So, this is the follow-on from Project Open Door. Now that the elections are over, I have begun to interview each of the “new officers” (they won’t officially enter office until July) so that you get to see who will be your representatives next academic year!
First in this interview is Kate, who ran for Women’s officer this year! The full interview is below!
C: Good morning, Kate! Congratulations on being elected as Women’s Officer for the 2018/19 academic year! Before we start, would you mind telling our readers a little about yourself?
K: Hello and thank you! I’m a Secondary English Education Student in my second year here at Edge Hill, I’m currently a Student Assistant working for Campus life, meaning I live on campus but originally I am from Manchester
C: OK, my first question is quite simple: why did you put yourself forward in the elections?
K: Student welfare is something I am passionate about and feel that there is a lot that can be done both on and off campus but I am not currently in a position to take a year out of my course in order to have campaigned for a full-time position so I thought the part-time position of Women’s Officer would be a brilliant way to make a difference whilst still being able to continue my studies.
C: So, with several of these elections, you actually ran uncontested. How did you feel when you found this out?
K: There was the initial feeling of relief knowing that I was only running against RON (Re-Open Nominations) however I also felt like I needed to go above and beyond to prove that I was right for the role in the hopes that people wouldn’t argue that I was only elected because I was uncontested.
C: Now, I don’t mean to spark controversy, but there were several people who believed, and I quote, “there should also be a part-time Men’s Officer”. What’s your stand on this?
K: This was a question that I was asked during the candidate question time event and my answer was that, in short, no I do not believe that this university needs a Men’s Officer. Issues that have been raised specifically concerning men generally involve mental health, the VP of Welfare is usually the candidate that runs campaigns targeting mental health issues and for this reason I don’t think a men’s officer is necessary.
C: Once again, not meaning to spark controversy: I noticed that men weren’t allowed to vote for the Women’s Officer. What do you think of this?
K: Despite believing that we do not need a men’s officer, I do believe that men should be able to vote for the position of Women’s officer as many of the issues raised in my manifesto such as rape culture and domestic abuse are issues that affect men as well as women. Additionally, the “only women can vote for women’s officer” rule has raised issues with trans and non-binary students as the vote depends on what gender the university has you registered as rather than what gender you identify as.
C: What do you feel are the biggest issues you’ll need to address whilst in office, and how do you plan to address them?
K: The biggest and most frequently occurring issue I have encountered whilst at university, both on and off campus is incidences of spiking, whether this act leads to a sexual assault or not this is a serious issue particularly occurring in nightlife locations and needs to stop, I am a firm believer that everyone should be able to enjoy their time at university and everyone has a right to feel safe at all times.
C: Excluding these “big issues”, what else do you look at implementing whilst in office?
K: I would like to run campaigns to raise awareness and educate on a number of topics including rape culture, domestic abuse and in particular, the gender wage gap.
C: Many thanks for your time, and I hope to see your amazing work in the new year!
K: Thank you, I look forward to getting started on my campaigns!