VP Communities Debate: Summary


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.

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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.


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Discussion2 Comments

  1. avatar
    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.

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