Image: Loic Verstrepen Sande / The Boar

Meet your candidates: Democracy and Development Officer

Meet the candidates running to be your next Students’ Union Democracy and Development Officer in this year’s spring elections.


Majak Akec ENE

My name is Majak Akec, and I am running to be your SU Democracy and Development Officer. In this pandemic, the University has failed students from every course, continent, and background. We are all being ripped off — this is simple exploitation. It doesn’t take a third-year Political Economy module to see.

Vote for me if you want a DDO who will never compromise when it comes to students’ needs and interests. Vote for Education not Exploitation (ENE) for an SU that will fight on your behalf.

Why are you running for this role?

If there’s a time when students need a strong voice, it’s now. The fundamental needs of students are being ignored. We are being forced to pay large sums of money and barely getting anything in return. Like you, I was promised ‘world-class’ teaching, support, and facilities. This past year I’ve mostly experienced this University’s ‘world-class’ failures. I want a platform to fight for rent and tuition refunds, and for real student support, at all levels of the University and SU.

What, in your opinion, most needs changing at Warwick?

It often feels like students’ needs are an afterthought to the University’s management. They make decisions for bureaucratic reasons, and then worry about how these decisions affect real people’s lives afterwards. As it stands, the University is not accountable to students. We deserve better, and something needs to change.

As DDO, I will work to build long-term democratic structures, like a renters’ union, that have the teeth to hold University management accountable.

What has been your favourite memory from your time at Warwick?

My favourite memory is returning from the Library in the early AM to find friends still awake and laughing at my accommodation in Rootes.

Jacob Jefferson

I’m Jacob, a final year history student from Watford and I’m running for Democracy and Development Officer. I have had an amazing time at Warwick and would love to have the opportunity to give back to the community by serving a year working in the SU for the students. My main interests are politics, films, 80s music and Arsenal. This will be a different campaign than normal, so unfortunately I won’t be able to go out and talk to lots of you, but hopefully I will find some new creative ways to reach out to everyone.

Why are you running for this role?

Fingers crossed next year at Warwick will be pandemic free so the development side of this role will become even more important than normal – the running of the SU’s commercial outlets like the Copper Rooms. It would be a huge honour to be a part of Warwick’s own ‘project restart’ and to put the fun back into the Warwick experience.

What, in your opinion, most needs changing at Warwick?

I think the SU is running the risk of representing just the few who are interested in using it to pursue their own political ambitions and ideologies rather than acting to really improve the student experience. Rather than making foreign policy statements, the SU should be working to ensure the return of in-person teaching next year and the re-opening of its facilities.

What has been your favourite memory from your time at Warwick?

I proudly attended every POP in my second year so I think it would have to be one of those nights – I remember the Halloween one most fondly having come from a big circle at Kelseys in Leamington, with everyone dressed up and having such a great time. I miss those moments and hope I can help bring them back next year.

Stephen Pimm

I am a mature student from the Centre of Lifelong Learning in my third year. I have a lot of experience in both working with people, as well as experience in being involved in campaigns for a political party. I have been self-employed and it has shown me how better to help students prepare for life after university. I have also stood in local elections twice and I am standing for Warwickshire county council in May. I believe this will make me highly effective in being on the student union council, and to widen participation and engagement with democracy at Warwick university.

Why are you running for this role?

The restrictions on campaigning in the autumn term left me underwhelmed. It really highlighted how antiquated the system was in getting the message of candidates to the electorate, you the students, and how much of a popularity contest it can devolve in to. I wanted to bring my experience with local election campaigns to improve the experience of both candidates and the people voting for them. I also would like to represent people who are still underrepresented on the student council.

What, in your opinion, most needs changing at Warwick?

Being from Westwood I can see how cut off satellite campuses feel, even though they are only a short walk from the main campus. Democracy and events do not seem to penetrate much into Westwood campus, Gibbet Hill and the science parks. If we want a better community feel, a more integrated system, then democracy and events need to be moved around a bit and integrated with the calendar of events for the main campus letting other students know other places exist to explore.

What has been your favourite memory from your time at Warwick?

Choosing just one is difficult. I really enjoyed the battle of the bands last year, which had a wide range of different music to suit all tastes, and I met up with people I had met in the modules I was studying with that year, which makes a welcome change to the experience I have had otherwise. The University could do with more events like this to appeal to a wider audience, particularly club evenings.

Disclaimer: candidates’ answers have not been edited. The opinions featured here do not reflect the opinions of The Boar.


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