A Quick Guide to Your VP Democracy and Creative Industries Candidates


Vice-President Democracy and Creative Industries (DCI) has responsibility over two zones. For Democracy, VP DCI leads the Union Council, Union Elections and the Constitution. For Creative Industries, they lead and support all of the creative industries at SUSU, including SUSU Media (Wessex Scene, SUSUtv, Surge Radio and The Edge), Performing Arts and Union Films. They act as Editor-in-Chief for the two print publications. VP DCI also oversees and co-ordinates with the officers in the DCI zone as well as managing the affiliation of student groups and societies, ultimately ensuring support and development.

Candidate No. 1

Anjit Aulakh
Anjit Aulakh

Name: Anjit Aulakh

Subject: Mechanical Engineering


Head of Tech SUSUtv (2013 – 2014), weekly show spot on Surge and the role of a Producer (2013 – 2014), semi Finalist at the Southampton Apprentice (2012-2013),  Union Council Member (2013-2014), Best Newcomer SUSUtv (2012-2013)

Main Manifesto Points:

1. Increased Support for Student Groups: This is in terms of training regarding budgets, marketing etc. Pushing collaboration between the Creative Industries groups and other student groups in general.

2. Transparency and Accessibility: Making budgets, Council processes and other university processes in general easily accessible and available.

3. Budget Potential: Making sure every option, pathway and route is exhausted to squeeze that extra something out and making them transparent.

4. Improved Spacing: Something that requires immediate attention.

5. Creative Industries Training Week: A bigger and better training week with increased support and reach.

6. Equality: Making sure every individual, student group and body is treated fairly and has access to equal opportunities.

7. Better Facilities: Procuring new facilities to enable student groups to continue delivering exceptional results.

Is there anything the current Sabb has done that you would have done differently?

I would have made Creative Industries training week more fun and offered more practical training. I would also have included more people. But considering it was the first one it would be unfair to say it wasn’t good on the Sabb that came up with it to begin with.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I’m confident, calm and collected. I believe that as a person, I’m very approachable and lovable! I am aware of the weight the responsibilities which would lie on my shoulders. I am experienced in multiple areas of the role and I believe I possess the passion and drive to make SUSU better, and that it is is something no other candidate can replicate.

Candidate No. 2

Jonathan North
Jonathan North


Name: Jonathan North

Subject: Population and Geography BSc

Experience: Amnesty International Society – President (2011/2012), Stop the Traffik – Publicity Officer (2011/2012),  Light Operatic Society – Publicity Officer (2011/2012), Light Operatic Society – Chairman (2012/2013), VP Demography (2011-2012),  Population and Geography, Course Rep (2010-2013), Wessex Scene Contributor, Producer (Theatre Group’s Catch-22, LOpSoc’s Ruddigore, Showstoppers’13), Director (LOpSoc’s The Pirates of Penzance, Theatre Group’s Unseen), Technical Team (Equus, The Graduate), Involvement in FemSoc, Involvement in WaterAid, Involvement in Fish on toast.

Main Manifesto Points:

On Democracy:

1. Fair and engaged elections. My goal is to improve Fresher engagement by working closely with JCRs and also to reach out more to our international communities.

2. Working on addressing the imbalance of representation within the creative industries so as to ensure everyone feels their views are being fairly represented.

3. Transparency of the democratic process is crucial; I will work to ensure that all processes within the union are conducted in an open manner and all relevant information is freely and concisely available online so as to allow for criticism and commentary by any student.

4. Fostering discussion of new ideas within the union regardless of whether said ideas may be controversial, the open online discussion group provides a good backbone to expand upon here, but I feel there is room for more.

On Creative Industries:

1. Look at reviewing the various funding systems in the creative industries with a focus on improving student feedback for the media and looking at transparency and usability in terms of the Performing Arts/greater creative industries system.

2. Focus on creating new storage spaces within the union and also on expanding and improving our existing storage.

3. Work on improving the quality and accessibility of our creative spaces and to push for future development of new spaces entirely.

4. A more focused and relevant Creative Industries Training Week, with a focus on practical and technical training which is useful for day to day running.

5. Ensuring SUSU media is given the tools and support it needs to cover student events, efficiently and effectively, with a focus on improving communication between SUSU and the Media.

Is there anything the current Sabb has done that you would have done differently?

Generally I don’t think David has done a bad job but there are definitely still issues with communication. I would put a particular emphasis on regular meetings with student leaders in order to ensure students feel they are being adequately represented. Additionally, I would look at creating more opportunities for other individual members of the creative industries to come forward to share their views and ideas.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

There are several factors that set me apart from the other candidates; my wide experience base across a range of societies and student groups gives me a unique level of perspective when it comes to the issues facing the creative industries today.  Additionally, my manifesto is based around real quantifiable changes that affect the everyday lives of students, the day to day issues in our union and how to work towards improving the student experience; my proposals are realistic and aimed towards the long term improvement of the union as a whole.

Candidate No. 3

Katy O'Brien
Katy O’Brien

Name: Katy O’Brien

Subject: BSc Oceanography

Experience: Entertainment Editor of the Soton Tab and Chair of Union Council

Main Manifesto Points:

1. An Events Fund for more student run events.

2. Society Awards to celebrate how societies benefit the student community.

3. If I won I’d make elections shorter as I believe the length irritates students and puts off prospective candidates!

Is there anything the current Sabb has done that you would have done differently?

David Martin has done some brilliant work as the current VP Democracy and Creative Industries, but it hasn’t been publicised well enough. I’d ensure that I was more visible to the student community, as Sabbs are there to support students.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

My orange hair sets me apart from the other candidates quite well! I am the only candidate who has both democracy and media experience; whilst some of the other candidates haven’t been to Union Council, I chair it. My experience as an editor for the Soton Tab also means that I truly understand the benefits of editorial independence, which I believe SUSU media would benefit from.

Candidate No. 4

Jamie Hanna
Jamie Hanna

Name: Jamie “Banana” Hanna

Subject: BA Modern History and Politics

Experience: President of Live Music Society (Performing Arts Affiliated), Social Secretary for Debating Society and long-term member of RockSoc.

Main Manifesto Points: 

1. Low election turnout, equality of opportunity and lack of cohesion with SUSU are problems facing Democracy and Creative Industries.

2. The interests of student groups are often neglected. Improve the representative system for societies – regular meetings between SUSU representatives and societies, similar to how Performing Arts do it.

3. Increase and improve practice and storage space in the Union.

4. Direct Democracy – referendums and petitions to SUSU and Union Council.

5. Get freshers more involved with SUSU democracy – make JCR and Course Rep elections more publicised.

6. Improve Winchester relevance in elections and Creative Industries.

7. Improve student exposure to SUSU Media.

Is there anything the current Sabb has done that you would have done differently?

I think the current Sabb has done a good job. He has made some measures to improve things for student groups, such as making the affiliation process easier and increasing the funding pot for societies in the Creative Industries Zone. However, he has not addressed the fundamental problems concerning student groups. He has not made it easier for SUSU to connect with its societies. The Union remains largely out of touch with its students.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I am different from the other candidates since I have not been heavily involved in SUSU. Instead, I have been heavily involved with various societies, working from the outside and therefore know how difficult it is to deal with SUSU.

Candidate No. 5

Megan Downing
Megan Downing

Name: Megan Downing

Subject: BA English Literature

Experience: Editor of The Edge (2013-2014) Student Leader Union Councillor (as part of the Editor of The Edge Student Leader role) (2013-2014) Member of Creatives Industries Zone Committee (2013-2014) Live Editor of The Edge (2012-2013) Music Editor of The National Student (2013-present) Festival Steward for Oxfam (2011-present) Radio DJ and Producer at Surge Radio (2011-2014) Volunteer at Union Films (2012-2014) Treasurer of The English Society (2013-2014) Sports Secretary of The English Society (2012-2013) Co-Chair of SUSU Media Ball Committee 2014

Main Manifesto Points:

1.  Recognise and celebrate the achievements of student groups, including giving student leaders and society presidents a place to express their pride in what they do and hosting bigger and better awards ceremonies (such as, but not limited to, the Media Ball and EVAs).

2. Remove the veil surrounding Union Council, making it accessible and interesting for the wider student population. This includes better publicity and targeting of lesser represented groups.

3. Emphasising the career opportunities around the Democracy and Creative Industries areas. Letting students know how useful an interest and participation in democracy at SUSU, and involvement in SUSU’s media departments, will be when graduating.

Is there anything the current Sabb has done that you would have done differently?

To choose one thing in particular I would have a more hands on approach in terms of SUSU’s Creative Industries student groups. At the moment David Martin is there as a point of contact and doesn’t actively take an interest in the day-to-day runnings of each department, which, for me, would be more difficult. I would like to attend as many committee meetings as a can for CI student groups and be more than just a point of contact for advice.

What sets you apart from the other candidates?

I have more experience within Student Media and leadership than the other candidates. As well as this I feel that I have been dedicated to SUSU since day one at the University of Southampton, meaning I have a wider knowledge of how SUSU works and also what students want from their union.


News Editor for the Wessex Scene 2013 - 2015. I lead the news section, consistently providing the website with up-to-date news content. I am experienced in researching, reporting, writing and editing breaking news stories.

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