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Warwick SU Elections 2024 Interviews: Joe Stanley, VP Societies

In the run-up to the Warwick Students’ Union (SU) elections, The Boar and RAW 1251AM collaborated to offer all Full-Time Officer (FTO) candidates the opportunity to be interviewed.

Last week, Joe Stanley, the only candidate running for the position of Vice President for Sports, sat down with Ben Cavasi from RAW 1251AM. The interview brought to light Stanley’s key priorities and propositions for initiatives aimed at improving accessibility, affordability, and the overall welfare of Warwick’s societies.

What would your key priorities be if you were to be elected?

Stanley suggested that the “general gist” of his priorities revolves around improving promotion, affordability, and accessibility.

He added “encouraging more involvement” and “allowing more access to things” as key ideas he intends to focus on.

In the context of the cost-of-living crisis, Stanley was then asked:

How would you make sure that societies are affordable to join and make sure that students can take part in their activities without worrying about expenses?

Stanley firstly stressed his intention to “freeze the Fed (Society Federation) fee” and subsidise society social events.

He stressed that “sometimes society events are too expensive” and hopes to “increase funding in general”.

Stanley concluded: “Cutting into affordability issues is a key one for me.”

As Vice President for Societies, you’ll have a range of different societies coming to you with different questions and concerns. How would you balance being accessible to society executive committees while still having to deal with a wide range of requests?

Stressing the importance of communication, Stanley remarked: “My email will always be out there, and I’ll always be in the office.

“I’ll try and maximise how much I’m on campus and be free to talk to anyone.”

Stanley added that he wouldn’t want any student society to feel “intimidated” and intends to speak with all societies in need of support.

Smaller societies or societies representing marginalised groups in particular may have issues with feeling intimidated to approach you. How will you help these societies should you be elected?

In response to this question, Stanley indicated the need to contact these societies directly.

He emphasised the importance of establishing “more one-to-one contact”, rather than having to communicate via email.

Stanley concluded that he is open to hearing any ideas societies may have, and is “more than willing” to discuss these thoroughly with exec members.

What would you do to ensure that welfare officers and society executive committees can more confidently deal with welfare issues?

Stanley said he will “keep in touch with welfare officers” in order to “address how we maximise” their roles.

He suggested keeping mainly to the current system, which allows societies to bring forward any issues to the Vice President for Societies and to make use of the current complaint system.

Stanley emphasised that “welfare is such a key part of society”, and stressed to need to ensure “everyone’s feeling alright”.

How would you work with the SU Finance Office and the Student Activities Team to cut red tape around small expense requests and event planning?

Speaking on event planning, Stanley intends to “limit the cost” to ensure societies remain accessible.

He added: “It will always be my position to listen to what societies say and try and keep that into account.

“For me, keeping fees as low as possible for societies is ideal.”

For his final question, Stanley was asked:

What would you do to increase engagement with societies and postgraduates at Warwick?

Stanley, a postgraduate student himself, stressed the need to promote engagement.

He outlined that the disconnect between societies and postgraduates was a result of students “being unaware” or “feeling like it’s not for them”.

Stanley suggested societies implement postgraduate representatives, much like freshers’ reps, to increase engagement.

He concluded by emphasising that postgraduates can “bring and offer unique experiences” which is something Stanley believes should be strongly encouraged.

This interview, along with all other interviews for Vice President positions, can be watched in full using the link here, courtesy of RAW1251 AM.


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