March 2011, election season. Winchester students were interested in one role in particular, with three Candidates.
By a slim victory Simon Protheroe was crowned Vice President of Winchester and Sites, taking over from former president Charlene Batchelor in a new role encompassing all of Southampton Universities satellite campuses, the biggest being Winchester School of Art.
We were there to see the results, we waited with bated breath and as the results came in it was a mixed reaction. The position was won by 51% of the vote.
We were interested to see how this one played out. Many had wished for a candidate from Winchester, but we were also interested to see what someone different would bring to the role, someone from outside. It could be refreshing.
Over the summer we heard little from our new president, but it was said he had been busy and we were excited to see the changes take place as the year went on.
However, yesterday Simon resigned from his post as Vice President; three days in to the start of term. Sadly many of us are unsurprised. Vice President and Sites is a demanding role, many Winchester students have felt and do still feel underrepresented within the university of Southampton and that added to responsibility for other satellite campuses and students on placement could well be a stressful job.
So if Simon wasn’t up to the job then his resignation is much better than having someone struggle along, not putting in 100% to what is an important role.
The main thing we are thinking now is what will be next, Simon may be gone but we are still here and there will be a void where a president once was. We will have no one to carry forth our views in Southampton or to fight for us and our campus. We need someone to understand the issues we have here and be passionate about them.
We also need someone to continue what Simon has started, equipment has gradually begun to be installed in the Student Union over freshers week for a cafe service during the day, we hope this and Simon’s other hard work can be continued and realised, not abandoned now that he is gone.
The important thing now is that we are not forgotten and that the role of Vice President of Winchester and Sites continues on next year. We are a vibrant, unique campus and we want the support of our university, to maintain our identity, strengthen our links with Southampton and make the student experience enjoyable and worthwhile for year after year of new students.
Written by Laura Gardner