Meet your candidates: SU Widening Participation Officer

Meet the candidates running to be your next Students’ Union Widening Participation Officer in this year’s spring elections.


Braedie Atkins

Hi, I’m Braedie. I’m a 2nd Year PAIS student running to be your Widening Participation Officer (WPO). With only 57.7% of us state-educated and 4% of us from deprived backgrounds, widening participation must be central in all SU and University initiatives. I will fight to ensure our faces are seen, our voices are listened to, our futures are secured, and our well-being supported. Being raised by a single mum on benefits and taking a year out to care for my brother, I know first-hand the gaps in university support. You can trust me to amplify your values and implement change.

Why are you running for this role?

As a fresher, I instinctively looked on the SU website for a Widening Participation Officer (WP) for support when I was struggling- there wasn’t one. In 2020, I wrote for The Boar explaining why we urgently need an officer representing low-income students. Now that we do, I know how valuable this position is for pushing your priorities and values as WP students and holding the SU and University to account. We deserve better. I will fight for no less.

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

From my experience and speaking with other students, Warwick is not naturally inclusive or welcoming for students from underrepresented backgrounds. My priorities not only look to increased careers and mental health support but also increased awareness of opportunities for WP students as well as working to dismantle working-class stigmas at Warwick. No student should experience disadvantage because of their class, education or financial background. I promise to make Warwick feel like it’s yours for the taking, because it is!

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

Working with IntoUniversity, an organisation that gets more students from deprived backgrounds into university, has been my university highlight. It made me proud of my background, deserving of my place and motivated to ensure Warwick represents and supports us all.  Getting to mentor a student and see her confidence grow over 2 years made me truly understand the value of peer support. If elected, I will initiate a WP mentoring scheme and WP student ambassadors on open days. Vote Braedie!

Kieron Warren ENE

Hi! I’m Kieron, a third-year Politics and International Studies Undergraduate Student running to be your Widening Participation Officer! I’m currently working as a Mentor on the Warwick Sutton Scholars Widening Participation Programme.

I’m passionate about Widening Participation and ensuring that Higher Education is fully accessible to those from backgrounds of whom University has historically been closed off from with an elitist culture. The COVID-19 Pandemic means now more than ever WP students at University face greater hardships and I want to ensure that we have an SU that is at the forefront of supporting WP students and empowering us!

Why are you running for this role?

Given the newness of the WP role, I feel that raising recognition of the definition of WP is vital in ending classist culture and increasing the support for WP students is extremely urgent in the face of the pandemic and its aftermath which is exacerbating educational divides. Every WP student has their own unique pathway into and within Higher Education and more has to be done to ensure they can achieve their potential and not be setback by this pandemic.

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

I think development of support networks such as a ‘WP Buddying Scheme’, more WP-focussed career schemes and increasing accessibility to hardship funding is crucial at Warwick. Incoming WP students in the next academic year will have faced most of their A-Level years online with an inability to be in the classroom and access Summer Schools to develop skills and insight into the academic environment. For WP Students starting a career, they are faced with the worst economic downturn in history.

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

It’s actually hard to choose but probably one of my most favourite memories has been when I was at a Society Potluck Dinner and everyone brought dishes they had cooked which was super fun! As I’m from Darlington (or better known as Darlo), which is near to Middlesbrough, I decided to make a Middlesbrough Parmo made from breadcrumb chicken with bechamel sauce and cheese grilled on top which is very popular up North! I even made a vegan version too!


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


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.