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Warwick SU Elections 2024 Interviews: Naomi Carter, VP Welfare & Campaigns

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, Naomi Carter, a candidate running for the position of Vice President for Welfare and Campaigns, sat down with Mackenzie Pickersgill from RAW 1251AM. Carter’s outlined the priorities, strategies, and visions that underpin her candidacy for the role.

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

Carter outlined four key priorities:

  1. Affordability
  2. Community
  3. Solidarity
  4. Welfare

She added: “I know that welfare is only one half of the role and only 1/4 of the priorities I put, but I think it comes into a lot of the other ones as well.”

How will you work to support student interest during the cost-of-living crisis?

Carter noted that “a lot of great work is being done by the SU already”, outlining the Free Breakfast Club and the Cost of Living Survey as campaigns she’d like to take further.

She went on to stress the importance of having both short- and long-term campaigns, ranging from increasing the availability of kitchenware to making SU food outlets more affordable.

Carter emphasised the significance of talking to students about the issues they’re struggling with and discussing how the SU could best help them.

What are the biggest issues regarding accommodation, and how would you work to resolve these? 

Carter suggested lobbying the University to freeze rents.

While she acknowledged that lowering rents would be “ideal”, she also recognised that “the University is a very difficult set of people to persuade”.

She went on to address toxic and sexist culture within university halls and stressed the significance of signposting for Wellbeing Services.

Carter pledges to provide resource packs to University halls and plans to expand the End Period Poverty campaign to on-campus accommodation.

How would you look to improve mental health and wellbeing provision on campus on a broader scale?

In response to this question, Carter suggested “increasing and improving signposting to resources”.

She added: “There’s also a big problem with people not either knowing or feeling able to access services.

“So making it really obvious right from day one, what’s out there, how people can access it, what different avenues that are through personal tutors, Wellbeing Services, mitigating circumstances, all of that, and then also doing the internal work with other FTOs to actually improve what’s provided.”

When asked about the increase in disclosures to Report and Support, Carter indicated a need to “actively work to set an agenda to improve awareness of services to improve training for students, maybe through Moodle courses, about how they can act to tackle toxic cultures.

Carter acknowledged there were “great things out there” such as active bystander training, but stressed a real need to “increase provision resources”.

There are many different societies that represent faiths and cultural groups on campus, some of whom have been impacted by events happening around the world. How would you work to support these societies?

Carter suggested “sitting down with representatives from execs of different societies and talking about what’s concerning them at the moment, what their standpoint is, [and] what their members are saying”.

She emphasised the need to be as “open to sensitive conversations as possible” and to not let her own politics and beliefs affect interaction.

To wrap up the interview, Carter was asked what campaigns she’d like to run across the year.

Carter initially suggested expanding on previous campaigns such as the End Period Poverty campaign and the Free Breakfast Club.

She then went on to suggest working closely with the Student-Staff Solidarity Network for events surrounding sustainable food, demilitarisation, and decolonisation.

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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