news sponsor

Union sabbatical officers: have they lived up to their manifesto promises?

Written by: on April 27, 2010

### President Andrew Bradley

Andrew Bradley claimed that he has maintained a firm position against rising tuition fees: “I’ve stood up strongly on this issue from the day I took over as President – I’ve challenged David Cameron and Peter Mandelson personally on the deal students get, constantly made my feelings clear to the University and represented this view to the University Chancellor Richard Lambert.”

In an attempt to end the campus inflation spiral, the Union has introduced £2 baguettes in the Bread Oven. It is also considering cheaper options in the Duck and possibly serving toast in the Terrace Bar.

Bradley also emphasised his efforts keep housing costs down and, as a result, rent prices have risen by 2.1% this year, in contrast to previous years where increases of up to 6% were common.

The president could not, however, deliver on his promise to get cooking facilities on campus, due to apparent food hygiene concerns.

### Communications Isaac Newton Acquah

Discussing his accomplishments, Isaac Acquah said that he enjoyed working with students and societies on their projects. “It’s my job, but having some of them come back to thank me personally or mention me in their thanks at the end, means I must have been doing something right.”

One of his promises was bringing a wider variety of entertainment to campus. To this end, he was part of the Brand Audit team, which changed Score to Pop and ensured each main music genre had its place in the term listings. “I would say that this year thanks to the rebuild we have the facilities and space to provide a wider variety quality entertainment,” he added.

A further promise involved making better use of technology to help students and the Union communicate. “This is the one area that has seen some improvement but still has a long way off to go to where I would like it to be,” he said.

### Welfare Sami Wannell

Sami Wannell admitted that even though he had delivered on quite a few of his manifesto commitments, there were still some that he hadn’t yet achieved. One of the major policies of his campaign was to improve students’ search for houses. He promised a list of accredited houses to be made public for students. A list of houses is now available for Leamington Spa on the Union website, together with information on how students can contact Coventry City Council about housing issues.

Another important achievement for Wannell has been the integration of students into the local community. In South Leamington, the “Student Community Representative Scheme” has been introduced. One successful activity undertaken by them was the clean-up of a park in South Leamington. “We’re doing little things like that to really bring home to people what valuable contributions students make to the community around them.”

### Sports Alex Twiss

Alex Twiss told the Boar about his success in restructuring the Sports Committee, which is no longer elected by Union Council but by a Sports Council.

Another major success for the sports officer is the reorganisation of the Sports Ball, which will be moved from a tent on campus to the Birmingham Hilton. Twiss has also managed to decrease the price of the ticket. He also pushed to have all of the areas in the Copper Rooms open for circle and to improve the rest of the Pop! experience for sports teams.

Only two promises remain unfulfilled. Twiss could not offer students access to a free physiotherapist because of funding cuts that affected the whole of the University.

A second issue concerns free Wednesdays after 11am for sports. “It’s something that every sports officer has to campaign on and do as much as they can to make the University realise that this is something that students really want.”

### Societies James Hall

James Hall said he was happy with his progress. “Lots of people have come to me with problems or issues which we’ve managed to resolve, the Warwick Advantage Award and Global Award have had a great uptake this year and a huge number of execs are looking to get Society Awards applications.”

One of his campaign promises had been the reduction of paperwork for society activities. He has been successful in implementing it and all forms are now available online. Hall had also promised to ensure that societies make full use of the new Union. The Copper Rooms are currently being used for rehearsals, exhibitions, clothes swaps and events.

His plans for the remainder of his term in office include the creation of a new exec forum, and with exam season approaching, he aims to encourage “academic societies to work with their departments on things like revision workshops, exam advice and so on.”

### Governance and Finance Andy Perkins

Andy Perkins said he was fairly happy with the way his year had gone. Union elections were much more visible, term two’s referenda also registered a high turnout, AGM turnout was up 400% compared to last year’s meeting, and turnout in the autumn elections increased by 131%.

One of Perkins’ manifesto promises involved revising the democratic structures of the Union. The “Changing the Way this Union is Run” motion played a very important part in this. Perkins said that Union democracy is indeed “more vibrant, yet still not ideal; more people should get involved.”

A core policy in Perkins’ manifesto was the shaping of NUS agenda. For the first time in years, motions were submitted by the Union to the NUS conference. Another important promise involved the registration of students for the general election. Perkins is currently supporting the “Just Vote” campaign set up by Carl Andrew, a Warwick student.

### Education Sumaiya Khaku

Sumaiya Khaku said she was happy with how things had gone, but that there was “a lot more to be done.”

One of Khaku’s campaign promises had been the increase in the range of books available in the library. To tackle this she made it possible for students to “put in requests for books through their SSLC and the department will see if they have the budget for it.” To provide better study spaces, Khaku has successfully obtained the extension of the laptop area in the library. She also said there are plans to introduce wireless printing in the library.

There was one manifesto commitment on which she could not deliver: the increase in the variety of jobs presented at campus careers fairs. “Unfortunately, with the effects of the credit crunch, it is now harder to bring any careers people to fairs,” she argued. Despite this, she has been working closely with the Careers Service “to look more into what students want from the service”.

The Boar
SUHQ, Floor Two
University of Warwick
University Road
Coventry
CV4 7AL




The Boar is the University of Warwick’s editorially independent
student newspaper produced entirely by and for students.
  • oldworld