The Leadership Race returns for 2018, where you, the student body, elect your representatives for the next academic year.
Regardless of your year of study, by voting you can create real change for the years ahead; both for yourself and for prospective Staffordshire University Students.
Each of the candidates believe they can be this change and are vying for your votes when voting opens next week.
Below is a list of those running this year, with their tagline and three key changes they would like to make if they were to be elected. These points are pulled from their manifestos and the order they appear in below was randomly generated.
#YayForNay to put on a year of events that will appeal to all, bringing us closer together and helping us through the struggle.
- A year of events to get people back in touch with the Union, get all students involved and make the campus a vibrant, welcoming place to be.
- Issues surrounding mental wellbeing, addiction and assault.
- The inclusion of everyone, due to the varied demographic of students.
You can read more of Charné's manifesto here.
A stronger stance on getting you the help you need!
- Better mental health services, assistance and direction.
- Better access to facilities and equipment, and longer hours to access them.
- More clarity on where your money is going and fighting for the best value for money for students across the campus.
You can read more of Ezra's manifesto here.
- Creating social and sports clubs.
- Increased funding for the Students Union and Student Activities
- Access to facilities for all students
You can read more of Gentian's manifesto here.
Working towards a solution to your issues. #YoureWelcome - Maui
- Improve the standard and maintenance of University accommodation by working with RESLIFE.
- Creation of guidelines for consistent, timely and sufficiently detailed feedback for students.
- Improvement of social life on all campuses using the creation of a comparative student experience at Blackheath Lane and Royal Shrewsbury Hospital with both Student Union and Student led events.
You can read more of Josh's manifesto here.
The Voice for All.
- Equality for ALL students: ensuring all students are treating inclusively, both at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
- Breaking down the barriers to learning, such as the re-introduction of reading week.
- Student safety, raising awareness of healthy relationships and sexual violence.
You can read more of Nat's manifesto here.
Scott William Smith
Vote for me and #MakeThatChange
- University Parking – the overselling of parking spaces is causing a massive issue for Students and Staff. There needs to be compromises to ensure commuting students are guaranteed a parking space at any time of day.
- Mental Health & Wellbeing – continuing to support the mental health and wellbeing campaign. It has been a huge success this year and can help support a large variety of students in their time of need.
- International Student Engagement – ensuring the culture of welcoming International students continues, enabling these students to be able to voice their opinions and offering an easier method of engaging.
You can read more of Scott's manifesto here.
Run Forrest, Run!
- Employability during & after studies – Advertising Union employment, the careers network more widely, and aid students in finding placements.
- Lab access – Some students don’t have full access at home to the programs they need for their courses. Students should be able to have access to everything they need, when they need it, so they can achieve the best they can regarding their future.
- Awareness of resources – Students aren’t necessarily aware of what provisions are made for them, so better promotion of things like The Hardship Fund, FoodHub, The Enabling Centre, GreenPad, Councelling Services, The Careers Network, the Guidance team and more. I also want Sports Teams and Clubs and Societies to have access to everything they need.
You can read more of Tuesday's manifesto here.
Be heard by a real, strong, safe candidate. #BringBackTash
- Be Heard – I want to make sure that every student is heard and that you have a network where your voice can be heard. I plan to do this by reviewing our networks and academic societies.
- Strong Representation - Through being your Vice President, I was lucky enough to be elected at a regional level as the BUCS West Midlands Student Chair. I was also elected by you to represent Staffs at National Conference as an NUS Delegate, and I was elected nationally at NUS Zones Conference as one of the 8 people to sit on the Union Development Zone Committee.
- Feel Safe – This was one of my focuses for last year, but I recognise that there is still a lot of work to be done around student safety. It’s not only about student safety on campus that needs improving, it’s also the community of Shelton, and we need to work closer with the council to make students feel safe within the area they live.
You can read more of Tash's manifesto here.
Inclusive Experiences: Accessibility, Wellbeing & Communications
- Wellbeing – This subject is very important to me and it could be for you. After witnessing over the years that mental health awareness has been raised, I believe it’s time that we focus more on taking further action to tackle the issues that deteriorate our mental health during our studies.
- Communication – Although the Union have plenty of experience staff who work hard to improve our student experience, their communication to us can sometimes be blurry. I will work with the Union schedule sessions to suit a broader availability, with at least 2 weeks’ notice, whilst analysing more ways we can be further transparent with students.
- Access & Accessibility – I will be focusing on improving on campus accessibility and extending access to course-relevant facilities, such as Henrion’s Photography Studios and the Law Library, which is usually closed on weekends.
You can read more of Nicholas' manifesto here.
Rethink, vote Pink!
- Anti-Bullying – Bullying is something that followed me throughout my life and I had hoped that once I arrived at university that I would no longer have to face it. Sadly, I was wrong. I have been a victim of bullying and have seen it happen to others during my time at Staffs. I want to introduce more support for victims and a way to report bullies anonymously to help people feel less isolated.
- Mental Health – Mental Health support is already very good at Staffs, but I want to continue improving it further. This could include putting on more wellbeing sessions or even just pointing students in the right direction to get the support they need.
- Higher-Ups – It is becoming more and more apparent with recent changes that the higher-ups at the University are making decisions without consulting with students or lecturers. This issue needs to be addressed as soon as possible to eliminate any more decisions being made without the student voice supporting it.
You can read more of Lauren's manifesto here.
YOUR voice, YOUR choice. Vote for Rhys Parfitt.
- Academics – I want to improve the process surrounding contact hours, get rid of hidden course costs and allow free printing credits, as well as improving accessibility to course content and make timetable applications more accessible.
- Student Life – Further increase awareness of mental health and improve facilities for those who are struggling, as well as increasing awareness of sexual assault and support for those who have suffered from it. I also so want to stop an increase in rent for university residences, whilst increasing student engagement, communication and publicity of Union actions and more.
- Sports – Improve the equipment that the sports teams are receiving, better equipment and better training should yield better results. I also want to push for University provided transport to games where team’s home games are in Stoke-on-Trent but not at the campus.
You can read more of Rhys' manifesto here.
Be The Very Best
- Reduce the cost of a parking permit for individuals with already low income, thus creating a new parking bursary.
- Ensure our voices are heard and that we are not ignored on a national level.
- Offer discounts and rewards for commuting students, sports teams and more.
You can read more of Ashley's manifesto here.
Checkout Number One with Coby, here with you, for you.
- Value for your money – I want you to all feel safe, comfortable and not afraid to spend your money. I hope to ensure there’s always someone within the Union you can speak to obtain advice, and ensure you get the best out of your experience, within Union venues or outside of campus.
- Your wellbeing trumps all – On a daily basis I get the opportunity to talk to a lot of students, and one of the highlights of my day is being able to ask how your day is going or how you’re feeling in a non-invasive way. There’s already fantastic advice and support available to all students regarding mental health, but it’s important to be that everyone feels as comfortable as they can. I hope to ensure the current level of help and support remains, and wherever possible improve upon current systems.
- Opportunities for your University experience – I would like to make sure all courses receive ongoing feedback with evidence in relation to what an employer would be expecting. Feedback has already improved, but I still believe there is a lack of personal-feeling feedback between students and tutors. I’d like to continue to secure fantastic guest speakers from relevant disciplines.
You can read more of Coby's manifesto here.
- Improvement in your security.
- Value for your money.
- Better feedback for your work.
You can read more of Elric's manifesto here.
Having YOUR Say. #Steph4Staffs #Vote4Steph
- Social Experience – LRV, Verve, Ember and Squeezebox. I use all of these venues at least once a week. I want to improve events, promote them using your say, and get you involved, as well as using available space to the best of its ability. I also want to upload our full and updated menus to the website, so all know what is available, and I would love to introduce a salad bar into one of our venues, along with more vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options to ensure everyone is catered for!
- Academic Enhancement – Having spent almost five years at Staffs, I can tell you first hand that we 100% need to make improvements to the library. We need access to microwaves and kettles which could be installed in a specific or confined area. We could also use a stationary vending machine and more water dispensers. The recording of lectures via Lecture Capture, which is a tool used by other Universities in the UK should also be pushed for.
- Strengthening Society – I’d love to get more support for e-Sports, I think the recent uprising of gaming is brilliant and something that needs to be encouraged and promoted more as so many of us enjoy it. I would also continue the support for sustainability at Staffs, and whilst we’ve already brought in eco-friendly straws, it wouldn’t be too difficult to bring recyclable cups into the venues too. I’d love to increase the awareness of services we already provide, such as the FoodHub, but also other local charities.
You can read more of Steph's manifesto here.
- Too much term at the end of your loan? – I plan to work towards creating opportunities for students to raise funds on campus with little planning ahead needed on your part. One of the projects that could help this would be to work with venues to host a “I Wish I Could Afford a Car” Boot sale. These would allow students to sell items they no longer want.
- Cross-Course Collaboration - I would love to make your projects more efficient and turn this university into a creative hub. To do this I will work to implement a social network style platform on the SU website for you to discover students to recruit to aid with your coursework. This could also work for students needed survey participants!
- Proud To Be You – I plan to promote self-care, self-help and confidence to make the campus a brighter place as a whole. This is a mental health campaign which aims to take the stigma away from mental health and proves anyone is able to improve their self-image and optimism. I aim to create and environment within the University in which all students from all walks of life feel included and proud, regardless of any prerequisites.
You can read more of Jade's manifesto here.
- Ensuring tuition and maintenance loans are fair and manageable. An average 95% of student loans go to rent across the UK. We can attack the deeper issues, beyond university.
- Ensuring mental and general healthcare is defended and vastly improved. People are slipping through the gaps, but Staffs Union can be a core part of fighting for the care we deserve.
- Ensuring solid work opportunities are available. Precarious and zero-hour work is no way to scratch it out after student life. The Union can leverage for better, stable work conditions.
You can read more of Patrick's manifesto here.
Student's Voice, Student's Choice
- Making sure student’s voices are heard.
- Engage/attract mature students into Union activities.
- The best possible student experience at Staffs.
You can read more of Fariba's manifesto here.
9/10 Dentists Would Recommend
- On Campus Healthcare that Cares – Currently, on campus, sexual, mental and physical health facilities are either non-existent, difficult to access or inadequate for the majority of our needs. I will push for wide ranging improvements to these across our campus. Improving access, healthcare and support for all students.
- Better Facilities, Better Access – At the moment, the majority of campus facilities close at 9pm, leaving the vast majority of us without access to essential and expensive equipment. I will push for 24/7 access as well as improvements to the already existing facilities in the library, Cadman, and across the campus, to ensure we are getting the best value for money.
- Increase Departmental Interaction – Currently too many of our courses isolate themselves from useful interaction between the various departments, relying on individual lecturers who understand the importance of facilitating these useful experiences. I will push for increased interdepartmental interaction across the board, broadening opportunities for learning, personal and professional growth for us all.
You can read more of Joseph's manifesto here.
I am determined, comitted and will always endeavour to get the best results possible for YOU.
- Communication – Listening to your voices and being an active member of your university life, taking measures to initiate the changes you want to see. I will hold weekly drop-in sessions to provide an open and safe space for people to discuss any problems they may have. I also want to increase postgraduate, international, mature and LGBT student participations and awareness. To do so I will improve communications between those student bodies and the Union. I hope to set up open forums, working groups and awareness mechanisms to support them.
- Learning – Starting an initiative on all campuses to encourage professional collaboration between students from all disciplines. I also want to create an online dyslexia forum to encourage dyslexic students to swap tips, ideas, coping strategies and organisational help. Practical help and advice from a peer to peer perspective.
- Trust & Teamwork – Ultimately, I want the student body to see me as a figure of trust who puts all of his efforts into improving their student lives. I am discreet and understanding when dealing with sensitive issues, so students can feel secure that I will maintain their confidence. I am a team player – and I promise to work hard with my colleagues to improve your lives and learning at Staffordshire University.
You can read more of Anmol's manifesto here.
- Representing your voice and putting you first – Representing your voice has always been my focus to address the Union’s missions of “putting students first” and “representing the student voice”. Although I am aware of what issues are important to students, the main focus of my campaign is collecting YOUR views and feedback on what kind of issues YOU would like to see the Students’ Union and University address in the next year and where YOU’D like the finances to be spent.
- Boosting Student Engagement & Maintaining Employability Prospects – One of the main focuses I have had as a trustee has been to ensure the Union is spending its income on helping YOUR engagement, both academic and extra-curricular, as this impacts YOUR employability, value for money and overall experience. I would like to continue with this as an Officer.
- Working with the Local Council & Community for Safety Around Campus – As a local home-grown student, I’ve always known Shelton as an undesirable area and your feedback has certainly informed the Union that safety is a big concern. Myself and current Officers have recently fed back student issues such as safety in the local area, sexual violence, hate crime, speeding on College Road and drugs to the Staffordshire Police Crime Commission. If elected, I’d like to continue working with the Commission to enhance safety in the area.
You can read more of Sabaat's manifesto here.
Stop procrastinating, get creating! Whenever wherever, we'll endeavour!
- Implement recording software for the lecturers, so lectures can be recorded for those who are absent or have difficulty focusing.
- To create more University-wide events, build on current events such as Stoke Con and improve Diversity, e-Sport, Solar and Mental Heath events.
- Strengthen the relationship of societies within each other and the Students’ Union and offer them help in recruitment, rooms and resources.
You can read more of Michael's manifesto here.