RGU Union’s Candidate Question Time was held yesterday in the Amphitheatre of the Sir Ian Wood Building; twelve of the sixteen candidates running in the elections were in attendance. This was an opportunity for the candidates to put forward their aims and to answer questions from the student body.
Paul Greene - President (Communications and Democracy), 2013 to 2015 - started the proceedings by introducing the candidates and positions they were running for.
First up was Martha Gilmore who is running for VP (Societies), one of her points if elected would be to re-invent the societies forum by making it more up to date and fun which would boost attendance.
Next up were candidates for VP (Wellbeing & Equal Opportunities); first to take to the podium was Gena Jones-Purdie, she has been the Disability Champion for the past year and in her statement she said, “I feel like I’ve only scratched the surface with my disability champion role and I would really like to improve myself more in the vice presidency role”. The second candidate up for the role was Jennifer Ritchie, she spoke about supporting the organisation of peer support drop-in sessions. To finish her statement she said, “If I was elected for this role I would have more power to make this a reality.”
The three VP candidates were then asked to “Pick one priority from your manifesto which you would execute as soon as you got elected into your VP position”. First to take the mic was Gena, who said she would like to see if there was a link between male mental health and male dissatisfaction with their courses and strive to get equality for everyone’s satisfaction with university life. Martha came up next and said, “My main point is to reinvent the societies and find out from societies that don’t attend, what would make them attend”. Lastly, Jennifer chose to make gender neutral toilets a reality.
Then came the candidates for the President (Communication and Democracy) role. Lodovico Avidano - who is the current VP (Events & Entertainment) - spoke first, she said: “I would like to promote and continue the support of current projects.” Next up was Michael Ife, he finished up his statement by saying that he wants to ensure that the campus is a safe environment. Ellen Laird was third up to the podium, she said: “I’m very passionate about the university and I want to make sure that everyone who leaves feels the exact same way”. The penultimate speaker for this role was Craig Robertson he would like to keep the “continued progress that has been made under the leadership of Edward Pollock.” Lastly, Madeline Travis spoke about her passion for students having an input into the decisions around their university experience: “I’ve always been passionate about students having a say in the understanding of what the different steps are going into the decisions affecting their education.”
First up for the role of President (Education & Welfare) was Chris Cowie, who is the current LGBT Champion. He hopes to: “Increase the acceptance and visibility of minority groups on campus.” Peace Echeonwu stated that she is: “Committed to using my wealth of experience to ensure a positive change in RGU.” Kerry Harrison - the current President (Education & Welfare) - would like to continue with her current work she’s been doing as president if she’s re-elected: “I’m also working on the university mental health agreement and the action plan for the university, so I want to see that being put into place. I’ve put the plan together so I want to follow that through.”
Last to take the stand was Eilidh Paterson who is running for President (Sport & Physical Activity). She said that if elected she would “Guarantee that students won’t have to be paying more for sport than they already are.”
The candidates for President (Education & Welfare) were then asked a question from the crowd, “Why wasn’t RGU Nightline a particular focus for your manifesto and how would you support the continuation and development of the service?” Kerry answered first by saying: “I feel like it’s part of this role anyway, it’s part of a president’s role to support Nightline... you should be part of these high-level discussions we’re having with Directors at RGU.” Peace then said: “all I need to do if I’m elected is to work with societies to ensure that everyone society and club is supported.” Lastly, Chris said that he would: “try to boost it at the very beginning to make sure it’s running smoothly throughout the whole year.”