Kent Union Candidate Question Time In a Nutshell

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By Olivia Marsh on 25.2.2024

Kent Union Candidate Question Time In a Nutshell

InQuire sat through three hours of Kent Union Candidate Question Time, so that you didn’t have to! So here’s a brief rundown of the night.

Each candidate was given two minutes to make a speech and then three questions were posed to all of the candidates.

First up were the “VP Education candidates”. Lisa Ashworth was the first candidate to give a speech and she told us her aims were to increase the number of fiction books held in the library, create mentoring schemes between first and third year students and make reading weeks universal across schools and departments.

Next was Vid Calovski who was standing for diversity, improving feedback quality and times, and to create transparency within Kent Union.

Alex Murray is seeking to improve study space and expand the varieties of teaching method and assessment.

All candidates were asked whether they would focus on getting more books for the library or computers?

Alex Murray told us that it didn’t have to be a choice between the two but that it was important to increase both computer access and the number of texts available.

Vid Calovski pushed that a solution to the resources in the library was to have all core text books available as E-books.

Lisa Ashworth said that due to most students owning laptops, books really needed to be the priority in the library.

Next up was VP Activities and Sarah Hook began the speeches, as RAG president in 2011-12 she wanted to celebrate the work done by volunteers and look at restructuring societies in order to make them run more effectively.

Kenny Budd is re-running for the position and said that he would seek to build upon what has already been achieved and work to secure further funding for societies as well as increasing activities space that can be utilised by societies.

Aaron Watkins unfortunately wasn’t able to make the question time as he was performing on the stage at The Gulbenkian but sent a representative to give his speech which outlined creating new KSCV awards and create a sabbatical officer for Medway to ensure their needs were met.

Laurence Durham told us that he wanted volunteers to run the Student Activities Office so that they could gain experience, and improve the use of the Attic as a social space.

VP Sports candidates spoke next beginning with Joanna Baldwin whose campaign slogan is ‘Sports for all’ to increase inclusivity within sports societies and wants to see Wednesday’s off timetable for all students to be able to participate in sports matches.

Matthew Harris was next to speak and said that sports teams needed to improve links with the community in order to move forward and that it was important to seek sponsorship to provide transport for teams to travel to away games.

Ron Mbakwe argued that Kent gym membership should be separated out so that those using the gym solely to participate in sports training should not also have to pay for a gym membership and visa versa he also wanted to work more closely with InQuire and CSR to cover sporting events on campus.

Francesca Plom sought to introduce nutrition and sports psychology courses to improve sports teams and work to get all Kent teams playing in the same colour kit to promote unity.

After a short interval we heard from VP Welfare candidates beginning with Catherine Moss, Catherine wanted to create a student survival guide to help new students by giving them key information about living and studying in Kent.

Next was Stephanie Robinson who was looking to create optional study groups to help support academic work and try to ease tensions between local residents and students.

Colum McQuire is re-running for this position and wants to support new students paying the increased tuition fee amount by increasing grants and bursaries available to students.

Stella Fasusi wants to promote student well-being and protect students’ rights.

Emily Morrey-McGrath wanted to focus her time on student health and well-being, accommodation problems and pastoral care.

Sharona Say spoke next on increasing disabled access to university buildings and supporting sexual and mental health.

Finally, we got around to the position of Union President in which three candidates are running:

Tom Ritchie is re-running for this position and proposes to increase student activities, give volunteers accredited qualifications and make studying in a year abroad available for all degrees so that everyone can benefit from such an experience regardless of their course.

Paul Dunne wants to reduce the amount of what he considers to be needless bureaucracy which holds people back from being involved in student activities and in contacting university officials and said that some of the financial needs which the university is not meeting for sports and societies can be sought from external companies.

Alex Kennedy wants a more open and social union where societies are empowered to make use of free space to their advantage, using the Attic as a more effective space to make money and price checking Essentials and Extras to highlight how much more expensive they are then high street stores.

Make sure that you check out all of the candidates full manifestos online at http://www.kentunion.co.uk/elections/ and get down to either The Venue or vote online.



Comments

  • Hi Emily,

    You are included in the article, in the second paragraph from the bottom along with the other Welfare candidates.

    By website-news on 27.2.2024

    If you are unhappy with this comment please refer to our terms and conditions and contact us with any any concerns.

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