Candidate interview: Isobel Davies

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Isobel Davies
Fylde

Increase mental health provisions and care
Promote the charitable work of LUSU Involve
Visually effective campaigning rather than just number gathering

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Although she is the only female candidate running for Vice President (Equality, Welfare and Diversity), Isobel Davies does not feel that this factor should “influence the way people vote”. Rather, people should be voting for the person who is best qualified for the job.

She feels she is a confident and diplomatic person and is keen to “work with the JCRs and wider student body to develop a close relationship between all those involved with and in the University, for the welfare and wellbeing of all concerned.”

She feels that her role as Fylde LGBTQ* officer has given her a larger understanding of the types of issues that occur in a university environment and how to deal with them. “I think it’s helped me personally to develop my communication with people” and “my sensitivity” she said, whilst also broadening her horizons on mental health issues like depression or body dysmorphea in young people.

Mental health provisions are a key focus for Davies, predominantly as cases of mental health issues are “rising every year, particularly amongst young people”.

Davies feels that there needs to be a vast amount of support for these types of issues, as mental health is a huge concern and one that she feels is not taken seriously enough. She also thinks that it is imperative that people are provided with “the mental health specialists that the University promised us” and the kinds of pastoral care that are needed in these situations.

Building a larger awareness of LUSU Involve, which she thinks is a brilliant institution and one “that needs to be shown off,” is another important factor to Davies. She would like to demonstrate to people that, while significant, Involve isn’t just about working with other countries, but also “working at home and working with the local people”.

Davies has spent alot of time working for different charities. She spent a month in Istanbul, under the instruction of Amnesty International, setting up various campaigns and protests. “While over there I learnt the effectiveness of small but highly visual campaigns and demonstrations, which I think really lends itself to a university environment.”

“I think just having something that people see, that really hits them visually, can have more effect than a petition signed by a hundred thousand people or a demonstration of a million walking the streets.”

She does think that there “has been some imbalance in the past with the concentration on the roles” in EWD and will, if elected, try to focus on all three as equally as possible. She thinks “naturally welfare often gets sort of more concentration than the others” but think it’s important to focus on the equality aspect, ensuring “there is no discrimination or prejudice”, along with diversity which she feels is “increasingly becoming an issue with the greater influx of international students in our university”.

She also feels that there needs to be more communication between the Full Time Officers (FTO) and the student body, “having spoken to a few people about the FTO post its come back that people don’t even know who are in the roles, let alone what they do, and how they can go to them for help and assistance, so I think that will be one of the big things that I’d change” she said.

With the increase in fees, Davies thinks that “in order to retain” itself as a high quality institution, Lancaster will need to set “the bar quite high”, enabling the Union to push for “services to reflect that”.

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