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Question Time: VP Activities Candidate Roundup

Read our short interviews with each of the candidates for VP Activities here at Question Time tonight.

In alphabetical order:

Tom Currie

Tom has been the Environment Officer for Kent Union for the last two years. His first manifesto point is “publicity, getting the recognition that students deserve”. To do this he would set up a “Success Magazine”, both online and in print, so that “whenever a student does something they think is noteworthy they can submit it and get it publicised”. He also want to improve the University’s nightlife by extending Venue opening hours from 2am to 4am, pointing out that “Club Chemistry now has a 4am close”. “To coincide with that,” he would aim to get a 24-hour UniBus so that students “either going to the library or finishing at a club can get back home easily”.


Jonathon Easton

Jonathan’s big manifesto points are to “bring more live music to both campuses, Canterbury and Medway”, to “make the Union more transparent” and to “improve the E & V experience and add new tiers to the KSCV scheme”. He also wants to run DIY society workshops for people thinking of starting a society. “A lot of people start societies but don’t know how to run them, and a lot of new and exciting societies fade away because of that”, he says. So he would run “open forum workshops to give people the tools to run their own society”, things like writing a constitution, budgeting and marketing.


Joe Ismail

Joe says that firstly he wants to “promote the KSCV award and the employability points scheme and see if we can merge them together”. He emphasises that people can get work experience from the employability points scheme, “and that’s what students want”. Integration is his other main point – “RAG needs to be integrated more into societies, as well as Keynestock and Varsity. I would also try to mix Medway and Canterbury and create a Medway freshers’ fayre”. He also wants to give more space to societies, suggesting that “the Foakes room, which is currently occupied by student media, can become a society room when they move to the Student Media Centre”.


Jake Laws

Jake Laws studies Social Sciences. He says his “main goal is to be an activities officer for everyone, whether you’re a postgrad student, an undergrad, a mature or an international student”. He wants to “increase society funding for everybody”, but in particular for new societies. By making sure their freshers’ fayres are on different days, he would like to encourage “more integration of Medway and Canterbury campus societies”, as well as by having more shuttle buses, “especially in the evenings”. With the 50th anniversary of the University of Kent coming up, he plans to have a “big celebration” where “past and resent students can have a really fun time together”.


Rachel Leitch

Rachel Leitch studies English Literature and French, and spent a year abroad in her third year. She says that in France she was “shocked by the fact that they really don’t get to extra-curricular stuff, so when I came back I was re-invigorated by how we actually have so much going on here at Kent”. She’s been involved with societies since her first year and says her campaign is “all about giving more to students”. “I want to address the fact that we really need more space; it’s not going to be an easy one, but it’s especially important this year because Eliot Hall is disappearing for a while”, she says.


Chris Mattinson

Chris’s main policies are “creating space”, “the creation of a peer-to-peer feedback, ‘how do I?’ group”, “raising more awareness of RAG and volunteering”, “focusing on inclusion” and starting a “spotlight scheme” to highlight societies and other student groups. Of this last one, he says “it can often be quite frustrating when you’ve run a really great event but nobody turns up because they didn’t hear about it”. His scheme would try to “give everyone their chance in the spotlight”, Medway societies, Canterbury societies and volunteering groups.


Clarissa Place

Clarissa says she has three main aims: “visibility” in both Medway and Canterbury; “collaboration between the two campuses through society events”; and “student volunteer satisfaction”, getting more volunteers to use the E & V toolkit and more involved in community work. She proposes to use student media to help people approach the VPs, like through an “Ask VP” on CSR, similar to ‘Ask Clegg’ with “different Sabbs every week or fortnight, where you can just go ‘I’ve got a problem, can you help?’ and hopefully that will improve our visibility on campus”.


Philip Stephenson-Oliver

Philip has been LGBT officer this year and president of the Classical Liberal Society. “I think societies and volunteering are one of the most important aspects of life at Kent, however I think too few people are actually involved in it”, he says. Only around 5,000 students out of 20,000 take part in societies or volunteering. He would try to increase involvement by having a first year catalogue of societies, to “really promote engagement” to those students. This would be alongside a “real drive” promoting the freshers’ and refreshers’ fayres – “I know as the president of a society that if they don’t come once, they won’t come again”.

Nikky Akin

Unfortunately Nikky could not attend question time.

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