Hannah Pinsent

Image: YUSU

Image: YUSU

Third Year
Sociology with Social Psychology

What made you decide to run for Academic Officer?
I love all the responsibilities being a Department Rep has given me and have gained a very good insight into the workings of academia at York through my involvement in university wide forums, focus groups and meetings. This insight, along with the encouragement by peers and staff and the fact I am staying here to do my master’s degree, motivated me to take on this opportunity.

Sum up your main policies.
– Linking up academic societies with Course Reps, providing teams of representation in every aspect of academia for every department at York.
– A student-led lecture series: interdisciplinary events solely organised, run and delivered by students for students; providing loads of opportunities to get involved and unique experiences to showcase their talents.
– More study spaces [which are] student-tailored to fit the demands of an increasingly populated university and provide everyone the space to work on campus.
– Closing the feedback loop: more visibility and changes to the ways students give feedback to their departments and the ways in which [this] inspires actions taken by the department. The student-staff relationship is key to the success of your academic career and feedback is crucial in strengthening this.

Describe yourself in three words.
Dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate.

What makes you different to the other candidates?
I’m a Department Rep so that extra experience means I am well suited to expand upon what I have already been working on both in Sociology as well as my involvement in the university-wide issues that I volunteer to be part of as the opportunities arise as a Department Rep. I immerse myself into academia and apply myself fully to this role because the academic side of things at York is so important to me personally. I have loved my undergraduate career here so much that I have chosen to also complete my Masters here.

I think I have put a positive spin on the role, unlike my other candidates. I can see where there is room for improvement and areas which need working on and my policies are informed from this experience and therefore focus on long term improvements which are viable across the whole of university. I think the thought, commitment and passion I bring to the role is a great reason to vote for me!

What experience do you have that will help you in the role?
I am already the Sociology Department Rep. I am also the Secretary of the Sociology Society. These roles have enhanced key skills that I believe are necessary for taking on the role of Academic Officer as well as given me key adaptable experiences. For example, I have to be extremely organised to keep up with both these roles as well as keep up my own studies which I dedicate myself fully to. I am a confident public speaker. I speak to all prospective students at Sociology open days and am always happy to give up my time to help others; evident in the amount of university level activities I have participated in as a Department Rep and the amount of dissertation research I have completed for my peers! I am approachable, sensible and thorough in my work. I fully throw myself into my academic life and believe I can adapt all my experience into being a brilliant Academic Officer.

What will you do differently to George Offer, the current Academic Officer?
I think personal experience of linking up with [Sociology’s] academic society with the Course Reps will give me an advantage in fulfilling this policy. This insight allows me to adapt my individual experience into rolling out this policy across the University in ways that each department wishes. I think I would continue to work on both short and ongoing longer term projects because I think this is really good way to approach the role of Academic Officer which gives students here and now the benefits as well as sowing the seeds for future students.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
I’m the Faculty Rep for the Social Sciences. Faculties are new to York from this year! [It’s] evident how far academi[a] is my life [because] I think that’s interesting…

What do you think about the other candidates?
I think that the competition is very even. I think my policies are good because they’re so informed from the actual ongoing things that the University are working on at the moment which is an advantage for the three of us who are already Department Reps, but it’s all very even because the other candidates have various experiences too. I think no one else is [as] excited about academia as me but that’s obviously a subjective opinion! I think my other candidates haven’t considered the difficulty in fulfilling some of their policies and I wanted to only run on promises I could keep and actually deliver. I would instead prefer to tackle things which I know are immediately viable at an individual department level instead of promising something which cannot be delivered to every department in the space of a year.

What do you think the biggest challenge you’ll face during elections is?
My campaign is quite different. It’s a bit of fun and I’m sure some people will think it’s a bit silly, but my policies are about positivity and my surname really doesn’t work with many slogans. So I went for something different! I think it will be being completely confident in this different approach and not getting too disheartened if not everyone thinks it is clever. I wanted to reflect positivity and so went for something that has that element as well as being a way of expressing my personality through it.

What’s your campaign strategy?
I guess the thing that will challenge me will also help me win! It’s different and will make me stand out. I’m hoping that this approach will engage people and make them interested and want to find out more and thus read my manifesto – and in doing so I hope to transmit my passion for the cause and therefore gain support! I am also the only girl too so that helps me stand out. It’s been a male dominated role for two years now so I guess I can use that to my advantage but it’s not going to win the election! I just plan on being present and approachable, getting myself out there and chatting to students from all three campuses and degree types.

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