Image: Warwick Students' Union

Warwick SU Question Time Day 2: Part-Time Officers

Following the first day of the Students’ Union (SU) Question Time events, candidates for Part-Time Officer roles were given the opportunity to answer questions about their policies.

Questions were pre-submitted online by students but were also asked by The Boar, RAW1251 AM, and the audience in the Atrium.

Up first were the candidates for Disabled Students’ Officer (DSO). Running jointly, Mads Wainman, the incumbent DSO, and Nye Steele outlined their plans to improve the experience of students with disabilities at Warwick. When asked about their motivation for improving accessibility on campus, Wainman answered that the main factor was “seeing how inaccessible this campus is”. They went on to say that personal experiences and observations have also affected their aim to improve accessibility, given that there “are so many issues within accommodation” and a lack of awareness regarding social events. Steele also commented that the University simply “won’t fund” the help students with disabilities need to make their seminars more accessible.

When asked how they would ensure that information is communicated to disabled students promptly, they said they would “promote outreach with disabled students by running an Instagram page and other social media”.

Wainman and Steele then highlighted the need to bridge gaps for underprioritised students and suggested improvements could be made for those with undiagnosed conditions. They concluded by suggesting they would “work on engagement between international students and the Students’ Union as there’s a huge disconnect there”.

Second to discuss their agenda was Songjia Cao, running unopposed for Ethnic Minorities Officer (EMO). Cao commented on the difficulty of having only one candidate run for the EMO position, as the multicultural student body of an international university “can’t be represented by a single person”.

Cao went on to outline their aims were they to be elected, with a key hope being improved funding. Cao remarked: “Societies should have more funds to show their culture or support their community.” They suggested that, as EMO, they would encourage respect for “ethnic minority traditions and holidays”. Cao went on to say that this may be achieved through creating compensations for these occasions such as allowing “extensions during the holidays”.

Next up were the candidates for Environment and Ethics Officer. Raj Hacker opened the discussion, summarising his aims for the role. Hacker suggested using the position “to stretch the University to be more transparent” and pressure the University to follow through on its policies. He stressed: “I will encourage more people to get involved in activism.”

When questioned on the sustainability targets set by the University, Hacker argued that “currently the net-zero targets are not very good”, and further critiqued the University’s “lack of commitment” to its policies.

Around halfway through the round, candidate Izman Choudhury joined the panel. Questions were relayed to Choudhury who suggested that he would pursue the proper disposal of vapes on campus and introduce environmental accommodation competitions for first-year students to encourage greater sustainability.

SU staff read out speeches for Widening Participation and Women’s Officer candidates who were unable to attend.

The evening was brought to a close by Gursimar Kaur, a candidate for Women’s Officer. Kaur tackled the opening topic of women’s involvement in societies, commenting: “I do think certain societies are more male-dominated.” Kaur went on to say that “societies do need women representatives to make them more inclusive” and that without them it can feel “alienating”.

Kaur continued, suggesting that campus could benefit from a greater presence of women to make them feel more safe. She noted that “we have a lot of male security officers” and that “we do need more female officers around campus.” It was suggested that this is most necessary at SU club nights such as Pop! and Skool Dayz.

The reputation of Warwick’s relationship with female students was also touched upon, as Kaur said: “I wouldn’t want a fresher to come in and say ‘I don’t trust the SU’. I want to be someone they can come to.”

All candidates were offered the opportunity to partake in last week’s Question Time events.

A recording of the entire Part-Time Officer Question Time event can be found here, courtesy of RAW1251 AM

A list of all Part-Time Officer candidates and their manifestos can be found here.

Voting closes at 4pm on Friday 8 March.


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.