Ben Leatham

Image: YUSU

Image: YUSU

Third year

What made you decide to run for YUSU President?
I completely understand when people say they are apathetic about student politics. What impact does it have on the average student? I decided to run in the elections because I know this doesn’t have to be the case! YUSU employs over 40 staff members. That is a lot of people, who, if guided in the right direction, can have a hugely positive impact on students at this university.

Sum up your main policies.
I have a huge range of policies, which target different areas of YUSU and different student bodies. They include starting an official petition site, updating the YUSU website, focusing more on supporting student groups and improving student’s employability, especially those who have held positions of responsibility whilst at York.

Describe yourself in three words.
Committed, passionate and approachable.

What makes you different to the other candidates?
What makes me different is my previous experience and my passion for the University and the students in it. I have an array of realistic policies that I know I can implement.

What experience do you have that will be good for the role?
For the past year I have been Derwent Chair which has given me a huge variety of experiences, skills and networks. I have had to lead a committee of over 30 people, work closely with the current officers and staff members at YUSU and sit on a variety of university committees.

What will you do differently to Sam Maguire, the current YUSU President?
Sam’s been fantastic at negotiating with the University and leading the team of Sabbatical Officers. What he hasn’t been so good at is guiding the YUSU staff in the right direction and communicating back to the students what the Union is doing. These two things would be big priorities for me.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I was born and grew up in Hong Kong. I only moved to the UK for university.

What do you think of the other candidates?
All of us have spent our time at York very differently, which is fantastic. Our varying experiences mean we all bring something unique to the table.

What do you think the biggest challenge you’ll face during elections will be?
The biggest challenge is definitely going to be staying animated for the entire campaign. Ten days is a long time!

What’s your campaign strategy?
I’m going to try and talk to as many students as possible. You’re the people who should be shaping YUSU!

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