Interviewee: Kelly-Anne Watson
Edited by: Holly Barr
Re-Elected VP Welfare & Community for 2017/18 answered some questions about the forthcoming year…
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
Hey, I’m Kelly-Anne! I am a 22 year old events graduate, who loves to socialise doing anything music and rum related! I am passionate about making positive change in the university because I had my fair share of challenges during my time (that makes me feel old) at uni, such as; challenges with financials, mental health, general health and adapting my learning difficulties to the pressures and standards of academia. I got involved with the SU because I started a campaign in my 3rd year to get Lights in Beckett Park, but we will talk about that later. Since then I have become, some may say, ‘politically aware’ of many issues which students face. Overall, I would say I am a fun loving, enthusiastic individual who is passionate about working for you.
2. Beckett Park lights has been a huge problem. What do you plan to do so students can finally be safe walking through there?
Get lights? I believe with enough pressure the council will support the lights!
3. Decent housing can often be more expensive. Will there be a fight for decent housing for students who can’t afford the higher prices?
Decent housing shouldn’t be more expensive. The fight is for affordable housing, which is up to standards. It is about educating students on their rights and shaming landlords that take advantage.
4. How do you plan to change the pay and deals for students on placement?
I believe creating a model for the university to assess what companies we promote will help to regulate misconduct. We, the students union, are currently in the process of doing this. After the framework is completed, it would be about convincing the university that this is beneficial for our students’ and how it would have massive impacts on the universities resources such as, financial funding, mental health facilities and the student experience in general.
5. What needs to be improved in Health, Wellbeing and Safety?
Sexual health is a topic which I believe we as a Students’ Union need to put more time into. We already have great partnerships with many external companies such as, MESMAC. I would like to expand on this to get more general testing on campus. It can be difficult to get appointments at the sexual health clinics or even access the clinics so bringing them on campus I believe will be beneficial for many students’.
6. What volunteering opportunities do you plan to introduce apart from festivals?
Some may disagree, but I believe that we need to make our volunteering more enriching, this is not about making students more ‘employable’ it should be about trying something new or maybe doing something they thought they wouldn’t of been able to do before because or money restraints etc. I will work with the volunteering team to create a new ‘sexy’ ethos to volunteering. I have a few ideas such as volunteering at a zoo or marina.
7. Describe the approach you are going to take for this role
I have already done this role for 1 year, so I have already great knowledge and understanding of what this role undertakes. Although, my approach this year will be more tactical due to my extend contacts in key areas. I know have embedded myself into many committees and boards so I can take a more directed method when campaigning and getting stuff done.
8. If you had to choose, what policy in your campaign, are you are going to do first?
I will be working on embedding the mental health policy over the summer but campaign wise, probably (if it’s not already been agreed) Lights in Beckett Park, it is super important that we do not let this go on any longer!
9. How are you going to make a difference to the Students Union and University?
Welfare and Community subjects are so important, I will carry on forcing the university and wider community to create a safer and more supported experience for all students. I will make a difference by not taking no for an answer and continue to fight for positive change!