costa and the bar.

Regulars in the SU, feel this would be far more convenient and an efficient alternative to the cash dispenser that charges students for withdrawals. If students were able to access their cash “free”, they would be likely to spend more on campus, potentially increasing income for the shops, canteen etc.

If elected, I will lobby for a “free to use” ATM in place.

Improving the car park  The condition of the car park is a major issue for many of the students that commute to campus; with many commenting that the gravelled surface NEEDS to be levelled.

Although this may be ambitious, I feel something could be achieved with the right support from the university.

Improving course structure  A point raised by several people on the ABC course, is that of the structuring system, currently in place. Although the course has had professional internal issues, there is the feeling throughout the university that the structuring of the courses: marking, room bookings, clubs and societies, are not benefiting the students adequately.

People from CGA feel that their tutors and facilities are not fully accessible, and want their rooms better prepared for pitching.

If elected, I would work with students and lecturers to try to create a solution that works better for everyone, and to improve how any changes to course structure or facilities are communicated to all.

I have received positive feedback about the university; including

  • The experience of tutors and course leaders helps motivate students, maximise the learning experience and student productivity.
  • The small nature of the university makes everything quite personal and friendships (mostly within courses) are made easily.

If elected, I aim to maintain what is best about the student experience at UCA and improve on those issues that let the university down.

 

CANDIDATE 5: CHARLOTTE TAYLOR

Hey! My name is Charlotte Taylor and I’m currently studying Advertising and Brand Communication. This coming year will be my third year at UCA which means I have had nearly two years to see how the SU runs and gather new ideas of what I could change. I have always wanted to get as involved as possible with the university and student life to really make my time here an experience to remember. I am a very friendly student who will talk to anyone. If I had to sum myself up in three words I would say I am: sociable, energetic and proactive. This is why I have nominated myself to become one of the new Student Experience Officers. If I were elected I would do my upmost to ensure that all ideas from students are put forward and potential ideas put into consideration. I want the SU to be a fun place to be for all students to come together and have somewhere where they feel they can escape from work. The Monday and Thursday nights will be more exciting as I want to start trying to raise money to have more ‘special’ nights including the very successful silent and UV disco. I am a huge party girl and I love my dancing and nights out, so I am very excited about trying to make the SU a more enjoyable place for everyone. Why not start selling cheap pints and ciders after a long day in lectures? Along with the Costa Coffee bar I would like to include afternoon pints available to all students (as long as they are of age!) and I would even like to start selling cheap pizzas at 1am before you head home after an SU night, It really helps the hangover. Students, including myself often complain about the lack of nightlife in Farnham. We only have Guildford up the road, but sadly, taxis are nearly £30 to get home! If I am elected I will also make it a priority to have a weekly bus to Guildford and maybe even a monthly bus to London or Kingston too! These are all just my ideas, if I am elected I want to hear all your ideas too and maybe together we can make the SU a more fun and sociable place.

 

CLUBS & SOCIETIES OFFICER (2 CANDIDATES, 1 POSITION)

CANDIDATE 1: JOEL GOLDMAN

My name is Joel Goldman and I am currently a 2nd year Sport Journalism student at the University for the Creative Arts, Farnham.

I put myself forward for the position of Clubs and Societies officer in this years election. As a current member of the rugby society and a former member of the football society, I believe I would have a great depth of knowledge and insight on the topic if I was to be elected into the position.

I believe clubs and societies are a major part of a students university experience and am worried that many of you do not realise the opportunities that are available on this campus. Each and every student has the ability to create their own club or society with just a little help from someone like me. Whether your passion is Cycling, skiing or even knitting I can help you get started and help reflect your individual needs to higher student bodies and councils.

So if you vote for me from 4th-8th March I can help you unlock the greatest potential for your club or society here on campus.

 

CANDIDATE 2: ALEXANDROS KRITICOS

My name is Alexandros Kriticos, I am a second year Graphic Communication student and i am running to take on the role of the Clubs and Societies Officer. I believe i would be great for this role as i have recently started up this year the Basketball Society in our campus here at farnham which had a great intake of 65 people sighing up and now has a strong team of 25 plus players, including men and women. I will aim to create societies that wish to enter mix league competitions, create a much larger awareness of our societies and the ability for anyone to create a society as long as it is functional. My aim is to boost the the Clubs and Societies we have within campus delivering a larger and much more appealing look into our University for new coming students and current students.

 

LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL & TRANS (LGBT) STUDENTS OFFICER  (1 CANDIDATE, 1 POSITION)

CANDIDATE 1: RHIANNE HILL

My name is Rhianne Hill, I’m an Interior Architecture and Design student from Year One, and I am running for the position of LGBT Officer for Farnham campus. I believe very strongly in equality in all aspects, but in particular LGBT. This is because I believe sexuality is fluid, and raising awareness of this fluidity will promote equality not only on campus, but on a more political level. More people need to realise that there is no shame in their sexual orientation or preferred gender.

I am standing for this position as there has been no LGBT officer on campus for the past couple of years, and I feel that this is a crying shame. Many people who identify with LGBT (and their lesser known counterparts, pansexual, asexual, etc.) have very little support from the Student Union. This is so fundamentally wrong, as many people can feel trapped in their sexuality, unable to meet people who share the same views. This is made all the harder with no meeting place or forum for us to discuss our psychological and physical issues. If I was elected LGBT officer, I would strive to set up regular meetings, where these issues could be discussed in a matter of fact way. Not only that, next year I will live minutes away from campus, and my door will always be open for coffee and cigarettes and chats. I want to be an approachable officer, who will listen to your views, and also support you through any changes in your sexuality and preferred gender.

I would be good in this role for the simple reason that I am comfortable and confident with my sexuality – they say the best way to lead is to lead by example! I have studied sexualities (through books, friends’ experiences, and personal experiences), and feel I have enough knowledge on the subject to offer advice and support.

If elected, I will start a strong support network within the umbrella of LGBT which I hope will be in place for years to come. This support network will be strongly advertised throughout campus, raising awareness of sexual fluidity and equal rights, and will begin through weekly meetings in the SU, with topical discussions such as gender recognition, homophobia etc. within the university. I also would organise events, such Gender Bend Day, where you would live out your day as the opposite sex, and experience how a trans* individual would have to deal with the situations that arise. Whilst LGBT is not a raising-money-for-charity exercise, I would encourage you to learn about particular charities and organisations that offer support and information on these issues.

I stand for sexual fluidity, and a strong network in support of this. If you identify with anything I’ve talked about here, please vote for me! :)

 

WOMENS’ OFFICER  (1 CANDIDATE, 1 POSITION)

CANDIDATE 1: LEJLA DAMON

I am Lejla Rachel Damon, I was born and orphaned in Bosnia-Herzegovina in December 1992 during the siege of Sarajevo. The brutal treatment of women during that war, like in so many conflicts, is enough of a reason for me to feel passionately about the status of women. Growing up in Britain, given opportunities that women in other cultures don’t dare to dream of, I know I have a duty to defend and advance the role of women in every society and find it distressing that women are victims of discrimination and violence in so many places where Britain has influence.

But there is no cause for complacency in Britain and in our university. The daily tedium of unthinking, low-level sexism is what every woman faces and has to fight against. David Cameron may think he’s being ‘modern’ by joking that his wife told him “if you don’t have women in the top places, you are not just missing out on 50% of the talent, you are missing out on a lot more than 50% of the talent.” She shouldn’t need to tell him, he should know that – and he should have done much more much sooner to change his party, which has only 47 female MPs compared to 257 – yes, 257 male MPs. That’s just 18% – no joking matter.

Currently, I am a second year Advertising student who has learnt much from her course about getting out a message and experience of university life. So I am standing for the position of Women’s officer with the council of the Student Union. This new role to the council is so important – why did it take so long? I believe I can use the passion that I have for equality and justice for women within our university to improve women’s rights and success within the university and throughout life.

I am a strong communicator – I have been known for being “highly enthusiastic” veering on the “eccentric” some might say! I have previously worked within the Houses of Parliament, where I hope to be in the future. I enjoy politics and current affairs, despite the obvious lack of opportunity for women. While I was working at the Houses of Parliament I became fully aware of the Men’s Club atmosphere there. This gave me a huge insight into what the women working there were facing everyday. Not only were there off-colour comments or remarks but it being so male orientated meant that women had to work twice as hard with less credit.

This angered me: however I know that the fight to get women accepted within such a male dominated world will take time – and information. Considering the course that I am currently studying, and the places that my fellow classmates will start their careers, I would like to give them the best knowledge I can and also share past experiences that they may want to talk about as well. Whether these be concerns, issues or even just life experience I think this will help many women within UCA have the best start to their careers.

So, if I were to be elected I would organise seminars and lectures by influential women from the variety of courses that we have in UCA, and from the industries into which our graduates will move. Because we have such a great diversity of courses, these seminars would be a great opportunity to develop a rich source of information and inspiration for students. I think the lesshould be “women only” events, so when it comes to having a serious problem women feel comfortable that they can share it with others in a non-bitchy environment.

But other events should be aimed squarely at men. There is a horrifying undercurrent of disparagement of women in undergraduate culture that needs to be fought. Just take a look at @EverydaySexism on Twitter and you will see what I mean.

In today’s Western culture, women are able to act more like men, taking up combat roles in armed forces, police officers in front line roles and so on. But they still aren’t being accepted in a positive light. The stress that women have to go through to be successful, while ‘advised’ to be passive, is something that still doesn’t have the correct balance.

My life began in a disrupted background, so perhaps I have developed an empathy that empowers me to take time to solve problems. The more people that you can talk to and bounce ideas off, the easier those problems will be to solve.

Finally, in a world where it was only last year that the justice system acknowledged that a husband who has forcible sex with his wife could actually be described as a rapist, we have a long way to go for women to be treated equally. However, with your help and support, I hope to be a part of that change and move us forward in any way possible.

Many thanks, Lejla Damon

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