VP Student Communities Candidate Oliver Coles


oc1g09Name: Oliver ‘Oli’ Coles

Degree Subject: Sports Studies

Positions held:

  • – Monte JCR President
  • – Stags/Bridge Team Leader
  • – Monte Bar Manager
  • – SUSU Karaoke Host

Campaign Slogan:
Don’t Be A Wally, Vote For Oli

Organised, good at listening to others, hard working. If I start something will carry it through to the end. I always aim to get the best out of what ever I do.

Why did you decide to run for this position?

Having worked within Halls and Sites all my time at Uni, I have gained a sense of what is wrong within SUSU here. Over the past 4 years I have listened to the complaints and general moans of students here, and I believe that I can improve these communities to make them better, and more engaged within SUSU.

What has been your best experience during your involvement with SUSU?

My best experience within SUSU was as Monte JCR President in my first/second year. I was involved with organising one of the more successful Freshers’ Fortnights in recent years, as well as many successful campaigns in Halls. Through this I worked with International and Postgrad students in Halls, and found it very worthwhile seeing how easily the students adapted to life in halls.

What makes YOU the best candidate for the job?

I believe that I am the best candidate because of my experience and drive to improve SUSU. The internal politics of SUSU this year has had a detrimental effect on all students engagement, especially those students at our sites, and in our halls. With the work I have done with Sites, especially Winchester, I know that I can re-engage students with SUSU, and stop them feeling isolated and forgotten about. Having lived with International and Postgraduate Students, throughout my time at Uni, I have experienced with them, the barriers they have come across to engage with SUSU, and I feel I am the best placed person to break through these. My dedication to SUSU is also one of my strengths too. I currently spend over 40 hours a week, both Voluntary and Paid working for SUSU, and this shows how much of my time I am willing to give up to help SUSU improve.

How will you make change happen?

I’m not going to sit here and just copy and paste my Manifesto, but I will pick a few of what I believe are the key points.
Within Halls you have International, Post grad, Mature and Undergrad students all living together in one community. Currently each of these individual groups live in their own area, and don’t integrate with each other. My main aim is to improve the integration and community within Halls. This would be done by working with Student Services and the Residence Support Team to renovate all the Hall’s Common Rooms, installing Wi Fi and making them the social hub of the Hall. These spaces could then be used by SUSU societies, media, JCRs and RAG to advertise campaigns, have information drop in sessions, as well as holding events here to really engage the students.
With Sites, I will work with each individual Site Officer to make sure that each Site receives the relevant support it needs and wants. We can’t keep putting all Sites under the same banner. Let’s face it, Winchester needs different support to the NOC, or to SGH. One of the most important things though is transport. I will strive to improve the transport links between all campuses, so that students can easily travel to use different resources at the different locations.

What will you do differently that hasn’t already been done or promised before?

I will listen to Students. It’s as simple as that. There have been a few cases over the past few years, when Sabbs have acted, in what they believe, to be the best interests of the Student Body, without properly consulting with them. I will make sure, that whatever I set in place will be run by all the students who will be effected, to make sure that I am doing something which will benefit them, not just something that I think will work. That is after all how my manifesto came together, not by talking to Sabbs, but to the students who are actually in these Communities.

Do you believe you can achieve everything in your manifesto? If so how?

Yes I do. I wouldn’t have put it in my manifesto if I didn’t believe I could achieve it. Over the years I’ve been involved I have questioned outside companies and other staff on how achievable my policies would be, and they have all agreed that they can be achieved within a year. Some of them they believe are absurd that they haven’t been done already. All my promises are completely attainable, and that it why they are in my Manifesto. I have built up good relations with members of Student Services, and the University throughout my years at Uni, and these relationships will make it easier to achieve what I have set out to do.

You can read Oli’s manifesto HERE


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