I managed to drag Chloe away from the glamorous life of a Sabb candidate to speak to her about her manifesto, what this position means to her, and her love for Benedict Cumberbatch.
So Chloe what made you nominate yourself for this position?
This is a position that I’ve wanted for a really long time, pretty much since my first year when I met Sophie Patterson who was the current Welfare and Societies Sabb. She put the idea in my head and it’s an area I’m very passionate about and I think I can do a good job. I think Welfare is one that gets a bad name of being a “girlie, mothering, nurturing role” but it’s actually exceptionally important. It affects everyone really! It’s kind of the staple of your union life.
What can you bring to the role which the other nominees cannot?
Experience. I have worked really closely with Frankie Fry already this year because I am the Equality and Diversity Officer which means that I’ve sat on the welfare committee for a year already and I’ve done a lot of the Welfare campaigns.
So what will be your main election strategy?
Strategy, eh? Talk to people. I could have a million people out on the concourse but one, I don’t have that many friends and two, I don’t know if it’s the most effective way. What I need to do is talk individually to people and explain my commitment to them.
Have you any previous experience working or volunteering for SUSU-run organisations?
Yes, I’ve briefly touched on Equality and Diversity Officer. That was an elected role where I’ve been sitting on many SUSU sub-committees in areas I can make sure are upholding SUSU’s equality visions. That has been a really unique experience and one that I have enjoyed doing. Last year I was the president of the feminist society and this year I am secretary. That was a society that was a bit dead in the water, so the committee and I rallied it up and we won an EVA (Excellence in Volunteering Award) for our innovation. Also I was the welfare officer of the English society and we won an EVA for commitment so I had a very good year!
What do you feel this position will bring to your future career prospects?
Well, funny you should say! Actually what I think might set me apart from other candidates is that I actually want to go into a welfare career. I want to work in the charity sector, campaign for human rights and work in British and International policy making arenas. So I think welfare of a student union is a fantastic way to start. This isn’t a role that I’m just doing because I did an English degree and really need a job!
This isn’t a role that I’m just doing because I did an English degree and really need a job!
What student experiences have you had which will help you engage with what students need in terms of welfare?
Well I’ve had a personal relationship with the mental health resources in the university and I think the problem is that they’re not taken very seriously. Students have to wait up to four weeks for a counselling service and once they get it, it lasts for a limited time because their resources are stretched too far. My experience there informs me that this is a huge problem. I will be working closely with the university to make sure that the eventual aim of cutting down waiting time to two weeks is achieved.
Bridging the gap between post-grad and under-grad students is something you mention in your manifesto. Why is this important to you and how do you intend to accomplish this?
Post-grads get a raw deal, they pay more than under-grads and they’re not spoken to. I’ve been working with the post-grad taught and research reps, Tom McWhirter and Joe Tait, and we’ve been trying to get hold of the email list of all the post-grads. Unfortunately there’s a data protection act upon those emails because they’re private. I propose we have an opt-in system at the beginning of the year, “would you like to be kept up to date with the union’s going-ons? Tick yes or leave blank”. How simple is that?
The last few questions are just a bit of fun. So if you could only hold office for one day what would you do?
Do I have countless money?
Let’s say you do.
OK, if I could do anything, I would hire more counsellors, I would go and knock on Don Nutbeam’s door and ask what the hell he is going to be doing with £9,000 from each student. I would go to the student services office and steal the post-grad email list, and if I had a team, the Green Team, then we’d do some door-knocking.
Which Politician do you think you’re most like?
*Laughs*. What a question! I want to say Tony Benn but I’m aware people don’t like Socialists very much. Tony Benn’s a f***ing legend though.
Tony Benn’s a f***ing Legend though.
If you had one million pounds and only one hour to spend it, what would you spend it on?
Right I’m going to sound like a real arsehole here but I’d give so much to charity! I’d put s*** loads in charity and enjoy it.
Any charity in particular?
Where to begin? Just so many! Also I’d put my parents in retirement because they’re still working to put me through uni so they could do with putting their feet up and I would hop on a plane and travel the world.
Ok so you’ve hopped on that plane but you’ve ended up stranded on a desert island. You can bring with you one person, one item and one song. What would you bring?
Can the person be anyone?
Anyone you want!
Benedict Cumberbatch. One item would be… I would say a dildo but I’ve got Benedict Cumberbatch so he’s multifunctional. A book, I’d bring Salman Rushdie’s Midnight Children, and the song would be Two Headed Boy by Neutral Milk Hotel.
OK final question! If you win how will you celebrate?
I’m going to sleep!