It’s that time of year again when NTU students have the opportunity to vote for who they want to be in this year’s executive committee, with last year breaking the record of how many people voted, let’s hope this year will be just as successful.
I have interviewed each of the candidates for the position of welfare and community vice president to try and find out why they each applied for this position and also what they want to achieve if they were elected for this role. The four candidates that I have spoken to are; Charley Greening, Peter Lewis, Alix Rangolam and also Toby Mitchell, each of which are very enthused and passionate about the possibility of being elected for the welfare and community vice presidency.
Each of the candidates have their own reasons on why they applied for this position and what makes them stand out from the other candidates; Peter Lewis said “With the change in position to more community based and student health role I felt that I would be the right type of candidate to support student’s needs.” Charley Greening wanted to stand for this role to make the transition from home to University a more comfortable one; she said that “I found living in halls really difficult and even harder to find appropriate support.” Alix Rangolam wanted to become involved in the union from the very beginning of university life; she said “I decided I was going to get as involved with the union as much as I could, so I would know the union inside out, so that I could confidently say, I felt I was the best person for the job.”
The welfare and community vice president for 2011/12 has been Caitlin Hayward, whose manifesto included reducing first year dropouts and also providing volunteering opportunities abroad. Although this year’s candidates manifesto’s have not yet been published, when interviewed they each did mention things that they want to do if they are elected. Charley Greening said “I will raise awareness of how to access services; I will promote the role of the welfare officer and actively support all the services within its remit.” Toby Mitchell said he wanted to “make large tri-campus campaigns but specific smaller campaigns that relate to different groups of people such as campuses, societies and academic schools with the help of the student officers.” He also wanted to run another campaign idea, “called ‘Respect’; the aim of this will be to highlight the importance of respect in any situation mainly focusing on the local communities.”
Being on a certain course may be beneficial to the candidates, because it may help them fulfil the role to the best of their ability; all three candidates felt that their course benefited them with the welfare and community vice presidency. Alix Rangolam who is studying Decorative Arts said “my course is very much based on liaising with people, working as a team and finding ways of getting things done, all of which are imperative to an Exec position.” Peter Lewis who is studying Politics BA hons said “due to the democratic nature of British politics, I feel I will be able to communicate with students in a way that allows them to get their views across.” Toby Mitchell who is studying Wildlife Conservation BSc hons said “I have seen how both Welfare and Communities are so important in any situation and uni is no exception; where they can make or break a situation; however large or small.” And also Charley Greening who is studying Photography BA hons said “Studying Photography means you must be able to cooperate with people. It is observational and analytical.”
We are all interested in why candidates stand out from the other nominees and what makes them characterised and suited to the role of welfare and community vice president. Toby Mitchell is currently the Brackenhurst Liaison Officer, he said “I have had first-hand experience of what is expected of the role, but also had to deal with community and welfare issue and a know how to work within the exec and the union.” Charley Greening is in her third year of involvement with NTSU and has been a fresher rep for two years , social secretary and secretary of NTU Squash in the same time and course rep for photography, she said “I am hardworking and enthusiastic and if elected I would strive to focus on equality, health and happiness and I understand the importance of ensuring equity for all as well as recognizing diversity.” Peter Lewis is currently on the sports exec, vice president of boxing and has also been a fresher rep said “I strongly feel that no one else will bring the type of passion to the table as I will, somebody should be standing up for the rights of students and I will be able to do that to a degree that goes above and beyond other candidates.” Alix Rangolam has done a numerous amount of things whilst at NTU, including: 3 years of school rep, on the NTU RAG committee, 2 years of being a fresher rep and also an NTU student Ambassador and she is also the current Community officer amongst other things. She said “If you are looking for and approachable officer with the experience, knowledge, TRENT passion and drive to do all I can: help me make NTU the best it can be.”
Each candidate has demonstrated that they specifically feel they have the qualities and ambition needed for the role of welfare and community vice president. Whoever is nominated for this role will have an affect on how the union is run and they will work jointly with the vice president of education and representation on equal opportunities and also run campaigns focused on health and well-being. Therefore it’s down to YOU to make sure that YOU vote for who YOU think deserves the welfare and community vice presidency position. Make every vote count!