What made you decide to run for Welfare and Community Officer?
I’ve had an amazing time at York and I’d like to help others do the same.
Sum up your main policies.
Proactivity: I want to help students take more of an active role in their own well-being by encouraging them to seek support (even if it’s just the support of a friend) sooner rather than later.
That way, instead of turning to, for example, the Student Support Hub as a last ditch attempt to fix something that’s gone wrong, students instead are able to take steps to make sure things don’t go wrong. There’s nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it and I want to make it easier and clearer to do this.
By working with the Student Support Hub, college welfare, JCRCs/SAs and societies to put on campaigns and disseminate information, I want to change the focus to promoting health and success, instead of crisis management.
Comfort and safety on/off campus: I want to make it that little bit more convenient to be on campus. Things like on-campus lockers have worked really well and I want to do more. I’ll be looking into providing more access to hot water, microwaves etc. on campus. During high-stress periods, I want to provide food and snacks on campus for people, giving you one less thing to worry about when you’re studying all day. With regards to safety, I want to continue to support the great work of initiatives like Nightsafe and other similar services provided by local groups and the council.
Community: Technically, we’re all residents in York but realistically, we don’t really engage with the city. We just stay in our houses, we stay on campus and we stay in Willow. I want to help students engage more with this amazing place. Let’s go out into the city through volunteering etc., but also let’s showcase the great work that we do. I want to show you guys off! Let’s invite York residents to our shows and festivals. Let’s build up the reputation of students and let’s have a better relationship with the city.
Describe yourself in three words.
Friendly, determined, excitable.
What makes you different to the other candidates?
People should vote for me because I will work hard to get students what they need. I’m not here promising a load of stuff that’s probably not going to happen. I actually want to make difference. I want to make your years at university the best of your life.
What experience do you have that will be good for the role?
I was Langwith Welfare Officer last year. I loved doing that but it also showed me the difficulties that come with the role. I want to make it better and easier for these great volunteers who do such a good job for free. I loved helping to organise Freshers’ Week last year. My team and I put on a series of alternative (yet inclusive) freshers events to run before and alongside the more standard club nights.
I’ve also been on the Christian Union Events Week committee for two years and helped organise the recent ‘Something More’ week which was attended by over 1,500 [people] throughout the week. I reckon these skills in organisation and project management will come in handy for the role.
What will you do differently to Jemima Busby, the current Welfare and Community Officer?
I want to be more approachable, open and responsive to feedback. I love social media and I want to use it to make people aware of the things I’m working on so everyone clearly knows what my goals and aims are.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I was born in Wales and I went to secondary school in Nigeria. A very typical life path, I believe.
What do you think of the other candidates?
I’ve worked with Scott doing welfare stuff for Langwith and Goodricke and he’s really a great guy. I don’t know Anna very well, but she looks like she’s got some good policies. It’s really annoying because they’re both really nice. I don’t want to like them, but I do.
What do you think the biggest challenge you’ll face during elections will be?
I’m in Fusion which is on Friday, Saturday and Sunday [during] Week 7. It’ll be difficult managing rehearsals and the performances over the week along with campaigning but I reckon I can manage it. I plan on drinking so much orange juice that it replaces my blood. All about the Vitamin C!
What’s your campaign strategy?
I want to talk to people and get to know them. I think this is much more important than cardboard signs and bombarding people with Facebook notifications. I love meeting new people and hopefully my passion for the position will come across. This is something that I’d want to continue if I get the role. I want to be out there with the students and get to know people on an individual level.