Student Leadership Elections 2018


Each year, the Students’ Union hosts two campus wide Elections. One in Autumn, and one in Spring. This Spring you will be able to elect the Full-Time Officers (4) Part-Time Officers (11) Faculty Officers (16: 4 per faculty).

Every single student at the University (some 20,000 are eligible to vote!) has the right and responsibility to participate – whether that’s as a candidate or by making your voice heard!
 

See the results

 

 

 

Live Stats


 

 

 

Candidates answer your questions!


We had our Full-time Officer Question Time online on Thursday 1st March - click here to watch the video. Below are the answer from one candidates who couldn't be there, and our Part-time Officer candidates. Please note, all questions and answers listed below are displayed as submitted to us at the Union.

Click the role titles below to open and close each section.

Lina Kamergi, running for Vice President Student Activities, was unable to attend the Candidate Question Time due to the snow and being unable to travel from Medway.

Her responses to the questions asked to the candidates are here:

1: What do you understand of your role within decision making processes at the Union and University?
The role of decision making for me is to be able to listen to students and voice there opinions. The decision that I will make personally will be what I think will make the university experience as enjoyable for the students and also for the future students.

2: How will you ensure there are multiple activities for students to get involved in that aren't just sports, societies and bars?
I will ensure that every students have the opportunity to put ideas towards as to wich activities they want to see at the universities so that students who don't enjoy sports and bars can still have a great time. I think that students will be happier if the university offers opportunities to have a good time at university for everyone no matter their interests. I want to make sure that there are activities going on all the time including weekends as students who live at uni away from family might get bored at weekends.

3: How do you think the new 3G sports pitches have been utilised this year and do you think we should invest in other UoG sports or activities, as generously?
I think it is important to invest in the new 3G sports pitches, I will also give the opportunity to Medway students to take part in more sports by organising more sport opportunities.

4: Do you want Sparrows to remain open?
Yes I think sparrow should remain opened as Avery hill does not have a large amount of bars near the campus unlike Greenwich that is right next to London.

Matthew Kiff

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I was motivated to stand after the previous year’s election campaign saw none of the 3 candidates make an effort to campaign on campus, and only 1 candidate even wrote a manifesto. The winner in that election then did not go on to do an awful lot, so I vowed that next year I would run on a meaningful and exciting platform, campaign vigorously, and do all in my power to implement my manifesto.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
Admittedly, my volunteering experience is limited, although what I have has been really rewarding to me. Several years back I worked alongside a sports coach at a special needs school to deliver rugby training sessions for children with various physical and mental challenges. A lot of those kids were difficult to talk to because of their mental age being significantly lower, so it taught me how to work with people you may not see eye to eye with- a skill that’ll be useful in the SU.

3. What do you think can improve the student experience of living at the Greenwich accommodation?
Currently there isn’t a lot of accommodation at the Greenwich campus and many students commute to and from Avery Hill. If elected I’ll be working with the Avery Hill campus Officer to deliver a new fire safety programme, as it has been reported that fire alarms are met with long response times there.

4. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
I would first want to sit down with consultants at the university responsible for oversight and the eventual opening of the new Dreadnought building, to discuss the consultation plans that have been put forward and the planned schedule for opening. This would be because Dreadnought is obviously a big deal for the University and the SU, and I feel it is the responsibility of whoever is elected to the GCO post to ensure it’s opening is something beneficial to all students.

 

Yasmin Mcnamara

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I was motivated to stand for this position because my personal experience at University has significantly improved since I got involved with the SU; therefore being in position such as Greenwich Campus Officer where I will be directly accountable for improving student experience seemed like the logical next step to ensure I can spread the benefits of the SU across campus. If successful I'll be kept motivated by interacting with students and continuously asking for their feedback. I hope they will make lots of suggestions for improvements so that I can challenge myself, make visible change and see them satisfied with the progress I intend to make.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I teach and mentor children for two charities currently and this requires me to set aside a significant amount of time each week. It is extremely rewarding as I see the progress the children make in being fortunate enough to spend so much time with them. I would say these voluntary roles have increased my confidence as well theirs a huge amount.

3. What do you think can improve the student experience of living at the Greenwich accommodation?
Having experienced living in halls I would say that the student experience could be improved by a more efficient maintenance and parcel collect service. If I were elected I would definitely attempt to negotiate with the University to begin the process of making these changes.

4. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
The ideal person to sit down with on my first day as Greenwich Campus Officer would be Sir Ken Robinson in my opinion. His ideas are absolutely revolutionary and he is driven to improve the education/student experience which is exactly what I intend to do; so having the opportunity to speak with him would be perfect (check him out on YouTube), you won't be disappointed.

Emmanuel Dominic

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I believe that with some changes Avery Hill can be an even better experience for all as it houses many students. It really is a good experience to live in Avery Hill and I wish to for all students coming in, to have a positive atmosphere. This is important because the fact is that there are many away from home, to study. A good environment which is the campus will help everyone, which is what will sustain my motivation as there are many things that can be done.

2. What do you think can improve the student experience of living at the Avery Hill accommodation?
Residents have tons of orders whether it is food or parcels, they often get misplaced and leave it a very inconvenient experience for all. More signs should be put up so that the campus is more navigable, this will not only help with receiving deliveries but also anyone new to the campus. Avery Hill houses a lot of returning students, as you live here you begin to collect a lot of things that need to be kept over the summer if you are returning to accommodation, storage space is something that should be provided on campus.

3. With Dreadnought opening in Greenwich how will you ensure students living and studying have a comparable experience and the same opportunities?
Avery Hill is a student village by itself. It has many things that make it unique and a different experience as it is, such as its pitches and the sports hall. However, to add to this experience, I plan to make the gym and laundrette open for 24 hours if it’s possible. This will make the facilities available to anyone at any time. To link the experience of both campuses, efforts to make a weekend bus will be made. It will be a different experience to be able to travel to Greenwich or Avery Hill in the weekend.

4. Do you want Sparrows to remain open?
Yes, I personally do.

Atchana Ganesalingam

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
During this academic year I witnessed and experienced so many things that weren’t working in Medway campus and my aim is to do my best to make these things right. And hopefully seeing the results of my actions will sustain my motivation through the year!

2. What do you think can improve the student experience of living at the Medway accommodation?
Focussing on what is asked by students will help me make the experience in Medway rise. I will try listen to your demands and will try my best to execute them!

3. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
The new student president, because I want to make a plan together about what we want to change and how I can get supported by our student union!

4. With Dreadnought opening in Greenwich how will you ensure students living and studying have a comparable experience and the same opportunities?
We have our Student Hub and my aim is to use the fasciitis and resources of it to make your student life as good as theirs!

Ryan Navarro

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
The BAME attainment gap has fuelled my motivation to run as BAME officer because it presents a deeper underlying problem the university has with engaging, supporting and understanding BAME students. I want to change this and ensure the university is inclusive rather than exclusive. My previous 2 years experience sitting on council and running in elections will sustain my motivation for the upcoming year.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I volunteered for the freshers fairs and for the open days and also in the recent Volunteering Week. Away from university, I volunteer with an organisation called Beanstalk, who help children read.

3. What do you think is the biggest barrier for BAME students to engage with the Students Union?
BAME students are not being catered for at the SU, the events run by BAME societies are very rarely advertised and only recently has Black History Month become a SU priority. We need to feel a part of the SU in order for us to engage and for that to happen we need the SU to work with BAME students to ensure that they are supporting us with the things we want not what they think we want.

4. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
I would sit with the PVC to talk about what his short-term and long-term plan is to tackle the BAME attainment gap and his strategy to decrease the gap.

 

Wajiha Choudhry

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
My main motivation in standing for this post was the lack of representation of BAME students throughout the university and student union. I feel that despite the ever-increasing numbers of BAME students studying at the University, our presence is not reflected sufficiently throughout events or societies in the student union. While in post I’m sure that the greater inclusion and positive reinforcement from other BAME students will keep me motivated. Although, I do believe that the feeling of making positive changes in the interest of BAME students will be motivation enough.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
Previously, I took part in a workshop for people who had English as a 2nd language. We had to speak to people who were potentially not that comfortable speaking in English in their first language about their achievements and worries within work/study. The aim of this was to allow the participants to feel as comfortable as possible and confident in their abilities going forward; without making language too much of a barrier. I also volunteered at a nursery, working with children with autism. This opportunity really allowed me enhance my communication and organisation skills. As well as motivating me to interact with more people who seem different to myself.

3. What do you think is the biggest barrier for BAME students to engage with the Students Union?
I believe the biggest barrier for BAME student in engaging with the student union is lack of opportunity and interest. There are very limited societies or events that cater to the interest of BAME students specifically. If the students were asked what they want to see in the student union and certain events were organised accordingly, more BAME students would be likely to engage.

4. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
On the first day, I would sit down with other BAME students and try to understand which issues they believe to be most pressing and in need of attention. This way, I could try and figure ways in which to address these and hopefully start making a difference from day one. It is important to understand the needs of the people one is working for in order to relay this to people who have the physical resources to make these changes possible. Therefore, I believe that sitting down with powerful figures in education, business or politics is useless until you know exactly what it is that requires change.

 

Yasmin Bennaim

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
For two years now Ive always been an active student in our university. There are many things that we can work on to make this place a better environment for all of us. I cannot just stand there looking, I had to take action, that is why for two years now I have always stood for positions in the Students Union. To get involved, to give my views and the ones of many students, and to know what is going on from an inside perspective.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I have been volunteering for the SU for two years now, in different Part Time officer positions, I also have been student rep for two years at university and previously, I have volunteered organising fundraising and official diplomatic events and cultural fairs.

3. What do you think is the biggest barrier for BAME students to engage with the Students Union?
BAME students do not feel represented and identified with the activities and the views of the union yet. I am aware that the SU has been working on inclusion and reforms but there is still a lot of work to do and we need to start taking BAME students voice more seriously and adapt the SU to represent everyone better.

4. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
I cannot even choose whom to see first. There are too many people I would like to share my views with. The reason why is because I believe that representation for BAME students is something that really needs a reform of mentality and being more opened minded, being creative! I would like everyone to realise the importance of it and really gain conciousness and understanding. I do not want to accept the situation we found every year (one BAME representative trying to delegate and represent the views of thousands of students to a big committee of people), I want every member of that committee to be aware and concious of the situation and support these views too by creating a more open minded and supportive environment.

No candidate responses

Airton Vaz

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
Being a disabled student, I know beforehand the difficulties that students face in university life, I received a fantastic support from the wellbeing and dyslexia services and I would like towards every disabled student regardless of their disability have the same support.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
For the last two years I am volunteering with ReachOut where I have the opportunity of mentoring a youth person helping them develop their English and Maths skills.

3. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
It would be with the Wellbeing service where we would review the existing policies regarding disabilities and trying to identify areas where we could improve the already good service.

4. How will you ensure that you represent the needs of students across a spectrum of various disabilities (e.g. students with physical disabilities, learning disabilities and mental health disabilities)?
Work with the university and review the adjustments for each student at an individual level and try raise awareness of the mental issues problems and remove the stigma with it and make it clear that students can access the services provided by the university.

Bilal Ijaz

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
As standing for Re-election for this post, as I believe there are many things, which can be achieved if I got Re-Elected. The motivation factor comes in because at this current point I had training and ability to meet University and lobby them to improve International Students experience. Last year when I was standing for this post, I wanted to help different students so that they do not face those difficulties, which I had and giving them a best university life experience being a student in Greenwich. Fingers crossed I am also standing for being the part of NUS International Students Committee and the results are out next week. That will enable me to put Greenwich issues forward on the National Platform, which will help me and your every own Students Union to improve university experience.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
As I am standing for Re-elect to be your International Students officer, which itself was a volunteering experience for this current year. As far as my experience, it made me know more about the University and Students Union so that I can help other International Students in Greenwich, did some meetings with university staff to identify some key issues and how those could be improved. As being international Student from Pakistan, I have done many volunteering activities in terms of helping the community or boosting my professional skills. I was the Deputy Registrations of Roots Olympiad 2015 and it was a overall the best event across the city. I also have work with different NGOs, which was to teach to different types of age group students between 7-15 years, who don't have access to the modern education system. It took a month to be able to make them understand basics, as the same equipment as my school used.

3. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
I f I would get a chance to sit down with someone, it would specifically the Finance department of University because there are 7000 International Students from 168 countries around the world yet the allocation of funds to International Students is not enough. I believe that there are some basic issues which university should consider such as International Pick Up for International Students because that will give them an edge to begin their academic term. This will help to settle and know more about Greenwich and London. I would also focus on employability part of the International Student so that there is support provided to students who are planning to work full time as there placement or graduate role. As the nature of visa is supposed to change and many are worried about, what do they have to do and how does it work. This would be achievable by making the information accessible and approachable to International Students.

4. What do you think is currently the biggest issue facing International Students at Greenwich University and how will you hope to address this if you were elected?
I would be happy to say that the University of Greenwich is facing less issue from other University in London because of the International Students Office of the University. The issue that they are currently facing is that they are unaware or they do not think that this will help them, from the University and Student Union's service whether they are Academics, Mental Health, Employment, Housing, and Money. I would be addressing this issue is to create International Student's Society that will bring us under one roof so that we can have good engagement between students and discuss their experience and problems so that they do not feel left out. This will also help them find out more about being a student in the UK.

 

Yosmhara Fuentes

1.What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
My friend was nominated for a role and I checked out if I qualified for any. Although I could have done something in my faculty I felt like the International Student Officer role fitted me much better. I have a strong motivation to improve the student experience for International Students. We pay a lot of money to be studying here and I want to make sure we are taking all the opportunities that come our ways.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I’ve done a lot of volunteering. My first experience was at the public library in my town where I organized books, helped people on the computers, and with arts and crafts. Then during exam time in high school I would tutor kids for Spanish. Then, my most recent volunteer experience has actually been here at university for Language Connect. Where I have conversation classes with students whose first language may not be English.

3. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
If I could choose anyone it would be Michelle Obama. She has been someone I look up to for a long time, mostly for her humanitarian work in the United States. As a student back home I was directly affected by her nutrition changes through the school systems for the better. I would have a lot to speak with her about as I believe in a lot of the things she does like strongly emphasizing culture, education, and females.

4. What do you think is currently the biggest issue facing International Students at Greenwich University and how will you hope to address this if you were elected?
I think there’s a big issue in stereotyping the International Students and a lack of resources. In fact none of us are the same as we have totally different cultures, languages, and ways of life. It’s easy for us to be shy and not get involved and I really think that needs to change. Everyday life things that are obvious to others may not be for us. This could be changed by giving us more guidance and mentorship. In addition, I would put on more events targeted towards the international students so we can have more conversations, share our cultures, language, and get to know more of our peers.

Alessia Serfani

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I found some problems at the University as a parent and a mature student, and I keep asking myself how many parents are enrolled at the University and if they have found the same problems as me. I believe for change something; someone needs to speak up and put a light on about problems. If no one tells nothing, nothing can change. I would like to be a voice for my peers and resolve problems but not necessary only a view just for the parents or mature students but everyone.

2 What is your previous volunteering experience?
I have some volunteering experience in Italy such as: • Answer the phone at an association who provide ambulance through the emergency phone (999 here) and direct the ambulance at the property of the patient and booking transport for patients from home to hospital for a medical appointment. • Team member in an organisation of tuning cars and help with organising an event. • Event helper in the “Giocacarpi” an association of boardgames in Italy and I was responsible for registration lists for players. Here in London in the past years, I have this experience • Event steward at 2014 Greenwich Tall Ship Regatta • Fundraising in Mark & Spencer for Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice • Volunteer for the Greenwich Entrepreneurs Society at the University of Greenwich for the event hosting by Dan Pena Wealth, Risk, Reward, NOT!

3. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
On my first day in post, if I could I want to sit down with two person. One will be the past President of Student Union, because I would like to find out what have been done in the previous year about the Mature Student, and the second person is the new elected President to hear what he/she can have in mind for this year and talk with them about my point in the manifesto. After that I will call a meeting with Mature Students. I believe this can be a great opportunity to exchange information.

4. What do you think is currently the biggest issue facing Mature Students at Greenwich University and how will you hope to address this if you were elected?
For my point of view the biggest issue as a Parent and Mature Students are Half Term, inflexibility on bringing children on campus, and unavailability of recorded lessons. I would like to meet with someone from the campus staff, explain the problem and find a solutions together.

Shanna Linton

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I feel it is important to have a peer to relate to during the educational journey. It is for this reason that I am motivated to stand for the role. This opportunity would give me the prospect of helping myself and others through our experiences at the university and outside. My motivation will be sustained by achieving results and by seeing the change that my contribution makes whilst being student representative.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I have been a student representative on two prior occasions, (1) during my access course at college and (2) during two of my undergraduate terms at a previous university. I have also been a chair member for a musical establishment which provided support, direction and networking opportunities for youth that were interested in musical arts.

3. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
Honestly, I would like to sit down with all four and discuss initiatives that would enhance the educational experience for past, present and future students. Why? Because I would like it to be common knowledge the education should be for the betterment of future opportunities. This starts from making education an actual learning experience that people feel has enhanced their career prospects. Also opportunities need to be available for those that have gone through the processes of university and to not fall into the position of employment that does not compliment their area of study due to no availability of graduate career prospects. Changes will need to be a joint effort so all influential sectors would need to be present and aware of the important changes that are required.

4. What do you think is the biggest barrier for Postgraduate and Part-time Student Officer BAME students to engage with the Students Union?
The disbelief that the student representative can make a difference to their experience. This may stem from reasons that include the perceived lack of time that both the Postgraduate and Part-time students and officer can dedicate. This may therefore result in the belief their views are unimportant compared to other cohorts as their student status tends to be quite lonely. For BAME students, possible barriers may include feelings of being an isolated group that has a representative only to satisfy the university’s equal opportunity obligations but does actual implement changes that are paramount to this group during their university experience. Based on these possible barriers, it is imperative that the student union body represents all cohorts in a way that ensures positive and effective engagement from these two groups.

Nathalie Grigorenko

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I am re-running for this role because women’s issues is something that is very close to my heart, and it always has been. Women face many struggles throughout their life, and I have always wanted to actively work towards a fairer society. There is still a long way to go, but I am excited to see change and I am excited to create it. In regards to sustaining my motivation, I have my friends at home, at uni, and within the Students’ Union to thank for having supported and motivated me throughout my time in this position so far, and I am sure that they will continue to do so if I am re-elected. Additionally, until we have a fair and equal society I will not stop fighting for the society we all deserve.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
First I would like to say that I think volunteering is at the heart of change in society. That’s why my list of engagement is fairly substantial. For example, I am the current Women Students' Officer, president of the LGBTQ+ Society, Welfare Council Liaison, and treasurer of Thinks and Drinks. Additionally, before I came to Greenwich I was Head of Democracy and President of my old Students’ Union.

3. Will you stand up to the University if they continue to bury their head in the sand about the recent rise in sexual violence reports? Will you be an activist?
Yes! This is such an important question to ask, and I believe that SUUG has not been active enough within this topic. Sexual violence should not be taken lightly, and we need to put the students’ interests first. Doing what we have done this year is, in my opinion, is not enough. We do need to step up and make sure the university stop avoiding the issue. As I said in my manifesto, I think we need to make reporting these issues more accessible for students, but it is just as important that we are loud for those who cannot be loud themselves.

4. Are you a feminist? Why/why not?
Absolutely. Per definition, feminism is ‘The advocacy of women's rights on the ground of the equality of the sexes’, and for me we should all see ourselves as feminists. Feminism has received a bad reputation over the years, and I think it is time for us to look at feminism not as an ugly word, but rather what it actually stands for. A feminist is someone who believes in equality, so why would we want to be anything else.

Sanja Dudek

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I stand for this role because I want to help students getting the most out of their student experience and I believe that volunteering can play an important part in it. If we all work together the community we live in can become a much better one, which will reflect in our University and studies as well. Volunteering can also improve you as a person and I love the idea in being a part of helping students grow and improve themselves. Last year I was elected to be Societies Exec and working with students and helping them with problems was but also represent them in the Student Council was a great experience. Knowing that I have an impact on other people’s live and the ability to change something for the better is motivating me a lot and will keep me going though out the year.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I started volunteering ten years ago when I was 14 years old. It was at a charity coffee shop in Germany. We sold coffee, tea and cake and the money went to disabled people who also worked in the coffee shop with us and got jobs though that. It showed me both how much fun volunteering can be and also how important it is as well as how much of a difference it can make for other people and myself. When I left Germany, I wanted to get involved with the SU and was delighted when I found out that they need volunteers as well. So, I volunteered for them, got my Gold Volunteering Award within a year and continued being engaged and helping students having a great time at uni. For a while I also volunteered at a Music Academy, which raised money for charity in London. They needed an Video Editor and as I study Film and TV that was a perfect job for me. It showed me that volunteering can also improve my academic life and my career as I got a paid job because of that experience. At the moment I’m still volunteering for the SU but also applied to volunteer at the Mudchute Farm, where I will hopefully start in the next two weeks.

3. If you could sit down with anyone (from the university, business, politics or education sector), on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
I would like to sit down with the people from the Employability Office to discuss our cooperation. They could e.g. organize some workshops with me which can teach students how to present volunteering work in their CV properly and can tell students who have appointments with them about the volunteering work they can do with the SU.

4. What do you think is the biggest barrier for students to volunteer and engage with the Students Union?
I spoke to many students about that and noticed that some don’t really know about the possibility to volunteer with the SU and the ones who are aware believe it’s just all about the Sport Clubs and Societies. Some others believe that it won’t help them in the future as some volunteering jobs are not relevant to their studies or volunteering is too time consuming and they won’t get anything out of it. I believe that I can help students getting a better idea about volunteering with the SU and in general. One way I want to do so is by having a campaign at the beginning at the next academic year to raise awareness about what students can do within the SU, how it can improve their studies and CV, how to get the most out of it and how the SU can help to find other volunteering jobs if you want to get involved with other charities. Workshops about teamwork, leadership and other important things you need while volunteering (but also in your future job) will be a thing as well as some students also seem to believe that they can’t volunteer because they lack on a certain skill. All in all, everyone can and should have the option to volunteer and I see it as my job to make sure everyone knows about the possibilities and get everything they need to get started or keep going.

Ena Softic

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
Having issues within my first year of study made me think about whether I should have them or not. Since I moved countries to a "better place", to have my opportunity to start fresh and have a proper educational process, I realized, nowhere is perfect unless you make it that way for yourself. My struggle with new place, people, culture and academic structure was not supposed to be an individual issue. I have not been introduced to the system and all its subjectivity so I wish to be able to offer people that I know are struggling, a second chance. Most of the students are from different countries, and we need to offer a proper care to their intellectual and cultural needs. This is what made me apply; I finally realized that if you want something to change, you have to do it yourself, and that change never stops.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I have some previous volunteering experience, but I would not call it volunteering; it was mainly hobbies I chose to do for my lack of patience towards the slow process of "repair" coming from "responsible" government. This included animal care and rescue, donating to people of poor social status and offering academic and legal advice in Croatia; not largely relevant to some, but experience with global issues are what keeps me motivated.

3. What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
There are many things that can improve on the faculty, however, there are some critical structural issues many of us came to recognize within this short academic period. Primarily, campuses and departments are not properly connected or structured; there is a miscommunication going on. Secondly, there is an issue with competency of some of the tutors and their responsibility for issues that are not being resolved. There is a big issue with lack of care towards International and EU students that are being so proudly promoted in Greenwich. There is a need for direct and clear communication between not only tutors and students but also heads of departments, programme leaders and tutors, preparing and planning the assessments at least a year ahead. Lastly, there is a lack of materials and tools available for workshops for Arts and architecture department. You would think 10k would provide, eh?

4. If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
If I could sit down with anyone on my first day of post I would choose my favourite person of the year, Louise Owusu-Kwarteng. We would drink tea, eat chocolate and I would thank her for inspiring me and being a wonderful tutor, because people like her, matter. After I finish my studies, I will forget these issues, but I will not forget kindness. First day in post should not be in for a battle, rather for gratefulness.

 

Silvija Bartkute

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I have been motivated to volunteer for this role by my friends, they have experienced bullying from their peers at the university, which was not acceptable and I had to deal with it straight away. No one ever should feel like they cannot reach their full potential because of other people who think their accent is funny. Programme reps will sustain my motivation for this role because they will be the ones monitoring students from their programme. Everyone should be happy at the university and communicate with each other, some people are the opposite and want to stay isolated, hopefully all students in each programme will start talking and engaging with each other if I will be on this post.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I am a programme rep for my course at the moment. I gained many skills during this role, such as time management, leadership and communication skills. I realised that talking to others and finding out their issues and positive aspects of university is great - I love to help and to listen, we all know how stressful can university be. If I get elected I will make sure that students experience less stress throughout the year and everyone will get the answers they need very quick as I will sacrifice my time for you!

3. What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
As everywhere and in every Faculty there is a need for improvements, so does our ACH Faculty. Most importantly, I believe that programme reps could also feedback on their peers, whether they are rude or nice and how everyone is getting along. This would prevent bullying and other conflicts not to happen. Less stress, better grades.

4. If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
As I mentioned before, programme reps also giving feedback on their peers, on my first day, I would have a meeting with ACH Faculty programme reps. I would discuss how communication helps to prevent bullying and that they could talk about such things with authorities if there is any issues like bullying or even rude comments amongst peers. I believe that it is absolutely disgusting to mock other people for the way they speak, no student should feel this way. I will make sure these things don’t ever happen again! Let’s be happy!

 

Zoe Campbell

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I initially considered running after becoming a student rep last year. I was given insight into the roles available within the SU, and the power of the student voice to make a real change to our university. A few weeks ago, I received an email saying someone had recommended me for the role, and I feel that was the push I needed to run in this election for the Faculty Officer role. I have always been passionate about making a difference, and would like to use this role to advocate for my fellow students, to improve our university experience, and to get voices heard by the people at the top. I feel that I will remain committed to this role because I really do want to see people leaving university feeling fulfilled and that the time and money put in was worth it.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I have a broad range of volunteering experience, from events planning to mentoring, but I’d say the roles that have best prepared me to become a Faculty Officer are those focused around people. I have worked with people with learning difficulties and disabilities including autism and cerebral palsy - taking the time to understand each person and their needs I learnt a lot, especially about the ways we must improve our support and communication with them. I’ve also worked with international students, leading Language Connect classes at Greenwich, as well as running a youth exchange project. What I most enjoy about working with others is that everyone is unique and that we can all learn a lot if we listen and empathise with each other. I hope that as Faculty Officer, I can do something for everyone, and that no person feels they are not represented by their Faculty Officers.

3. What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
My main goal as Faculty Officer is to get students’ voices heard so that the university experience is shaped around things that matter most to students. In my manifesto, my initial campaign ideas were influenced by my own and others’ experiences, for example, having 9am exams at Avery Hill can be very difficult for commuters, I know waking up at 5 to get there definitely affected my concentration, and missing a grade because of tiredness is something I don’t want anyone else to be worried about when their degrees are so important. I also mentioned digital IDs which I feel would benefit students who have forgotten their lanyards, because whether you live 15 minutes, or 3 hours away, there’s nothing worse than coming in for a lecture to then not be allowed into the building. These may seem like small inconveniences, but if anything affects students, it’s worth considering.

4. If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
I would love to just sit with the students, to hear about their experiences, and to find out what they need from their Faculty Officers this year. I want to engage with the people who are most important to the role - my peers, as they will always be the people I am working to benefit. As much as it would be good to meet with faculty staff, I feel like it would be more useful for me to gather some perspective first, so that I can meet with faculty staff and bring with me real examples of the challenges students face. I would hope that on my first day, I could welcome students to speak with me, because I feel that will give me some drive to begin drawing up solutions and proposals for consideration by the university.

 

Ryan Bryce

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
Being involved with the SU since day one of my university experience, I am standing for Faculty Officer to continue engaging with students and to broadcast their experiences to the university. Listening to each other is the greatest weapon humanity has to arm itself with - to be conscientious of each other’s experiences and to work together to fix issues our peers have can often help us fix our own issues. No-one is ever the first to experience an issue - together is stronger.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
As far as previous volunteering goes, I have worked in various charity shops for a total of eighteen months - trained to deputy manager standard - and have worked as a youth leader at my local youth club (as acting technician). Being closer to the age of the children at the club, I was more approachable, and this helped me to build rapports with them.

3. What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
ACH is a wonderful faculty, and benefits from having such a diverse range of degrees included. However, this can also be a curse as well as a blessing - a larger variety of students also means a larger variety of experiences, which means some can go unheard. I will lobby for more interaction between programme reps to ensure that all students feel represented in their faculty. Architecture, computing and humanities may seem far apart, but we can bring us closer.

4. If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
If I could sit down with anyone on my first day in post, I’d like to sit down and talk to the heads of each of the eight departments - I am passionate about honest, faculty-wide communication, and what better way to start than by hearing the experiences of all departments?

 

Bethany Howell

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I wanted to stand for this role as feel I have the necessary skills required to be an effective faculty officer. I am confident and organised. I know that I have the motivation to get things done! For the past few months I have been a programme rep since September and have been involved the meeting to make the department of Law better through different initiatives. My main motivation is making sure the students of the ACH faculty have their voices heard. My number one priority is to make sure the ACH faculty is what you want it to be. I want to make sure you feel you are supported and have the chance to meet with me at least twice a month or contact me should you have any suggestions or questions in the future. I want to be your voice for 2018/19!

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
Over the years I have volunteered for different charities and causes. I have volunteered at a Brownie (Girl guiding unit) as well as in Hong Kong and China where I helped to teach children English through the art of science. I have also volunteered my time arranging different events for charity such as bake sales and charity shows where I have also performed. I often volunteered my time helping at my late grandmothers’ care home helping with events. I spent a lot of my time helping out at open evenings and other events at school and sixth form which I very much enjoyed. I feel that volunteering helps to broaden ones’ perspective of life.

3. What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
In my faculty I would like to improve the use of communication between departments and students. Communication is key to success and I want to make sure students know how to contact staff, programme reps and other faculty officers from day 1 of being at the University of Greenwich. I also want to express the importance of using Panopto, a useful resource which can be used for revision or just to catch-up on a lecture you may have missed for an appointment. The faculty is great, however by listening to you it can be changed to better suit us! Please feel free to read my manifesto for more of my ideas.

4. If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
I would sit down with the head of education at The University of Greenwich and to plan out different initiatives to improve the ACH faculty. I feel small steps are required in order to improve the faculty whilst maintaining the strong links that are already there. I am an organised individual and feel that plans get you further than just saying you will do things. The head of education would be able to outline what is possible and what is not possible to do in order to make the faculty better. Vote Beth for change!!

Bianca Stoica

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
Business students have a lot to say, from what I have seen so far. To be honest, I decided to stand for the role of Business Faculty Officer because there were more people talking about negative aspects than positive ones. The moment I have noticed this, I thought that a change must be made. I see anything as a business – analysis of situations, taking chances and risks, thinking like there is no box – which I think will keep me motivated in the long run.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I have been involved in volunteering some good years ago. I remember being in camps and helping other people improve their abilities by seeing learning as a game. Although when it comes to this, I can say I have focused more on other domains. My father has a company, and my life has been centred on this business part more than on anything else. I have developed communication and leadership skills, as well as becoming a good listener, and this is also the one reason for choosing to run for this position.

3. What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
In the Business Faculty, there are a lot of things than can be improved. First of all, I would like to establish a better communication between the Faculty, students and BSEO. Students would have a lot more to achieve is the information was clearer and easy to find. Secondly, my intention is to propose some changes for the PPDP course. There are many assignments for a course that might not ‘the first option’ when it comes to career, because it focuses more on personal development, something which a student should already have done in a certain manner, and the time spent for this classes could be used in another way. Also, I will try to work closely with the course leaders. Thirdly, I would like to bring in discussion that a broader range of extracurricular activities would prove to be useful for students who want to develop their skills.

4. If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
This question is a bit challenging. I have never thought about this before, but if I were to meet anyone from the university in my first day, would probably be the Dean of the Business School. I would want to see the Faculty from a different perspective, a professional’s one, mostly because this could help me understand how everything works and how it is managed, which would reflect on how I think about changes and improvements.

 

William Clarke

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
My obsession with improvement and desire to serve others are the two-underlying motives behind my decision to stand for Business Faculty Officer. Initially, I believe much can be improved at the Business school having heard the frustrations of fellow students and experiencing some of my own. These include the overwhelming disappointment and irritation students have encountered, across all years of study, with the Personal and Professional Development (PPD) courses. Thus, being able to rectify these issues and to drastically improve the university experience for years to come, is the driving force behind my standing in this election. Whilst achieving improvement is long hardworking process, I can ensure you that I’m the right man for the job.

2) What is your previous volunteering experience?
Working as the programme representative for the Business Economics degree throughout my second year illustrates my ability and commitment to not only be the voice for fellow students, but to achieve change. For example, taking on board students views regarding the selection of courses, I have successfully improved the process for selecting courses. These include, a taster lecture from all courses in term 3, in which students are given an in-depth guide to the course and course assignments by the lecturer, and improved course guides, which should be sent to out to students at least 2 weeks before teaching starts. Moreover, my volunteering experience at HARP the homeless charity exemplifies my desire to serve others and improve social surroundings. I will take this same determined spirit into the work of the Business Faculty Officer.

3) What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
Whilst the course remains popular among staff, I will aim to significantly improve the PPD course, considering the strong student backlash. I understand many students find the course patronising to engage in, and as such reforms I will make include, decreasing the weight of the course to 7.5 credits, making the ‘MyWritingLab’ into a voluntary, rather than compulsory, activity, and reducing reflective reports. Moreover, assignments for the course should include small independent research projects, which act as preparation for the final year dissertation. The Business School should specialise and expand in the teaching of heterodox economics as it both attracts and intrigues students most. I will improve the access to the ‘History of Economics’ courses primarily, by allowing more business students to uptake the course, whilst increasing the weight of the course to 30 credits. Additionally, I will form a Business School Interview series, discussing key business and economics issues.

4) If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
Sara Gorgoni as the Programme Leader for Business Economics and Course Leader for PPD for second year students is a key player regarding my reforms. Having known and worked with Sara for 2 years, I know she is keen on promoting heterodox economics. Thus, she would be willing to make changes to ensure heterodox economics exposure to students remains high. Furthermore, as someone who is keen for feedback and an influencer in the PPD course, she will be a key person to discuss the immediate improvement the PPD course requires.

 

Antonela Chirilov

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
I believe that my motivation comes from my desire to get involved in all the aspects of University life, get my ideas to come to life and together with the other students to shape an inspiring and rewarding experience here at Greenwich. Also, I consider that I will maintain my motivation whilst in post because I will work hard to achieve all my duties as Faculty Officer. Knowing that I can make a change and try my best to improve the student life at the University of Greenwich remains in fact, the main source of motivation.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I have been volunteering in my high school years for the Red Cross and also, I participated in charity fund raisings or environmental projects such as ‘Let’s do it Danube’. Since I arrived in London and enrolled in the University of Greenwich I have participated in the student consultation groups organized by the Students Union, and now I want to give my time for a purpose that effects every student in the Business Faculty.

3. What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
There is always room for improvements, even if the Business Faculty is well organized and with a lot of support for its students. However, I do have some suggestions such as using the equipment for recording the lectures or creating more opportunities for achieving employability points, so more students engage in activities. Earlier this term I participated in the Business Competition Game and it inspired me to try to involve in more competitive activities, and I think more students will gain valuable skills from such events. I will improve the communication between the Faculty and its students, so no student misses important information and I will listen to every opinion or suggestion that they have.

4. If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
I think I will chose Chris Shelley because he is the director of student and academic services and I believe he is genuinely involved in how students are dealing with every situation in the University.

No candidate responses

Angel Rose

1. What motivated you to stand for your role and what do you think will sustain your motivation whilst you are in post?
My motivation for running to be Faculty Officer is the opportunity to make positive changes for students within the faculty as well as to work within the Students Union. This year I have worked as a Programme Rep for Education Studies and, having listened to issues raised by the cohort, have been able to work with lecturers and staff to address these and bring change to the course. Having witnessed this change and its benefits I feel motivated to help faculty wide issues to be heard and addressed.

2. What is your previous volunteering experience?
I have been volunteering for many years now in a number of different roles. As previously mentioned I am currently a Programme Rep but I have also volunteered as part of Student Volunteering Week at the university which was great fun. Up until recently I have also had the pleasure to get to know a number of International students studying at Greenwich through volunteering as part of the Language Connect programme. Outside of university I have been in roles in which I have had the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people for different backgrounds which I loved. I believe that my previous experience volunteering has provided me with the necessary skills required for this role.

3. What do you think you can improve or change in your Faculty?
As mentioned in my manifesto, I believe that students would benefit highly from the opportunity to connect with people across the faculty. An hugely important part of the university experience is social, meeting new people and making connections that will last long after we graduate. This is why I want to organise faculty-wide events so as to not limit students to their course and year group, allowing them to create diverse social groups. If elected I will also aim to improve the feedback loop within the faculty. By working with staff and students to make sure any complaints/issues are heard and then followed up as I feel their is currently a problem stopping this from happening.

4. If you could sit down with anyone from the university on your first day in post, who would it be and why?
As many students as possible, from the Medway, Greenwich & Avery Hill campuses! Next year the faculty will be across all three of the university campuses and I believe we should include all FEH students in decisions and listen to their opinions and suggestions; no campus should be left out. If I am elected I will speak to as many students as I can to gain an insight into the FEH student experience as a whole and address all issues, big or small, with the aim to improve the overall university experience for students in our faculty. This is something I would aim not just to do on my first day but throughout the year as I see it as the most important part of my role as Faculty Officer.

 

 

 

Key Dates


january

22

february

14

march

6

march

8