Students’ Union President: The Candidates

TODAY saw the final Question Time event for a full-time Officer position, which featured the candidates running for the position of Students’ Union President facing questions from the audience. Aber Student Media streamed the event live, which is available for playback, as well as live-blog coverage here.


Photo by Rebecca James

All 4 candidates, Cecilia Burns, Jacob Ellis, Richard Fulloway and Harry Taylor, were present in the main room earlier this afternoon for the event. The following report will give you a brief run-down of all the candidates and their main policies, which they touched on at the event:

Cecilia is a student of German and European studies, and an institute representative for the Institute of Literature, Languages and Creative Arts. If elected, Cecilia is pledging to pursue policies that ensure Students’ demands and wishes are to be taken seriously. These policies include involving the Students’ Union in the NUS’s Green Impact programme, which she hopes will yield revenue in the long term as well as looking at short term improvements. In addition to this, Cecilia is pledging more society and club involvement with the Union and outside, particularly through the encouraging of more diverse ‘culturally themed’ events.

In her manifesto, Cecilia also spoke about the need to work alongside the other officers, particularly the Welsh Affairs Officer to strengthen students’ support for a bilingual University.  Finally, Cecilia discussed the need for equal opportunities and spoke of her desire to make sure that the Union is a true participatory democracy.

Jacob refers to himself as a “bilingual, experienced and confident candidate”, whose policies are centred around three words: “planning, cooperation, challenge.” If elected, Jacob wants to widen experience and access, by allowing students to use their Aber cards everywhere on campus, including in places like the Arts Centre. He would also like to see the Union offer more respect to part time liberation officers, and would like to introduce a budget for them to fulfill their campaigns.

Another of Jacob’s policies is to introduce a loyalty card scheme, whereby for every drink purchased at the SU bar, 20p is given to your chosen society. Finally, Jacob “wants more” which includes a ‘diversity festival’ and a ‘vibrant RAG week’ among others.

Richard is a third year InterPol student, who acknowledges that previously he has not had good things to say about the Students’ Union, but over the last year has become more involved and participated in a variety of ways. His policies include setting up a Student Events Team to help the Events Coordinator and increase the quality of night time events at the Union. He also plans to lobby for the creation of common rooms if elected,  as well as opening up the Union so that students know what it is doing for them.

Richard has pledged to do this by weekly vlog reports, a whiteboard in reception, and expanding upon “Aber SU On Tour” – taking the Union to students. Finally, Richard wants to ensure that Llanbadarn campus gets the attention it deserves, with regard to an SU presense, fighting for better transport links, and lobby the University to stop bad timetabling.

Harry is also a third year Interpol Student, who has previously been Editor of ‘The Courier’, and a member of the Student Assembly. He wants to build on the work done over the last year to deliver representation that “the 11,000 students of Aberystwyth deserve”. If elected, Harry has pledged to overhaul night time events at the Union, including a review of night time trade in the Union and looking into a feasibility study of reopening Cwrt Mawr bar.

Harry pledges to also publicise more of what the executive officers are doing, by making their calendars public and introducing ‘meet your sabb’ sessions. Finally, Harry wishes to lobby the University to make lectures available for all, by publicising which lectures have spaces to be filled by students not studying that module to encourage interdisciplinary learning.

At the presidential debate and question time event, the candidates discussed a number of issues raised by audience members. You can read the full live blogs and watch coverage of these events in our ‘Elections 2014‘ category.

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Photos by Rebecca James