MARCH 2013 ELECTIONS – MAIDSTONE MANIFESTOS

CAMPUS OFFICER (2 CANDIDATES, 1 POSITION)

CANDIDATE 1: DAVID LEWIS

My name is David Lewis and I want to be your next SU Campus Officer! I’m currently a third year student studying BA (Hons) Graphic Design: Visual Communication. I originate from the steel-making town of Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire – North East England. Maidstone UCA has become my new home – my time here has been surpassed all expectations to anything I could have ever envisioned and I am not ready to leave! My high optimism fuels my fight to provide the paramount leadership I truly believe you guys deserve… and will get!

Student Experience
I’ve lived and studied alongside fellow students that have now graduated, to those currently studying now and continuing next year. I believe this has allowed me to capture a glimpse, as well live it for myself, the many aspects of the UCA Maidstone student experience. This has led me to understand a wide spectrum of student needs. We each need and use the university on our own personal level – I believe that I can bridge these needs to an all-agreeing voice that represents us as a whole.
I picked Maidstone UCA to study at because of its peaceful setting (and admirable architecture) and find it’s size most favourable for its intended use, for it was built with a creative eye, to house the exploration of art and design.

MidKent College
The years of peace and contentment I thought to have ahead of me, unbeknown to me, had been completely obliterated. I believe the MKC purchase of the Maidstone campus has had detrimental effects on the student experience. For example; the discontinued enrolment of new students leaves the student community shrinking as each year passes, a sense of community is lost. Clubs and societies have struggled to have enough interest for them to be established. A silver lining to the whole fiasco has been the increased volume at which current student body has raised in their amplified expression of their concerns and opinions.

In my first year I didn’t hear much of the SU but with the shocking change in our education’s future – brought power, and the power of voicing our concerns and demands. As UCA’s move out day comes ever closer, MKC squeezes itself in anywhere it can – even at the expense of the former residents, us.

I stand to fight against any further reductions of space, quality of education and enforce our voice to be heard.

Compromise?
We have to battle down the level of compromise they expect us to endure – we not only need to maintain the current facilities we currently have, but we also have to demand for more opportunities of improvement – such as better quality printing. What compensation is ever going to equal the value of our loss of a high quality student experience? Our community is at its most fragile, to disperse and say no more – we must stand together and not let the non-elected hierarchy of UCA decide what is best for us.

‘Farewell to Maidstone’
What will engage dwindling numbers of students, and the less-challenged staff of this campus? What will keep their head high and proud of what has been achieved here in this town? Maidstone College of Art was founded in 1867 – that’s the sad truth, that 146 years of creativity will be diminished. I work in a popular pub in the town centre – I speak to many of the locals of our fantastic establishment and in my shock, and disappointment, find that they don’t know we exist! Maidstone is losing out, they should realise what treasure and history they hold. I plan to instigate a ‘Farewell to Maidstone’ project. The final year has come upon us and let us wave goodbye with a smack in the face climax to the town’s unappreciated artistic legacy. Let them know what they’re losing out on. I envision student and staff participation from current campus residents to all those that have graced these walls in times gone by – that in turn will provide a finale that the story of Maidstone art truly deserves.
Vote for David Lewis #1 for a relentless, engaged officer, an ear to all and a voice to holla!

• For a clear directive to stand up against any further reductions to our current student services, equipment and a fight against any loss of your space.
• To stand against any further forward advancement of losing our identity of being a university; highlight any further problems of student’s feeling displaced by the MKC takeover.
• For an officer that has always encouraged student activity and engagement with the SU. Make use of that space around the SU for student showcases and union discussion.
• For recognition in the local community – connect with local businesses and galleries to provide student engagement and up to date news of local opportunities and events.
• To provide support and help to build student initiated projects and societies. There is a lot of money you guys can tap into! I will provide information and guidance to any person or idea.

 

CANDIDATE 2: NATALIE TURNER

My name is Natalie Turner and I am running for the position of Campus Officer at UCA Maidstone!

I’m originally from Wokingham, Berkshire and I am currently a 3rd year BA (Hons) Illustration Student. I also completed a Foundation Diploma in Art and Design at Farnham UCA in 2010.

Over the past four years that I have been in UCA I have been very actively involved with the Student Ambassadors, Course Reps and I am currently the Student Trustee for the Maidstone campus. This has given me the opportunity to get to know the way that the university and the Student Union work, as well as giving me the opportunities to voice the opinions of our campus.
By voting for me you will be electing a person who cares deeply about representing you accurately as a student. This means I will be voicing your concerns and suggestions to the rest of UCASU and UCA. From regularly consulting with you I will be doing my utmost to ensure that you have an enjoyable university experience and attain the best qualification possible

What would I aim to do for the Maidstone UCA Students?

Spaces and facilities
Over the next year the spaces and facilities that are available to UCA students will reduce due to the MidKent College situation. I have been involved since I discovered the UCA prospectus (at a UCAS fair) stating that our courses would be ending, leading to the collaboration so I am aware of the promises that UCA have made. I will continue to fight to ensure that the students have what they require to make their final year both successful and enjoyable. This will include continuing to work closely with the course reps encouraging students to voice their opinions about their learning environment. The will allow me to communicate with UCA and MKC about what is required.

Without this communication with our community the Students Union would not be able to represent you efficiently!

Clubs and Societies
I feel that clubs and societies and activities have always been somewhat lacking in Maidstone, however some amazing examples have been The Prince Charles Film Club and the Guest Lecture Program where students have taken the initiative and accessed the £5000 ‘Student Experience Fund’ to enhance their learning (and have fun at the same time) whilst studying.

I will encourage the continuation of the film club and the guest lecture program, as I really believe it adds to the student experience.

I would also like to encourage a monthly market that is run by students in the SU area so students from every course and area can come and show their work and sell it. This has been a huge part of illustration as it encourages students to get their work out there and has empowered those students to push forward and continue to become successful artists. I believe that all courses can benefit from this. From this I also want to encourage getting involved in the local community and possibly having stalls in the Maidstone town center as well as in the market that happens on a Saturday morning. I will be closely working with the careers services to ensure that this does happen.

Another society that I would like to encourage is course-based societies, which could include workshops from bookmaking and bookbinding, digital illustration in Photoshop, and Illustrator, printmaking. Each course teaches different skills and I think it would be a fantastic opportunity to have students teaching other students. This would be a great experience for all involved as people would learn how to teach others, and others would be able to learn a new skill. Students would run these clubs and societies, and I would be there to provide the support from the Student’s Union.

Interaction with other Campuses and Courses
UCA is spread over five campuses, Farnham, Epsom, Rochester, Maidstone and Canterbury. Due to the closing of Maidstone the remaining courses have not got the same opportunities to interact with members of the same course. Illustration has moved to Farnham, and Graphic Design has moved to Canterbury. One of the things I would love to do is to encourage trips to the other campuses to be able to interact with the other students. Having travelled as a third year illustration student to Farnham to meet the 1st year students everyone involved found this a valuable experience.

Widening Participation
Having been involved in widening participation it is something that I really want to see revived. It provides excellent opportunities to be able to go out into the local community and encourage the younger years into pursuing higher education, not just UCA! One example is the Arts Award, which is a new, art version of the Duke of Edinburgh, helping those looking toward HE in art and design, get the UCAS points they need. I have found that it is been extremely rewarding being so involved and it iss excellent to see those younger students getting excited not just about art and design but the prospect of going on to study at both college and university level.

Student Involvement
In the last few years, thanks to Luke Frost, the course representative program has improved greatly, I wish to continue this improvement as well as encouraging students to become even more involved with the Student Council and have a new Student Trustee for Maidstone. There are many opportunities within Student Council in particular for an array of students to be involved and have their say with officer positions including LGBT, Women’s, International and student experience being just some of them.

SHARE THIS: