Question Time: Union President Candidate Roundup
In alphabetical order:
Rashida is a third year Health and Social Care student, and this year’s ethnic minority officer. One of the biggest goals she hopes to achieve as Union President is to “provide financial aid not based on your economic circumstances; but providing aid that is adequate to your current financial situation. You might not want £100, but maybe just £10 for a book.” She furthermore wants to focus on promoting cultural diversity, accomplished by the introduction of a diversity carnival to be held at the uni. She hopes to “set up a befriending program between young people from the university and old people in the community,” to increase the university’s presence in the local community. Ultimately, she hopes that using her experience as a University of Kent student can help future students have a smoother studying experience.
Former VP for Sports at the university, Chris’ past achievements include the first liberation in sport day, Quality Map, the launch of Team Medway, the Back to Basics Campaign, the Sport Matters Campaign, amongst others. As Union President, one of Chris’ biggest goals is to “put the ‘student’ back into the Student Union.” This would be achieved by giving students a bigger say in Union decisions, and the introduction of a loyalty scheme. He aims to “take greater interest in your campus by lobbying for much more space, have a greater voice in the local community, potentially setting up a student council between all three Union institutions.” Additionally, he aims to “break down more barriers,” believing that as “university should be open to everyone, regardless of their background,” greater focus needs to be put on involving students in clubs and societies.
Dave is a second year Film student, currently the Mature Students Officer, and volunteers as a Skills Trainer as part of the Standout Sessions Program. Among his past accomplishments, Dave has campaigned for improvement in the representation of mature students at the university, providing more events for all student groups to get involved in, and improving employability for students. His plan as Union President is threefold: more rewards, more opportunity, and your opportunity. Regarding rewards, he says, “I want you to be rewarded for the successes that you have, and recognise your achievements in academia and positively representing the university.” Regarding student opportunity, he aims to “lobby for more 24 hour study space, and review the space for social activities and make sure it’s being used effectively.” Lastly, regarding ‘your opportunity’, Dave believes that “Kent can do more with the local community around our campuses,” and he wants to introduce a Kent Union discount card, “a scheme that will introduce special offers and discounts throughout the county of Kent for small local businesses.” Ultimately, he wants to ensure everyone is valued member of the area that they live in.
Samuel’s aims as potential Union president are clear cut. As part of a plan to further improve student experience at the university, Samuel wants to push for “cheaper beer in the union outlets Venue and Woodies” to combat rising prices caused by inflation. Furthermore, he wants to enforce a price match system in Essentials, “to further improve student living costs.” Regarding cross campus relations, Samuel wants to implement better transport links between Canterbury and Medway, potentially in the form of an implementation of a night bus that will allow students to make the most of student night life.
Darius is a International Relations Masters student, as Union President, one of his biggest goals would be to “provide students with more work options,” and to “increase the number of funding options available to students.” Furthermore he aims to “make the campus more environmentally responsible and provide better access to campus facilities like the Colyer-Fergussen building and the dance halls.” Lastly, he wants to continue improving relations with Medway campus.
Tammy is a third year Classical Archeology Student. Her goal is to “create a Union that is suited to every sort of student, not focusing on students that are necessarily actively involved with the Union.” Rather than prioritising students that regularly interact with the Union, she aims to cater more to “students that just want the university to be a better place to spend time at,” regardless of whether they are an active member of the Union. She wants to organise fixed prices for taxi fares for local taxi services, ensuring cheaper travel to and from campus. Also, she hopes to introduce mobile phone charging outlets in the library, and will push for the implementation of a Venue pass, which would offer free or discounted entrance to the club on campus.
Dimitra is recent Law graduate, now studying Forensic Science. Her campaign’s biggest point is value for money, “by expanding what we have already accomplished, utilising resources, so as to increase funds both for the departments, decrease hidden costs, invest in Medway, and get a better student experience for everyone. She would like to see “better chances for volunteering and campaigning by getting in contact with the local government, having Kent students be more locally involved, and increasing their employability.” In terms of housing, she would like to “unite the colleges and get better deals in accommodation within the campus.” Lastly, she hopes to put greater emphasis on international students, to “get them easier access to help, as they have the biggest problems getting along on our campus financially.” She would do this by reducing hidden costs, providing course materials such as books,” which would allow these students to then partake more in university activities.
Zach has previously worked both in Essentials and the Venue on campus, meaning he already has a an idea of the Union’s financial situation. As future Union President, Zach would work with students to “achieve more funding for students, sports and societies.” His hope is to increase incentives and support for anyone who wishes to engage in fundraising. Additionally, he wants lecture recordings to become standardised across the board for all faculties, more opportunities to work at Kent Union, and better access to the Union and Union facilities.” He furthermore feels strongly about financial transparency, “people should know where their money is going within Kent Union.”