Candidate Question Time is your chance to put your questions to all of our officer candidates!
 
We held our Question Time on Tuesday - you can see a recording of it below. Some of the candidates were unable to attend at the time - below the recording you can also see their answers to any questions that were asked of them that they emailed in after the event. 
 
Still got questions about the candidates? Check out our candidates page, and then remember to cast your vote before sunday 13th March 5pm!
 
 

 

Candidate Question Time 

 

 

 

Email answers from candidates that were unable to attend the event live

 

President Education

 

Jahanara Ahmed (Jahanara attended the event via zoom but had connection issues before being able to finish their last answer)

 

If you can give us one or two examples of how could you achieve a stronger link between the university and students being heard? 

I’d make myself very approachable. I feel like already students feel they can approach me, but I think students would welcome a change and benefit from having maybe a mentor to help them break down and manage these responsibilities of maybe with assignments sometimes students they work well when it comes to the assignment but the pressure of the assignment and meeting the deadline can become very difficult for students to find that balance between work life and student life. As I mentioned I would implement a scheme that focuses on establishing a work/life balance that supports student’s mental being in a positive manner. Positive relationships between students and the university will have a profound impact on students meeting their goals and this in turn will be evident in the improvement to the university. The struggles students who have English as a second language needs to be addressed also. I am bilingual lmyself and I speak Bengali. Often students cannot voice their opinions and feel their points of view are not valued. A lot of our students speak Bengali I would act as a middle-man to help translate for them any concerns so that we can build that bridge of communication between the university of Suffolk and their students.

I feel it is about arming students with confidence. Empowerment is key. By empowering students,

Students would improve their relationships with the university. Equipping students with confidence would be beneficial not only to the university, but society also. We have students from all walks of life, from different backgrounds and having these qualities will make them job ready.

Social events need to be organised, perhaps something as simple as a day visit to the seaside. This would give students a great opportunity to be themselves and learn to socialise with peers and the university comfortably. Team building activities need to be arranged. The students work very hard. This would be a way of us acknowledging their hardwork and them knowing it is appreciated.

 

PRESIDENT ACTIVITIES AND WELLBEING CANDIDATES

 

BARBARA MIRANDA

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority? 

My first priority would be to really work with the course reps to see what students think they are missing from the activities and especially with the wellbeing. And bring in some smaller activities that students can do with their own classmates to create that bond but also relax from the hardships of life and University. 

 

How would you increase engagement with societies within the Students' Union?

I feel that I don't really know what societies there are at the University and I don't tend to visit the webpage very often. So I think having a social media page dedicated to University of Suffolk societies with a dedicated person from each society as admin, that way they can update students on what each society is doing but also the students can see what societies they may want to join! 

 

Business School Officer candidates

 

Dean Mcgeachie

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority? 

I would focus on feedback from students to pass on to lecturers about the delivery and methods of teaching.

It's one thing having to attend lectures, but it's another thing when the lecturers are just regurgitating off slides. So I will provide constructive feedback to ensure more engagement and understanding to improve our learning and university experience.

 

Health and Sports Sciences School Officer candidates

 

Connor Parish

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority? 

My number one priority would be my manifesto point about increasing connections between students within the school as I really want to be the one to help implement this.  Many students have mentioned in course rep and student voice forums, that they would benefit from the ability to interact academically and socially with other cohorts – and this wasn’t missed by myself. I think this is imperative to university life in our school as it will act as a medium for students to exchange advice and tips whilst increasing interprofessional learning and socialising.  

You have had positions in the Student’s Union before – what progress/achievements have you made in these roles? 

Since joining the University of Suffolk, I have been the LGBTQ+ society treasurer (2 years running), H&SS officer, and FA society president. In terms of society achievements, as president of my society, I successfully created the society from scratch and during my time as LGBT treasurer, I have assisted in running multiple society events, been a hard-working committee member and helped the LGBT+ officer with their events alongside the rest of the society. My biggest achievements within my time in the SU would be during my term as school officer – in a minor role I assisted Darragh with his motion on extending library hours which was successfully implemented. I created a uniform survey which was sent out to all relevant students, as placement uniform was brought up as being an issue and I successfully have got the university to review the findings and implement change to the uniform themselves and the surrounding policy, with an immediate change to the male uniform as a minimum. ‘My Name is’ badges were another big campaign of mine this year and these are being looked at by the University – awaiting management approval. All my manifesto points for this term have been taken to the university and all are waiting to be implemented upon board and management approvals - I think this proves that I can stick to my word and am successful in getting the job done. 

Both H&SS officer candidates have a similar manifesto point about increasing connections between degrees and year groups – why should people vote for your version? 

People should vote for my version as elements of this manifesto point are already in play – I have already successfully spoken to the Interprofessional Lead and Deans and have arranged for a Multi-Disciplinary Day to be organised in November. My manifesto point for this term is to create forums, drop-ins, social events and learning days which increase interprofessional learning and social interactions between year groups, degrees, and the whole school. You should vote for me as I am the correct person to develop and continue my existing manifesto point, especially as I have many ideas encompassing this and already have the conversations, contacts, and elements in play.  

 

Jamie Steele

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority?

If I am elected, my number 1 priority will be to introduce myself to the course reps on the health and sport science courses. I want to ensure that the course reps feel that they know who to go to give feedback from their courses, and also they know where to contact me should they need any help. I believe in order for me to complete my role as a school officer, all course reps need to be supported in their roles. One of my manifesto points is getting fair feedback for students. This would require me to have a good relationship with course reps to collect feedback of improvement or decline in assignment feedback to be able to work on improving it with academic teams.

 

You have had positions in the Student’s Union before – what progress/achievements have you made in these roles? 

I have been a course rep for my course at the SU for the previous two years. I have also been part of the LGBTQI+ committee as a wellbeing officer. Both roles have taught me so much. Working as course rep for such a large cohort, has had its challenges, but it has given me a chance to improve my communication skills, reflections skills and to deal well with difficult situations. I have personally, as a course rep helped with covid-19 vaccine programme for our cohort, and I have dealt with several academic issues with the university team and these have resulted in positive outcomes. For this question, I asked a few of my cohort how they describe me as a course rep, and they said, “The best course rep there is”, but I guess they may be biased!

 

Both H&SS officer candidates have a similar manifesto point about increasing connections between degrees and year groups – why should people vote for your version?

I really want to increase collaboration between health courses and degrees. As part of many of the health courses, we will be embarking on a long career in healthcare and we may get into contact with one another on placements or once qualified in the multidisciplinary team, so why not start building those relationships now. Being out on placements can be daunting, but seeing a familiar face can help. The other reason that I would like to increase interaction as I think its important to support one another for advice, tips, or just to have a chat. I think if one thing this pandemic has taught us is that we need to put our mental health first and I believe we can do that by supporting one another. I plan on doing this through coffee mornings, supporting groups by students of all years, promoting social media interaction and student-led academic groups.

 

mature students officer candidates

 

KLAIRE PECK

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority?

Resounding feedback seems to be that a lack of communication and organisation on behalf of the university impacts all students,  be specifically mature students with other commitments such as children or work to juggle alongside studies.  

Looking at how this impacts student experience and mental wellbeing in its current form and how this can be improved and steps that can be taken to ensure better timely communication and organisation from the university to all students they provide a service to. 

 

A student in the audience stated: "Being a mature student myself when I started back here there didn’t seem to be societies or officer support to help new students" - they generally wanted to know what candidates for your role would do about this.

Students from all walks and stages of life are on campus and joining UOS. 

Projects I would like the chance to implement should the opportunity be given through election and moving forward with a view that there could and should be a mature students society if there isn't already one, looking to the future with events being more focused on the mature age spectrum include:

Rolling out integrative classroom activities in induction weeks to promote inclusion from cohorts to support them to view their fellow students as team mates, regardless of background, age,  culture or any differences, therefore promoting the cohort as a whole to achieve the end goal of getting their degrees.  Evidence shows that those cohorts who have the team building opportunities at the beginning of each year, are more likely to attain better and have lower rates of non completion.  This includes preventing isolating and supporting engagement both in lesson and in self directed study. It also helps prevent age related divides allowing for better friendships within the cohort and a more supportive experience when others view their fellow students as peers, rather than unrelateable if they are of different life stages. 

I would like to hold regular drop in's and clubs specifically focused on interests and suitability of mature students including evenings when those with children can attend,  being led by feedback directly from what is happening and not what is perceived to be helpful to mature students. 

I don't know if a mature representative is a new role,  but I think these elections give each student a voice to bring about positive change for not only us already studying,  but those in future who may wonder why there's not huge focus on mature students, when times have changed and many students are not straight from a-levels or gap years and therefore come with more life experience. 

 

Students with Caring Responsibilities Officer candidates

 

Axel Medcalf

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority?

My number one priority is for all students to be receiving the support they need from the university. I am aware of how difficult it can be to balance multiple responsibilities while studying, and I want to be able to open that conversation and find what it is that the students need the most. University should be available to everyone and if some people are struggling to access it due to multiple responsibilities, it’s important that help is put in place for them.

 

Jenny Wilkinson

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority? 

Hello and thank you for your question.

If elected, my number one priority would be being an advocate and voice to all students with caring responsibilities by working with the university, students union and local charities to make their voices heard and/or to get any support that they may need.

Thank you.

Jenny

 

LSC London Officer candidates

 

Gabor Bajnoczi

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority?

To build a strong, interactive and supportive student community on our LSC London Campus. 

 

Prince Yeboah

 

If elected what would be your number 1 priority?

Thank you for the question, I have experienced a lot of complaints about the academic results during this academic year, and it looks like a lot of student academic performance has been retrogression, therefore, if I am elected, I would like to create a zoom account whereby students who struggle with their school works will have a chance to participate in a special class called STUDY PLUS, is an academic discussion platform where students can share ideas ontopics or modules, I believe with this strategy students will engage or be encouraged to setup their academic game, and also, all relevant information will be delivered you on time. Thank you.

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