Candidate Interview: Christina Vinothan, VP Welfare

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In the run up to the 2016 SUSU elections, the Wessex Scene team have been interviewing the candidates running for sabbatical positions. Here, I interview Christina Vinothan hoping to become the next VP Welfare.

Why are you running for this role?

I am running for Vice President Welfare because I truly believe I am the best candidate for the job. I am driven and passionate about student welfare. I want to ensure that every student is represented, and has access to the support and advice they need to make the most of their time at the University of Southampton.

What area of welfare are you most interested in improving and why?

I am most interested in improving the wellbeing and support side of things including mental health. I feel that it is important to focus on the welfare of students and support them because there is always an increasing pressure on students and figures show 1 in 5 people will have a mental health problem so I think it will be good to address this. I do however plan on focusing on a few key areas that cover both the sustainability and student life zones if elected as my manifesto shows.

How do you intend to make housing less daunting for students?

Firstly I want to start the don’t rush campaign at the beginning of spring semester to reach even more students. I want to try and put together a guide with a list of questions or things to consider for students, and what students rights are when it comes to housing so that when it comes to signing contracts and viewing houses they feel a bit more prepared. I also want to organise a free drop in housing clinic on campus where students can get impartial advice on housing issues and contracts before signing anything. Hopefully this will make the whole process less daunting.

How will you raise awareness of the support services available to students?

A lot of students still don’t know about the great resources and facilities available to them like the advice centre, peer support or other services like nightline. I think it would be great to promote these services during freshers and particularly stressful times of the year like exam period. I would also like to see more promotion of the peer support service because it truly is amazing and would be great if there was specific support for courses or faculties. During my time as academic president I tried to create interest from the faculty of Healthsciences to get students trained up to the peer support because healthcare students have very unique issues when it comes to placement so the service worked really well of them.

What sort of wellbeing activities will you hold at satellite campuses such as NOC, Winchester and Avenue?

I have some ideas for activities like arts and craft or yoga sessions; similar those that took place during this year’s exam period as part of the this year’s stressless fest, now known as ‘you are more than’. I think these were really good and students enjoyed them, but I will also try and consult students at the satelite campuses to see if they have any ideas for feasible activities that they think will be enjoyable and stress relieving. I really believe it will be great to be able to take wellbeing to the satellite campuses.

In your manifesto you say ‘I want to ensure we do all we can to support student projects’. How will you work with students to help get their projects off the ground?

I hope to work very closely with students groups particularly those in the sustainability and student life zones to see how best to help and support their campaigns and projects. I hope to look into making the funding process for big projects easier and maybe if there is scope to apply to increase this in the January budget review. SUSU also has a lot of platforms to reach and engage students which I think will be great for a lot of students led projects to get the word out there.

More articles in SUSU Elections 2016
  1. Candidate Interview – President: Thomas Gravatt
  2. SUSU Elections: Please Stop Treating Us Like Kids
  3. Exit Interview: Sam Bailey, VP Welfare
  4. Candidate Interview: Christina Vinothan, VP Welfare
  5. Exit Interview: Ben Franklin, President
  6. Candidate Interview- President, Liibaan Mohammed.
  7. Candidate Interview: President, Sam Bailey
  8. Candidate Interview: George Seabrook, VP Welfare
  9. Candidate Interview: Michael Clarke VP DCI
  10. Candidate Interview: Bryony Newman, VP DCI
  11. Candidate Interview: David Allwright, VP Welfare
  12. Exit Interview: Kerry Slater, VP DCI
  13. Candidate Interview – President: Alex Hovden
  14. SUSU Elections: A Pioneering Union Or A Waste of Time?
  15. Candidate Interview: Cameron Meldrum, VP DCI
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Former Opinion Editor for Wessex Scene and enthusiastic English student. Advocate of social justice, creativity and treating yourself. First and foremost an Opinion writer but I like to dabble.

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