Sabbatical debates kicked off at 6.30pm this evening, beginning with the candidates running for the position of VP Communities.

Candidates taking part in the debate for VP Communities:

  • Oli Coles
  • Thomas Rogers

Student Involvement for Other Sites

In order to get more students involved from other sites, Oli Coles suggested bringing resources to them, such as setting up RAG  on the different sites. Thomas Rogers wanted more Sabb interaction with those on other campuses, by providing more transport in place to bring people to council, suggesting having something dedicated to Winchester, or the NOC as it would make a difference to how the feel as well as having their opinion heard.

International Students

When asked about supporting International Students, Oli wanted to provide an international welcome pack, whereas Thomas suggested getting students to show them around the area.

Postgraduate Students

With regards to supporting postgraduate students, Oli stated that he would like to create a postgraduate portal containing all information which would be a permanent fixture on the website. Thomas commented that there was not enough publicity for events already in place and stressed that this needed to be addressed to maximise involvement.


Issues were raised regarding MedSoc funding for this year, as Oli stated that due to the new eight-zone structure, funding was allocated across all groups, and that he had the impression MedSoc would apply, but were not doing this so were given a block sum.


The “party reps” stigma attached to JCR reps was brought up. Oli said he has already started to restructure the JCRs and this image, with success in this year’s JCR elections. He said that he would like to branch them out into the local community as volunteers and would like to build stronger relationships with residence support services. Thomas raised concerns over current communications with the JCRs, reinforcing clearer communications and support, as well as focusing more on other sites, with a stress on giving JCRs a lot more control over what they wanted to do individually.


The candidates discussed the issue regarding the failure of a direct bus service to Winchester, Oli saying that it could not be provided this year since there is already a service merged with Bluestar. With regards to improving the current transport, Oli acknowledged issues with transport links to the NOC and suggested links from Portswood direct to Southampton General as well as a free bus service to Southampton for Winchester students. Thomas insisted on a more frequent service for the Safety Bus, stating that he wanted to implement a Safety Bus system from Avenue Campus instead of just being based from Highfield.

Student Involvement

In order to get more students to run for the student leader positions, Oli said that he would like to encourage people with better marketing and support networks, whereas Thomas raised issues over under representation and poor sab interaction. He suggested contacting students directly by going out there and speaking to them.

Which VP Communities candidate will you be voting for?

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Based on tonight’s debate, who is your favourite for the position? We’ll be releasing articles on the final two debates as they happen. SUSUtv and Surge are also providing live coverage of the debates.

More articles in SUSU Elections 2014
  1. SUSU Elections 2014 Candidates: The Full List
  2. VP Education Debate: Summary
  3. VP Engagement Debate: Summary
  4. Union President Candidate Withdraws from Elections
  5. VP Democracy & Creative Industries Debate: Summary
  6. VP Welfare Debate: Summary
  7. VP Communities Debate: Summary
  8. VP Sports Debate: Summary
  9. Union President Debate Liveblog 2014
  10. Second Union President Candidate Withdraws
  11. Elections Candidates Disadvantaged After Posters Arrive Late
  12. ‘Joke’ Elections Candidate Gets Serious
  13. A Quick Guide to Your VP Education Candidates
  14. A Quick Guide to Your VP Engagement Candidates
  15. VP Sports Development Candidate Withdraws
  16. A Quick Guide to Your VP Democracy and Creative Industries Candidates
  17. A Quick Guide to Your VP Sport Candidates
  18. Campaigning During SUSU Elections: The Guide
  19. A Quick Guide to Your VP Welfare Candidates
  20. Why Are You Reducing Me to a Sexual Object?: One Candidate’s Experience of Elections
  21. A Quick Guide to Your VP Student Communities Candidates
  22. A Quick Guide to Your Presidential Candidates
  23. Exit Polls: SUSU Elections 2014
  24. Nightline Officer Candidate Victim of Email Spoof
  25. Why Vote?
  26. Elections Night 2014 Liveblog
  27. Candidate Live Interviews 2014
  28. Elections 2014: Sabbatical Winners Interviews
  29. Candidates Announced For VP Student Communities By-Election
  30. Anjit Aulakh Elected as VP Student Communities


Leave your response!

  • Unconvinced Student

    Will a previous joke candidate really be motivated to do what is right for students at the university?


    Brother Frank

    There’s a non-zero (albeit low) chance of that happening. A vast improvement over Oli, that’s for sure.