Campaigns candidates plan to break student apathy

This year’s campaign officer candidates are highlighting the need to listen to what students actually want and create better campaigns as a result. We asked Dec Ackroyd and Joe Hicks how they plan to combat student apathy and explain how student campaigning could actually achieve something.


Declan Ackroyd

Age: 18
Course: L1 Contemporary Lens Media
Home town: Ripon, Yorkshire

What are the two main issues you want to tackle from your manifesto and how you would achieve them?

Two of the main issues I want to campaign on are tuition fees and post-graduation unemployment. I plan to achieve this by building a campaign team that is able to rally students well and by associating the Students’ Union with campaigns such as the Youth Fight for Jobs Campaign, that covers these two key issues amongst many others I feel are vital.

How do you plan to combat the apparent student apathy to previous SU campaigns in the light of low turnouts and interest?

I plan to campaign to create a far more democratic Students’ Union that actually works for all students and not just for the members. I want to see a change in student turnout and I feel the best way to combat this is to prove that the SU has students’ interests in mind.

Why do you think student campaigning will actually achieve anything?

I strongly believe that student campaigning can make a huge difference, after all this is supposed to be our education, and we should have our say.


Joe Hicks

Age: 18
Course: L1 Business Studies
Hometown: Farnsfield, Nottinghamshire

What are the two main issues you want to tackle from your manifesto and how you would achieve them?

I want to create a student-led campaigns team, with the abilities to support all SU campaigns. I think a campaigns team of dedicated students with interests in campaigning and activism is essential in making the most of future union campaigns.

However, my first action as campaigns officer would be to get out and about talking to students. I have an idea of major campaigns students may want to get involved in through being a student myself and acting as a student officer this year, however, to represent students to the best of my ability I can’t be presuming what they wish to campaign for.

I want to make the support available for all students with specific issues or interest in certain campaigns to take it further, as stated in my manifesto. I want to ensure this support ranges from guidance on writing a motion for Student Council, right up to help with getting involved in local and national campaigns.

How do you plan to combat the apparent student apathy to previous SU campaigns in the light of low turnouts and interest?

Hopefully the fact that I want to move away from presuming what students want and find out what they actually want to campaign for will spur more students on to getting involved. I really want to extend campaigns to the satellite campuses; assuming that every issue affecting students at the Brayford campus also affects them is naive and insulting. I’ll be in direct contact with those students, trying to find out what issues they have and getting them involved with campaigning for themselves as much as I will at the main Brayford campus.

Communication, something that I’ve been working on a lot this year, is one aspect of past campaigns that could definitely be improved upon. The SU needs a dedicated campaigns officer capable of applying structure and logical timing of communications to events in order to make them successful. Students need to know when they are happening and how they can get involved.

Why do you think student campaigning will actually achieve anything?

Students are quite simply the reason universities exist; therefore they are the people with the most power. If every single student were united on an issue directly affecting Lincoln students, then I doubt there isn’t anything that the university wouldn’t put effort into rectifying. Obviously it’s unlikely that all students will agree on every campaign but I will do my very best to ensure the most amount of students with interest are involved to make campaigning as fun and sociable as possible for students but also professional and powerful.

There are some campaigns which might not be working towards a literal target. Some may just be there to raise awareness, but to make them as effective as possible I’ll be looking to get as many people as possible involved.

One Response to Campaigns candidates plan to break student apathy

  1. Dec Ackroyd says:

    Haha, that’s almost as bad as my other picture.