Dom Smithies

Image: YUSU

Image: YUSU

College: Alcuin

Course: Philosophy

Do you remember where you were when you first thought of running for Community and Wellbeing Officer?

Probably in the seating area of Willow. Many great ideas of mine were formed there.

Why do you think you’re suited for the role?

I believe I’ve got the right blend of experience, drive and ideas to make a healthy contribution to YUSU!

I was the Vice Chair for Welfare in Alcuin and was nominated for ‘Welfare Volunteer’, my subcommittee were nominated for ‘Welfare Team’, one of our campaigns got nominated for ‘Campaign of the Year’ and the JCRC won ‘Committee of the Year’.

I was part of the LGBTQ Committee when we were nominated for ‘Welfare Team’ and ‘Committee of the Year’.

I’ve been a College President so have worked with facilities and services across campus quite extensively. I’ve got good insight into areas that can be improved upon.

What are your main polices?

The three main strands of my manifesto are: ‘Facilities & Services’, ‘Mental Health Support’ and ‘Community Engagement’.

Re-establishing Neighbourhood Reps; working with careers to better promote part-time opportunities to students; supporting & promoting student-run services like Nightline better; working closely with Unity Health to make it more accessible; re-vamping the Liberation & Welfare Committee to be more proactive in running wide-scale campaigns.

Have you ever done anything like this before?

Not in such a broad scale. I think I’ve done lots of bits and bobs which can equate to various aspects of the role. Being the President of Alcuin CSA was quite a large role but I had a huge amazing team supporting me.

It’s exciting, I think it’ll be a good challenge!

What do you think has been the biggest achievement in 2015/16 of the Officer who has held the position you’re standing for?

I think Scott’s credit has been how well engaged he is. He consults with lots of groups and works with lots of students. He’s achieved a lot of small wins that most people overlook but do really make a practical difference for the student experience and I don’t think that should go under-appreciated.

What would you like to change about YUSU if you were to be elected?

I think it really has an opportunity to engage more effectively. It’s easy to engage with those were are keen and switched-on but getting out to every student, so they have just as much of an opportunity to feedback and give ideas and criticism, is vital to the success of the Union.

What’s been your favourite experience at the University of York?

ALCUIN. Hands down. This year’s Freshers Week was A BLAST! The work that went in in the months before it, promoting the college and building the hype and getting to welcome all the new students was so exciting! And then the freshers we got this year were AMAZING. They had such a buzz and an exciting vibe and they really jumped out of comfort zones and threw themselves into it. They made the experience and all the effort all worthwhile.

Do you have a campaign nickname or slogan?

Dom Smoothies. I’ve stolen Innocent’s logo and some of the graphics we’ve got in the bank to release I think are quite funny and bizarre. You should never take campaigning too seriously – that’s what the manifesto is for.

If you had to pick a soundtrack for your campaign, what would it be?

Well I’ve got my ‘SLAY’ playlist at the ready. Bit of ‘Believe’,‘Work B***ch’, ‘On A Mission’ etc. You just can’t go wrong with the timeless perfection of Cher.

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