- Candidate Interview: Samuel Dedman, VP Education
- Candidate Interview: Simon Pinney, Union President
- Candidate Interview: Thomas Gravatt, VP Engagement
- Candidate Interviews: Greg Williams, VP Democracy and Creative Industries
- Candidate Interview: Dan Varley, VP Engagement
- Candidate Interview: Sam Higman, VP Welfare
- Candidate Interview: Kirby Moore, Union President
- Candidate Interview: Ben Parker, VP Sports Development
- Candidate Interviews: Flora Noble, Union President
- Candidate Interviews: Stephen Gore, VP Sports Development
- Candidates Interviews: Alex Hovden, Union President
- Candidate Interview: Amelia Ng, VP Democracy and Creative Industries
- Candidate Interview: Arun Aggarwal, VP Student Communities
- Candidate Interview: Leyla Elsey, VP Welfare
- Candidate Interview: Henry Lane, Union President
- Candidate Interview: Evie Reilly, VP Democracy and Creative Industries
- Candidate Interview: Liam St Dennis, VP Welfare
- Union Election: Rumoured Candidates
- Union Elections 2017: Who’s Running?
- Union Elections: Candidate Interviews with Wessex Scene Published
- Voting for Union Elections is Now Open
- Voting For Union Elections Closes Today
- Union Elections: Meet the Candidates 1 – Liveblog
- Union Elections: Meet The Candidates 2 – Liveblog
- Union Elections 2017: Post-Election Analysis
- Union Elections 2017: Exit Poll Results
With Candidates for both full-time Sabbatical Roles and Students Leader roles in the midst of campaigning, we interviewed each candidate running for full-time sabbatical roles to find out why they wanted the role and what they planned to do if elected. Our Wessex Scene Elections Correspondent, Damian Meaden, has interviewed Flora Noble, the incumbent VP Student Communities, to find out why she should be your next Union President.
Hello Flora, firstly why are you running for the position of Union President?
I’m running for Union President, because I honestly think I’m the best person for the job. I’ve been here for a while now – this is my fourth year in Southampton – and I think I’ve gotten to a point now where I’ve got some really good ideas that can push the Union forward. They’re not hugely revolutionary, we’re not talking a complete upheaval, but I really think I can push the Union forward, make it a better place for every student here at Southampton and I’ve got the experience and aptitude for running it.
What experience do you have that makes you the best fit for the role?
I’m used to managing volunteers – over my time in Southampton and working within the Union, I’ve managed over a thousand volunteers. I’ve worked with a really big group people and I know how to manage people. In terms of the Union, that’s great, but I also have experience in lots of different areas – I’ve played a sport, I have done loads of different media things, I’ve done a degree, so I know what it’s like to be a student here as well and it’s gotten to that point where I’ve got experience in every area and I think I can bring that to the role, but also push it forward a bit, something a bit different
What are the main problems you’ve identified in the role, and how do you plan to fix them?
I guess the role of President is a weird one, because it’s so broad – you make of it what you want to. The main problems I see at the moment are making sure that our facilities are up to scratch for every student, and with the hopefully upcoming renovation of the students union, that’s going to be a really good opportunity for us to get our foot in there and say ‘look, we want a space that’s really good for students’, so that’s something I would really like to see. The other thing I see as a problem as at the moment we are very good at introducing ourselves to students in September, but if you arrive in January we’re not here for you. So I would love to make a Union that is here for students all year round, so no matter when you want to join a club or society, no matter when you want to get involved with something, we’re always here for you, we’re always here to support you and make sure that we are a Union for every student, and not just the select few.
How plausible are LinkedIn labs in Malaysia, and how will you advertise them more?
LinkedIn labs in Malaysia is a bit of a different one, but what we’re fortunate for is the students in Malaysia then come to study in Southampton, so what we can do is start advertising out to students in Malaysia – I don’t know in Malaysia if LinkedIn is a thing, how universal that is – so what we do is explain the concept, be like ‘this is how you can advertise yourself as an employee to future employers’. And then when the students from Malaysia come to study here, we already have that thing in and we can encourage them to build up their skills, add these all to LinkedIn and make sure when they leave Southampton, they are students that are really employable to the outside world. That’s something I really want to focus on, because I think a students’ union is much more nowadays about what it can offer you for the rest of your life, and not necessarily about what it can offer you for the rest of your time here. I would love to be able to create a union that helps students market themselves to future employers, and for the rest of their lives, not just for the three or four years that they’re here for.
How will you ensure every site has a Union space? You can’t make up space.
I am more than aware that you can’t just make up space. I’ve been working with sites for the past year, every single one has it’s own problems, every single one has its own way of doing things. Everyone is different, and you have to take it like that. What I would love to see is the WSA model where he have a desk, there is a member of staff who can interact with you there on a daily basis, I would love to see that rolled out across all sites and I don’t think that’s a huge thing to ask – asking for desk space, or even for a notice board, or something to hold leaflets – these aren’t big things, this is making sure that whatever campus you study at, you can access union facilities, you know how you can get things and it’s about pushing out things that we already do, like LinkedIn labs and the advice center, so you’re not limited in what you can access.
Finally, could you give us a 30-second closing pitch as to why students should vote for you, Flora Noble, to be their next Union President?
You should vote for me because I represent a change in what the union stands for. We’ve had more presidents called David in the last ten years than female presidents. I represent something a bit different, but I’m not revolutionary, I’m not going to create upheaval, but I am here to be a really reliable person that can run your union. I am willing to do what students want, I’m not here for my own reasons, I’m here because I want to make life better here for students at Southampton.
Flora Noble, thank you.