Quiz the Candidates LIVE BLOG

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The Wessex Scene is currently experiencing some technical difficulties at the moment. We will continue trying to update our live blog as we can. Thank you for your patience.

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VP Communications candidates are currently giving short speeches about their manifesto points.

Its looks like we’ve finally got our Live Blog to work, sorry about all the technical difficulties we’ve been having.

VP Comms. candidates are currently answering questions about media independance.

All candidates have acknowledged that they would like to see more media independance, but that media departments also need to provide fair coverage.

A question is being put to the Comms candidates about previous recent plans taken to Union Council about electing media heads across campus (in the Executive Review).

Hayley Taulbut has responded saying that ordinary students outside a media department would not be able to run it, however, saying that, she also thinks that SUSU should encourage more people to get involved.

Dax Wood also picks up on encouraging more students to get involved in media departments, however says he is wary about students who have no previous experience running to be a head of a media department.

Joe McClo says ‘in a word, no’, media heads should not be elected across campus.

Dan Webb agrees, saying that traditionally heads of media departments have always been elected by those in media committees and would like it to stay that way.

VP Academic Affairs candidates are now giving short speeches about their manifesto points.

Sami Stephenson is first up, she says she wants to encourage more and better feedback, amongst other things. She says she is always chatty and would be ideally approachable for the role.

Jon Davies explains that he thinks he would be good for the role becuase he has more experience in academic affairs through previous roles including school president and course rep. He explains he will campaign against any 8am – 8pm lectures.

Benjamin Brooks highlights the importance of the upcoming year, as does Sasha Watson. Both also say they will fight against 8-8 lectures.

Candidates are now answering questions about what they think is most important about the role and what is the one thing they want to change.

Sami Stephenson says to monitor the situation with tuition fees, Jon Davies says he want to improve the course rep system.

Benjamin focuses on the Curriculum Innovation Programme, explaining how he would like more students involved.

Sasha Watson says it is all about communication.

Question about longer lecturer hours. What would candidates want to do in order to create more space instead?

Benjamin: I want to push the University to look for more space.

Jon: We should encourage the Uni to use every possible spare space they have.

Sasha: Better use of lecturer theatres should be encouraged.

Sami: Building new space isn’t going to happen next year. She wants to work to improve quality of time with lectuerers and tutors.

Presidential candidates are now taking to the stage amongst cheers…

Manifesto speeches….

Alex Cunningham: says she’s got the skills to do it. Wants to thank the current sabbatical team for inspiring her. Says everyone running got a lot of experience, but lists hers with Surge. Main points include a better housing scheme through the Union. Wants to ensure students will be pushing for highest quality of Uni facilities ie. increasing access to reserve collection books.

Next up, Derek. Explains his manifesto, admits his points ‘don’t make sense.’ Says we shouldn’t see his ideas as a list of ingredients, but a recipe. Explains that SUSU students should make their voices heard. Says politics is not about dressing in blue morph suits with condoms on heads, but ideas. He has now asked for a moment of silence (unsure what for).

Jazz Sherman: Lists her experience, says she adores being part of SUSU. Main points she says includes making better use of Uni space such as re-developing the SUSU shop; reforming the experiences of international students; would like better promotion of Union Council and events; wants to make access to sabbs easier ie video blogs.

Charlie Torrible: ‘We have a fantastic SUSU but I don’t think its the best it can be.’ Says will ensure a strong leadership constantly welcoming people and encouraging higher involvement. Key ideas explained – says will offer ‘a national or international headliner at least once a fortnight at The Cube; wants to improve the current area we are all in at the moment – Union concourse; wants a society handover database.

Aaron Bali is now speaking. First candidate to jump off stage and join people watching below. Wants Council Tax letters sent straight to Council; highlights his environmental plans such as a solar panel on the roof of Union building and allotments on campus; wants more outreach programmes to higher profile of Union; wants safety bus between here and WSA as well as Portswood.

Sam ling is speaking about the importance of listening to all students. ‘I want to make you feel like your own the Union.’ Says all his policies comes from students and can trace back to conversations. Lists his experience, ‘if you elect me, my work starts from day one.’ Policies include a Union housing agency, lobbying against hidden extra course costs, better accountibility – he wants to conduct survey at end of sabbs’ office to see how well they did.

Charlotte Davison wants to make accountibility as one of her most important points. Also highlights importance of contact hours, says current levels are ‘not acceptable’. Says library during exam time is ‘ridiculous’, says he put in extra revision space this last exam period as part of her role as Humanities President. Other ideas include recognising importance of PAU.  Says running SUSU takes more than listing points in a manifesto, she has the abilities to #be the best candidate in the world.’

Jess Staff is explaining how she picked yellow as a campaign colour for a reason – ‘it’s noticeable’. Says her main points are visibility and accountability. Staff would like more information online, says students need to know where their money is going. Wants to consult students on more things such as The Cube.

Questions…someone asks how candidates plan to put on epic events without bankrupting the Union.

Alex Cunningham would like to promote more events already going on in the Union such as those put on by Comedy Soc.

Charlie Torrible says he will use his ‘contacts and experience’ to get good events.

Jess Staff would like to ask students how money should be spent. Says The Cube is the problem, not JCR bars etc.

Charlotte Davison says she would like to consult students and listen exactly to what students want, and do alot of research.

Sam ling also places emphasis on what students want. Says SUSU misses opportunities by not putting on events such as Chinese New Year, wants the union to be creative.

Aaron Bali says Union shouldn’t second guess what students want.

Jazz Sherman says problem at the moment is publicity.

Derek wants to ‘sort out the techies’. Also would like to buy Jesters and move it drink by drink to The Cube.

Question: Do candidates see SUSU as a business or a Union? Where does business side come from?

Sam Ling: 100% student led Union. ‘Yes it is about business but it is a Union first and should place importance on lobbying Uni. government…’

Aaron Bali says SUSU is firstly a Union, but also a business. Jazz Sherman also says this.

Derek says Union is a ‘face and a voice for students.’

Alex Cunningham wants to bring Union back to representing students and being a strong political voice.

Charlie Torrible says Union is a £7million organisation, need to think like a business. But also represent students. Jess Staff says ‘yes we turn over £7million yes, but we also firstly need to represent students’. Charlotte Davison points out Union is a service also, and should provide what students want or need.

Question: all candidates talk about what students want, how will candidates use other positions to get this and make SUSU best ever?

Derek: ‘Its a group thing but I’m in charge.’

Jazz says communication is the key.

Aaron says that he trusts that students will make the right decision on other sabbatical positions.

Sam Ling says student volunteers, other students are important to working as a good team also. Said Sabbaticals should stand with students, officers together to make the best team.

Charlotte Davison says that people should trust people and support each other.

Jess Staff says that the upcoming Executive Review results will help with leadership within the Union. Charlie Torrible says he is a good leader as his leadership of Physics Society caused it to be awarded Best Physics Society in the country.

Alex Cunningham says that leaders should take note of what everyone else says, and listen to students.

Billy Fitzjohn reminds students that they can also ask a sabb a question online www.susu.org/elections.

Voting opens at 12 on Monday.

That’s all from the Live Blog here on the Union concourse, thank you for following, and apologies about the technical difficulties we were having earlier.

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