An Interview with Frank Sondors, Candidate for VP Welfare and Communities

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The day before campaigning for the SUSU elections  begins; I sit down with Frank Sondors to discuss why he is running, some of the finer points of his manifesto and to see if he can answer some of the more tricky questions.

So Frank, Let’s start with the basics, what made you nominate yourself for

Frank Sonders

this position?

I had a feeling that the international students were somewhat under-represented at the Union. We as a sabbatical team need to work more closely with addressing the issues that the international students have when coming over here, in terms of integration. That, I think, is the major issue that I will tackle.

Why is this position important to you?

As an International Student myself I believe there are some fundamental issues that need to be addressed next year. I believe I will be the candidate who will be able to change this because, first of all, I can speak several languages so I’ll be able to communicate with Erasmus students. I am still an Erasmus student network national representative, which basically means I am representing students on a national and European level.

So what do you think you can bring to this position that the other Candidates can’t?

What I think is a key problem I’ve seen in the last year is a lack of provision of online material for students in terms of housing, health awareness, environment and also provision of information specifically targeted at International students. So I believe the key way in which I will change the way we provide information online will be through the utilisation of Facebook with a variety of Youtube videos showing how to find housing.

Have you got any previous experience working or volunteering for SUSU-run organisations?

I have worked as a processional student helper in the summer where I was catering to the needs of 800 international students.  I’ve been involved heavily in societies like ISEC, Fish on Toast and Erasmus for the past two years. I have also been involved in the student mentoring system, so I have been mentoring since my first year. I have been vice-president of the School of Social Sciences where I have worked in a team of five aiming to increase democracy within Social Sciences and the union.

I’ve been involved heavily in societies like ISEC, Fish on Toast and Erasmus for the past two years.

What Student experiences have you had that will help to engage with what students need in terms of welfare?

Being an international student, I understand the problems which SUSU has at the moment. One idea is SHS (students helping students). This involves creating a forum where students can ask questions and myself or the welfare committee will answer them. I don’t believe that the Sabbs should work behind the scenes in an office, there needs to be a link to the students. It is not enough to just send an email, a forum will be a huge benefit.

I don’t believe that Sabbs should work behind the scenes in an office, there needs to be a link to the students.

Many Students are unaware of the Sabbs’ role in the Union until election week. How do you intend to make your role more visible to students throughout the whole year, if you win?

What I will be doing next year is creating Youtube videos of myself once a month, showing what I have been doing. So when the elections come around next year people will be able to see my twelve videos and see what I have done for the Union. This will increase the amount of people who will run for the positions. At the moment I think that Students see the positions as such a tough job that not everyone thinks they can do it. I believe, actually, that there are so many people that can do it.

Now the ‘serious’ questions…

If you could only hold office for one day what would you do?

I would go out to as many lectures as possible and tell students to go to the Union where I can speak to them personally about what needs changing. I believe there needs to be an information session each month where students can say “I don’t like this, I don’t like that”. So I will set up a specific session time and they will be able to talk to me about any issues they believe should be addressed.

Which politician do you think you’re like?

I think I’m like Mandela. I’m a person who tries to bring two communities together. For myself I am bringing international students together with British students.

I think I’m like Mandela.

If you had a million pounds and only one hour to spend what would you spend it on?

I would directly forward the £1,000000 to the tuition fees office of the University. Therefore all that money would be used for providing bursaries for the students.

OK, now you’re stuck on a desert island with 3 things: one person, one item and one song. What would they be?

Song? ‘I Feel Good’. Person: would be… Puss in Boots! And the item would be Spanish Maracas.

Oh, OK so you and Puss in Boots will be having a sing along with maracas?

*Laughs.* Yes, to “I feel good! Na na na na na na na!”  

Finally, if you win how do you plan on celebrating?

Unfortunately I will not be present on elections night because on the Thursday I will be going with over 600 students to Amsterdam.

If you want to read Frank’s manifesto then visit this link:

http://www.susu.org/elections/sabbatical/manifesto/frank-vadims-sondors

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