SUSU Elections: Debates Round-Up


The Wessex Scene team live blogged the debates to you yesterday – but for those of you that missed it, take a look at what the candidates thought of being put in the spotlight, and what they really think about the dress that broke the internet. 

The order of the debate went as follows:

VP Sports Development

VP Education

VP Communities

VP Engagement

VP Democracy and Creative Industries

VP Welfare


VP Sports Development: 

Ashley Sivarajah, Jamie Wilson, Roman Martin and Stephen Barratt.

How do you think the debates went for you?

Ashley: Yeah I’d agree with Roman that it was definitely nerve-wracking! I thought everyone seemed quite strong in the debate.

Jamie: Yeah I thought it went well. It was good fun overall, and it was goof to debate and discuss the issues with the other candidates. An enjoyable experience on the whole.

Roman: Yes I think it went well. It was definitely a nerve-wracking experience though!

Stephen: It was great to have a sensible discussion, particularly on the issue of the tiered gym memberships. I can understand why these guys are campaigning for it, but it really is something I am fully against.

What was the toughest part of the debate for you?

Ashley: Introducing ourselves. I always hate that sort of thing. But I would also agree with Roman, it was really restrictive timing-wise in trying to get our point across.

Jamie: The round-up. I really didn’t like how I ended it if I am honest. Apart from that it was good overall.

Roman: The timing, I really felt that we weren’t given enough time and it was quite restrictive.

Stephen: Definitely timing. I was quite disappointed actually, I really didn’t like how restricted the debate was.

The dress – is it black and blue or white and gold?

Ashley: Definitely blue and black!

Jamie: I’ve seen both sets of colours actually. I have no idea what colour it is!

Roman: Both!

 Stephen: Gold and white, I don’t know how people are seeing any other colours!


VP Education

Shruti Verma. (Giles Howard, physical sciences and engineering officer, also contributed to the debate.)

How do you think the debates went for you? 

Shruti: I feel quite good actually, I did get nervous, I am only human. It’s up to the voters to decide. It could have gone a lot worse. There are things that I wished I had said, but there always will be and they’ll come across in other ways, it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon.

What was the toughest part of the debate for you?

Shruti: Beforehand, and just waiting to go on because you don’t know what to expect.

The dress – is it black and blue or white and gold?

Shruti: White and gold, definitely! 


VP Communities 

Anjit Aulakh and Rebecca Lake.

How do you think the debates went for you? 

Anjit: I think it went really well. Rebecca raised some valid points, but I think overall it went really well!

Rebecca: Well nervous! very nervous, but empowering. I think I handled Anjit reasonably well, just a few hiccups with being nervous. But it was good fun! But definitely the most intensive debate of the day.

What was the toughest part of the debate for you?

Anjit: Definitely the question about post-graduate students, because not knowing what’s going to happen from the university’s side, leaves us in a position where we can’t really give a concrete answer.

Rebecca: Being grilled about JCR ‘sharking’! There were a couple of points where I thought: ‘Oh no, what do I actually say?’ I wasn’t sure what to say as I felt the “Would postgraduates want tea?” question to be a bit of an odd question and I don’t think it was necessary to talk about my post-grad plans when all the question asked was whether they’d want tea… But overall I am happy about how it went, I held my own against debatably the hardest competition and did well. I look forward to physical campaigning!

The dress – is it black and blue or white and gold?

Anjit: It’s brown!

Rebecca: Red and black! Well personally I saw it as white and gold but hey! Red and black dress all the way!


VP Engagement

Hannah Talbot and Jenny Bortoluzzi.

How do you think the debates went for you? 

Hannah: Fine, it’s just a debate at the end of the day. I can’t really say more than that. 

Jenny: It went well, I think. There was a lot more that I wanted to say but we had the light flashing and I had to stop. 

What was the toughest part of the debate for you?

Hannah: With my points, I kind of like to give a general overview of what I would like to do. And when they asked about £100,000 funding, I thought I was quite vague and didn’t use my time up very well. But it’s only because I feel like it’s such a broad issue, it concerns more than just me, and I feel like students should be allowed to have a choice in where that money goes to. 

Jenny: The first question was communications and that’s always a tricky one because how do you improve something where you’ve pretty much tried all of it. We’ve got all of the social media. How do you go about improving that and actually being able to communicate with the students? And I definitely think that having more face-to-face communication is essential because the students just don’t interact with the social media anymore. 

The dress – is it black and blue or white and gold?

Hannah: Blue and black. Well, I woke up in the morning and it was white and gold, but honestly, I say blue and black at the end. 

Jenny: I haven’t seen it as black and blue yet. I have only ever seen it as white and gold. But I also think it looks better in the white and gold than black and blue. I would actually buy it if it was white and gold.


VP Democracy and Creative Industries

Kerry Sclater and Chris McGeehan

How do you think the debates went for you? 

Kerry: I think it went okay. It was a bit difficult at the end to say a meaningful answer in such a short period of time. 

Chris: It this it was pretty good. It was more challenging than I thought it was going to be. But it’s a good opportunity to have and to know what the other candidate thinks and consider what the other candidate’s points are. 

What was the toughest part of the debate for you? 

Kerry: Definitely the timing because there’s so much I want to say and it’s hard to convey it and try to get my point across in that time period. 

Chris: Probably some of the areas in which I have less experience than Kerry, because I can’t just copy her points – I have to differentiate myself.

The dress – is it black and blue or white and gold?

Kerry: My heart wants to say white and gold, but my head knows it’s blue and black. 

Chris: White and gold. 


VP Welfare: 

Chibeza Mumbi, Sam Bailey and Eva Pemberton.

How do you think the debates went for you? 

Chibeza: I think it went well; I was quite nervous but I’m pretty sure it went okay. 

Sam: I think it went really well. Hopefully I’ve showed how I’ve got ideas for all the things that really matter to students, and how I’ve got the experience to get things done and make changes happen in every students’ life. 

Eva: Yes I think it went a lot better than I thought. Beforehand, I was quite nervous but once you get on stage it becomes quite natural and I just felt like I could get my points across.

What was the toughest part of the debate for you?

Chibeza: I don’t know really, I can’t think of the toughest part. The question regarding student involvement in campaigns really made me think- I hadn’t really thought about it in much depth beforehand!

Sam: It’s quite hard in the time limit. You’ve got so many ideas and so many things you want to change – it’s hard to express them in a short time period. My manifesto is quite long, there’s a lot of ideas there, but that’s because I think there a lots of things to change and lots of things to be worked on. So that was quite difficult but I think it went okay. 

Eva: Probably the unseen question and trying to follow on from what the other candidates had said. To be fair, I don’t think anything was especially challenging.

The dress – is it black and blue or white and gold?

Chibeza: White and Gold!

Sam: I thought it was blue and gold, but I’m told that’s not an option. I think despite whatever is going on here today, that is the true debate that society needs to be having. 

Eva: Blue and black. Actually, blue and brown!



Ben Franklin and Sebastian Vogelpoel.

How do you think the debates went for you? 

Ben: I think I rambled in places, and lost sight of what I wanted to say, because I had a lot on my mind, but overall it went well.

Sebastian Vogelpoel: I think it went quite well. Hopefully I got all my points across, it seems to be that way from the reaction I got. 

What was the toughest part of the debate for you?

Ben: Not interrupting when I thought I had something to reply to – at one point I think Sebastian said he didn’t intend to write a five-year plan, and that’s actually in the job description of this year’s president because we’ve just expired our old one. So, at that point, I wanted to interject, and I had to not, and bite my tongue.

Sebastian: I think it all flowed fairly well. I feel fairly happy with it. Obviously, you have to be up to the task with all of it so I don’t think I could pick on specific point. 

The dress – is it black and blue or white and gold?

Ben: Black and blue. 

Sebastian: Blue and black. 


More articles in SUSU Elections 2015
  1. Candidate Interview: Ruchika Menon, VP Communities
  2. Elections Night Live 2015: Winner Interviews
  3. Late Election Entry: SUSU the Cat
  4. SUSU Elections: The Exit Polls
  5. Candidate Interview: Roman Martin, VP Sports Development
  6. Candidate Interview: Ashley Sivarajah, VP Sports Development
  7. Candidate Interview: Jamie Wilson, VP Sport Development
  8. Candidate Interview: Stephen Barratt, VP Sports Development
  9. Candidate Interview: Rebecca Lake, VP Student Communities
  10. SUSU Elections: Debates Round-Up
  11. Candidate Interview: Benjamin Franklin, President
  12. Candidate Interview: Chris McGeehan, VP DCI
  13. Candidate Interview: Kerry Sclater, VP DCI
  14. Candidate Interviews: Dan Varley and Flora Noble, JCR Officer
  15. Candidate Interview: Hannah Talbot, VP Engagement
  16. Candidate Interview: Shruti Verma, VP Education
  17. Candidate Interview: Jenny Bortoluzzi, VP Engagement
  18. Candidate Interview: Anjit Aulakh, VP Student Communities
  19. Candidate Interview: Chibeza Mumbi, VP Welfare
  20. Candidate Interview: Sam Bailey, VP Welfare
  21. SUSU Election Rumours: Who’s Running?
  22. BREAKING: VP Engagment Candidate Daniel Clemence Withdraws from SUSU Elections
  23. BREAKING: SUSU Election Candidates Revealed
  24. Elections Night Live 2015: Candidate interviews
  25. ELECTIONS NIGHT LIVE 2015: The Results

Editor of Wessex Scene 2014-15 Features Editor 2013-14 Writer 2012-2013 I have been involved with the publication throughout my time at university. As editor, I have worked with my team to redesign the magazine, the website and even create special editions on top of our monthly issues. I primarily write news, features and lifestyle pieces.

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