Manifesto: Calum Watt (President)

Calum Watt

 

I have over two and a half years of experience in the Students Union, as a committee member, Society Rep. and Deputy Chair of the Student Council. I promise to do the following:

Commercial Services

– I will create a new “Student Venues Committee” to oversee the management of the Swan, the Tower Bars and the Engine Shed, acting as a go-between between staff and students to ensure they are both successful and responsive to the wants and needs of our student society.

– I will ensure student venues are always FREE to use by students and their societies/clubs.

Clubs and Societies

– Running a society should be a fun and useful experience. Being threatened with sanctions for not fitting in with arbitrary “branding guidelines” and filling out excessive forms make this vital part of student life a lot more difficult to than it needs to be. I believe it is far better to concentrate on substance and not appearance. I will work closely with the Activities Officer to simplify the process of paying for Society expenses (possibly by allowing direct payment through the Students’ Union) and ensuring a clear, simple system for completing forms and training in how to do so.

Accommodation

– I will re-create Hall Reps, to work alongside community reps to lobby for better standards in accommodation across the city and on campus.

The Union

– I will get more members actively involved in running the Union by seeking out relevant groups or societies when the need arises – a union comprised of members with such a diverse range of talents should be making better use of them and by giving students that experience we can also help them in their future endeavors once they leave University.

– For full time staff I will eliminate zero-hours contracts and replace them with flexible-working hour contracts with full sick and holiday pay entitlements and a Living Wage. We will set a good example to all employers looking to hire students and graduates and will encourage the University to do the same.

– Our full-time staff also needs to expand in line with our increased responsibilities. The University is building new spaces on campus – we should lobby for some of that space to be used by the Union. Prioritising the direction of profits from the trading company into achieving this will make sure that the Union is more efficient, responsive to student needs and prepared for the years ahead.

– I will continue the current Democratic Review started by Brian Alcorn, and expand it to consult a wider range of groups within our community.

– It is clear that there needs to be an urgent review into the relationship between schools and the Academic Societies who find themselves lost between the Activities and Academic departments.

– Meetings will be recorded and as inclusive as possible to make sure we are getting the best out of our democracy

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